Indian Railways on Tuesday handed over 20 Broad Gauge (BG) locomotives to Bangladesh. A handing-over ceremony was held at Rail Bhavan in New Delhi.
Previously, the Indian government handed 10 BG diesel locomotives to Bangladesh on a grant basis in July 2020.
Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw and Bangladesh's Minister of Railway Md. Nurul Islam Sujan joined the event, along with some other delegates and senior officials from both nations.
According to the statement from the Ministry of Railways, the diesel locomotives were handed over to Bangladesh under grant assistance from the Government of India. It aims to fulfill a commitment made in 2019, during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India. In line with the requirements of Bangladesh Railway, the locomotives have been suitably modified by India, the release said. It is expected that BG locomotives will help handle the increasing volume of passenger and freight train operations in Bangladesh.
Trade between India-Bangladesh via rail has seen consistent growth with the interchange of close to 100 cargo trains per month and approximately 2.66 MT cargo was sent to Bangladesh in the last financial year, according to the statement. The export commodities include stone, foodgrains, along with other essential items.
Commenting on the occasion, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, "India’s relationship with Bangladesh is civilisational, cultural, social and economic. Prime Ministers of both countries are playing proactive roles to improve bilateral relationships across social, economic, and political sectors. Indian Railways are also playing a vital role in improving and strengthening rail connectivity across the border and improving trade between both countries."
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Bangladesh's Minister of Railways also commented and said, "I express my gratitude to the Indian government for their support. Previously in June 2020, Indian Government provided 10 locomotives to Bangladesh as grant. We express our heartfelt gratitude to India for providing broad gauge locomotives. The supply of locomotives will help to improve both goods and passenger trains."