Ever since the standoff between India and China, the Indian government is looking at more ways to increase its political might and influence over its smaller neighbouring countries. In the latest news, the Indian government is set to increase rail cooperation with Dhaka. The occasion will take place through a digital conference. The conference is going to host India's foreign minister S.Jaishankar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. The Bangladeshi side will also be represented by their foreign minister Abul Kamal Abdul Momen and Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan.
The project will help establish new crucial railway lines between India and Bangladesh. This will also aid future cooperation between the two countries. India is also set to help restore some of the old Bangladesh locomotive systems.
An official source on the matter said, “A total of 17 railway sector projects have been included in LoC (line of credit) assistance extended by India to Bangladesh, with a commitment of US $2.4 billion.” This politically motivated move has widely been called a successful one as it helps mediate China‘s presence in India’s eastern neighbour.
Up until now, there are only 4 connecting lines between India and Bangladesh through the railways. These connections line up from Petrapole (India) to Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) to Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India) to Rohanpur (Bangladesh) and Radhikapur (India) to Birol (Bangladesh).
Two passenger trains namely the Bandhan express and Maitree express also connect Kolkata from India to Khulna. Meanwhile Maitree express connects Kolkata to Dhaka. At the current, all passengers trains have halted their services due to the coronavirus pandemic.