India-Bangladesh railway
Bangladesh Railway Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan and Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the construction of railway tracks at Chilahati on Saturday. Image credit - Twitter @ihcdhaka

At a time when people in Assam are shouting in chorus against influx from Bangladesh, trains will soon ply from Kolkata to Assam via Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Railway Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan along with Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das jointly laid the foundation stone of the construction of railway tracks at Chilahati on Saturday.

The construction of the railway tracks between Chilahati and Haldibari was a proposal pending for long and it was also announced during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in September 2011.

The officials said the 7.5 kilometre long railway track is expected to provide connectivity from West Bengal to Assam via Bangladesh.

They said there are also plans to construct immigration and customs post.

The development, however, came at a time when the Assam government recently updated the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC) excluding over 19 lakh people from the list.

It may be mentioned that during the British regime, there were railway tracks between Haldibari and Chilahati.

Trains from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to Darjeeling via Siliguri operated till 1965.

The connectivity, however, got snapped after the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

Indian Railways has already restored the tracks up to international border till Haldibari station.

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