More than 95 per cent work of laying tracks on the Indian side of the Haldibari-Chilahati India-Bangladesh railway link project has been completed, a top Northeast Frontier Railway official said.
The distance between Haldibari railway station in West Bengal’s Coochbehar district till the international border is 4.5 kilometres while that from Chilahati in northern Bangladesh till the zero point is around 7.5 kilometres.
“The completion of the entire project depends on the pace with which tracks are laid on the Bangladesh side,” NFR General Manager Sanjive Roy said. Roy inspected the work on the Indian side on Monday evening and expressed satisfaction over it, officials said.
Both Haldibari and Chilahati stations were on the old broad gauge railway route between Siliguri and Kolkata that went through areas in present-day Bangladesh. The new route passes through western parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Haldibari became a part of India while Chilahati that of Pakistan after the partition of the country in 1947. Nevertheless, the old Siliguri-Kolkata railway route continued to operate through erstwhile East Pakistan till the 1965 India-Pakistan war.
Both India and Bangladesh have resolved to restore railway connectivity through several routes that got snapped after the partition, one of which is the Haldibari-Chilahati one, officials said.
Accordingly, missing railway tracks are being laid between Haldibari and Chilahati, officials said.