India and Bangladesh Constitute Joint Group to Suggest Measures to Ease Travel by Maitree Express
The Governments of India and Bangladesh constituted an Empowered Joint Group to suggest measures to ease travel by Maitree Express, the direct passenger carrying train between Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka, introduced in April, 2008.
The Empowered Joint Group held its first meeting in Rail Bhawan, New Delhi today on 9.5.2012. The Indian side of the delegation was led by Shri D.P. Pande, Additional Member (Traffic), Railway Board while the Bangladesh delegation was led by Md. Shahjahan, Additional Director General (Operations), Bangladesh Railways.
Both sides agreed that Maitree Express is a symbol of people to people connectivity and the deep abiding friendship between the two countries. To make this bi-weekly train more popular, the Empowered Joint Group decided that they would formulate certain short term, medium term and long term measures to ease the travel by this train. It was decided in the meeting that immigration forms of both the countries would be distributed inside the train so that the time taken at the border stations could be reduced. Possibilities of introducing airlines type baggage booking would be explored by a working group of field officers. It was also agreed that the passenger amenities at the two border stations like Gede (India) and Darsana (Bangladesh) would be improved. The Empowered Joint Group decided that efforts would be made to reduce the running time in both the countries. The meeting was concluded with both sides reiterating their commitment to strive towards easing travel by Maitree Express.