New Delhi, July 27 : External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday flagged off 10 broad guage diesel locomotives to Bangladesh Railways under its “neighbourhood first” policy.
These 10 diesel locomotives were handed over from Gede station of Sealdah Division of Indian Railways to Darshana station of Bangladesh Railways.
After flagging off the locomotives virtually from Delhi, Goyal said, “These locomotives will be useful in handling the on-going freight train operations between India and Bangladesh.”
The event was also attended by Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen, Railway Minister Mohammed Nurul Islam Sujon via video conferencing.
Goyal said that to ensure the usability of these locomotives in Bangladesh, they have been modified. “We have taken huge strides forward in our respective efforts at achieving development and growth,” he said.
The Railway Minister also said that India and Bangladesh have come a long way in the last few years. “Our bilateral relationship today is at its very best. Our neighbourhood policy follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’,” he said.
Hailing the leadership of Modi, the Minister said, the leaderships of both, India and Bangladesh, are committed to reviving the pre-1965 railway connectivity between the two countries. “Out of the seven rail links that existed then, four are functional now,” Goyal said, adding that to further strengthen rail connectivity in the region, one new rail link, between Agartala in India and Akhaura in Bangladesh is being constructed.
The Railway Minister also said that during Covid-19 pandemic, both Railways have shown exemplary foresight in managing the crisis and maintained the supply chain by stepping up transportation of essential commodities.
“Parcel train and container train services have been introduced via Benapole in Bangladesh. Both these services started in July. These have enabled us to move a wide range of products from both sides,” he said.
“Railways have ensured that the two countries can continue bilateral trade without any disruption and health risk. Both Railways are ensuring a better future for the people,” Goyal said.
Talking about the economy, he said that the Indian economy is coming back on track under Modi’s inspirational leadership. “I am sure Bangladesh will also continue to make rapid strides under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We share the common vision of developing connectivity and infrastructure,” he said.
Gioyal also assured Bangladesh of India’s complete, unstinted and unlimited support in the development of Bangladesh rail network. “I commit, on behalf of Modiji and the people of India, that we will always accord the highest priority to Bangladesh and its needs. We will be a showcase of regional cooperation to meet the aspirations of the people of both nations,” Goyal added.