Source: The Hindu
The railway station here witnessed two historic events on Sunday. As Tripura Sundari Express rolled out of the station, the Railways marked the milestone of establishing connectivity between the capital of the northeastern State and New Delhi.
And, after flagging of the train, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu joined his Bangladeshi counterpart, Mohammed Mazibul Hoque, to lay the foundation stone for the India-Bangladesh broad-gauge link between Agartala and Akhaura. Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, State Ministers from Tripura and top railway officials of both countries were present.
Thousands of people gathered at the station. Mr. Prabu and Mr. Hoque spoke at length about the friendly relations between India and Bangladesh, and felt the need for more cooperation that can benefit trade, commerce and tourism. “I am inviting Mohammed Mazibul Hoque to New Delhi for further deliberations on mutually beneficial issues,” Mr. Prabhu said. He said Bangladesh would be convinced to reopen the British-era rail link between Belonia in south Tripura and Feni in southeast Bangladesh. Ministers and MPs of Tripura had been insisting on reviving the pre-Independence rail connectivity.
Train to Kolkata soon
Mr. Prabhu assured the gathering that an Agartala-Kolkata direct train would be introduced before August. The Railways would help in making the region a tourist hub, he said.
However, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar lashed out at successive governments at the Centre for “repeatedly ignoring the aspirations of people of Tripura”.
The weekly Tripura Sundari Express to Anand Vihar station of New Delhi will run from Agartala on Thursdays and make the return journey on Mondays, with 18 stops in the 48-hour journey.