India, Bangladesh to ease travel on Maitree Express


New Delhi : The Indian and Bangladeshi railways will take a slew of steps to ease train travel across the two countries by the popular Maitree Express, an official statement said Wednesday.

The Maitree Express, the direct passenger train between Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, and Kolkata, capital of West Bengal, was introduced in April 2008.

An Empowered Joint Group formed by the two governments to suggest measures to ease travel by the Maitree Express held its first meeting here and decided that immigration forms of both the countries would be distributed inside the train to save time taken at the border stations Gede (India) and Darsana (Bangladesh).

Officials said possibilities of introducing airlines type baggage booking would be explored by a working group of field officers.

It was also agreed that the passenger amenities at the two border stations would be improved besides efforts to reduce the train running time in both the countries, said officials.

The Indian side of the delegation was led by D.P. Pande, Additional Member (Traffic), Railway Board while the Bangladesh delegation was led by Md. Shahjahan, Additional Director General (Operations), Bangladesh Railways.

Both sides agreed that bi-weekly Maitree Express is a symbol of people to people connectivity and the abiding friendship between the two countries.