New Delhi: A train to Dhaka is ready to chug along with railways gearing up to flag off the first-ever passenger train between India and Bangladesh on 14 April.
Though the guest list and other formalities are not finalised yet, the Kolkata-Dhaka train is likley to be flagged off from Chitpur (Kolkata) by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on that date. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is also expected to be present on the occasion.
Aptly named as Maitree Express, the much awaited train will have 12 coaches including AC compartments, a pantry car and a guard van. The train would cover 400 km between Kolkata and Dhaka in 14 hours.
“It is a non-stop train and though the journey will take only eight hours, the Customs and immigration clearance on both sides will take six hours,” said a senior railway official.
Check points for security and visa formalities are being set up at Gede in India and Darshana in Bangladesh territory.
The vexed issue of fencing the no-man’s land has stalled the inaugural run for long. While Indian authorities insist on fencing off the no-man’s land at the Indo-Bangla border for Customs and immigration clearance, Bangladesh had reservation about it.