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Direct Train Service between Dhaka-Kolkata PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 April 2008

The first train for Kolkata would leave on Pahela Baishakh, April 14 as planned. That’s just a few days away. If there are no more hassles this will open up a new horizon in the people-to-people relations between the two countries, especially those living on two sides of the border but speaking the same language and sharing common culture and heritage. Not many are aware that thousands of people cross the international border every day using buses and air routes. The absence of a convenient transport like train has been a obstacle that hopefully will not be there any more. Train journey is cheap and safe. It, therefore, stands to reason that the traveling public would prefer trains to other modes of transport. There is also the possibility the number of passengers will also go up considerably with the introduction of this service. But how useful and successful this train service will depend on how the two sides manage it. If goodwill and sincerity is lacking immigration and customs can create such problems that people would avoid this out of sheer disgust. We are not aware whether the two sides have reached any agreement on how these two essential formalities of foreign travel would be handled. There are lots of details to be taken care of. If passengers are required to get down from the trains with their baggage as bus passengers do it will take a hell of lot of time to get the clearance. A train is expected to carry more than one thousand passengers and that is almost 20 busloads. Immigration and customs will increase the journey time many times. An alternative can be on-board checking. If passengers’ convenience and comfort are given importance then on-board checking is the only way out. We only hope that all these details have been worked out to make the train service popular. The introduction of train service may also facilitate trade between the two countries. Ig enough goods trains are introduced transportation costs will go down considerably and as a logical development the volume of trade shall increase. But everything depends on the goodwill of the two sides. It would be quite easy to make the service unpopular and cumbersome by creating unnecessary problems. On the other hand this service will have a favourable impact on the psychology of the people also. We would request railway, immigration and customs officials to do everything possible to make the service successful. With the passage of time more and more people would travel in trains.

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