New train to be added by mid-February
India is planning to further expand connectivity with it closest South Asian neighbour Bangladesh during PM Sheikh Hasina’s proposed visit to Delhi mid-February, reports The Economic Times.
In what would add a new feather in the Indo-Bangla partnership in the rail sector, a new train would be launched between the two countries in early 2017.
The frequency of existing Maitree Express was recently increased to four days a week between Kolkata and Dhaka, catering to the growing demand of passengers from both sides.
The new train service between Kolkata and Khulna (Bangladesh) is likely to be launched during Hasinas trip, officials informed.
All ground works have been completed for the launch of the new train connecting Kolkata with Khulna. Freight trains, carrying stones and boulders among other goods, are already running between Khulna and Dhaka.
A joint meeting of officials from Railways, Home Ministry and External Affairs was held recently with Bangladesh to finalise launch of the new train, officials said.
The launch of a new train service between is part of the joint declaration made during Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to Dhaka in June last year.
But it is not just connectivity, India is also planning to increase quantum of electricity export to Bangladesh.
The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), a three-way joint venture of the West Bengal, Jharkhand and Centre, is exploring export of power to Bangladesh, a lucrative market.
“We are looking to sell at least 500MW to Bangladesh. Our team gave this proposal to Bangladesh during a recent visit to Dhaka,” said a senior official of DVC. DVC’s current surplus stands at 1200MW.
A new DVC unit with an installed capacity of 500 MW at Bokaro in Madhya Pradesh will soon get commissioned as well.
In 2013, when Bangladesh first expressed intent to import power from India, DVC was not in the fray. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDC) did the bidding.