On July 27, 2020, Indian Railways handed over the specifically modified 10 railway broad gauge locomotives to Bangladesh, which will help in handling the increasing volume of passenger and freight train operations in Bangladesh. All locomotives can attain speed of up to 120 km per hour and have a residual life of 28 years or more.The move was part of a sharpened focus on India’s “neighbourhood first” policy.
- The locomotives were flagged off virtually to Bangladesh by External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Railway Minister PiyushVedprakash Goyal. From Bangladesh, the online ceremony was attended by Minister of Railway Md Nurul Islam Sujan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abul Kalam Abdul Momen.
- It should be noted that these locomotives are provided under a grant assistance from the government of India (GoI) which was agreed in October 2019 during the visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to India.
- The year 2020 is marking the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman aka Bangabandhu, the first President of Bangladesh, who was born on March 17, 1920.
-Both nations are committed to revive the pre-1965 railway connection between the two countries. There were 7 rail links then, out of which 4 are functional now.
-Apart from above, one new rail link, between Agartala in India and Akhaura in Bangladesh is being constructed & financed under Grant Assistance of India to further strengthen rail connectivity.
-Last week, India operated the first trial container ship of Kolkata (West Bengal) to Agartala (Tripura) and Karimganj (Assam) via the Chittagong port carrying a large cargo of steel and pulses. Read Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya virtually flagged off 1st container ship, ‘MV Shejyoti’ from Kolkata Port to Agartala via Chattogram port (Bangladesh).
-In June 2020, a total of 103 freight trains were utilised for carrying essential commodities and raw materials between both nations. This was the highest ever exchange of freight trains
Recent Related News:
On May 20, 2020 India & Bangladesh signed the 2nd Addendum to the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade in Dhaka. Under this pact- Increased 5 more ports of call from earlier 6(Total- 11) & extended 2 ports of call in each country; 2 new Indo Bangladesh Protocol(IBP) routes(from 8 to 10) & new locations are also added to the existing routes to facilitate the trade between two countries.
Currency– Bangladeshi taka
President– Mohammad Abdul Hamid