Since the COVID-19 pandemic took a turn for the better, demand for tickets for the India-Bangladesh international train has surged dramatically, and the Indian Railways have responded by opening two more ticket counters at Kolkata station, an official said on Friday. These counters, in addition to the two already present ones at Kolkata station, are available to passengers using the Maitree Express, Bandhan Express, or Mitali Express between the two neighbouring nations.
The four ticket counters, meant exclusively for India-Bangladesh international train passengers, will help cope with increased demand following a downturn in the pandemic and are open on all weekdays between 10 am and 4 pm, he said.
Maitree Express travels between Kolkata and Dhaka, Bandhan Express connects Kolkata with Khulna, and Mitali Express runs between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka.
Earlier, the Northeast Frontier Railway opened a ticketing counter at the Guwahati Railway station for the passengers of the Mitali Express. The ticketing counter was opened with the aim of providing easier travelling for the passengers of the train travelling through international borders. The distance between New Jalpaiguri in north Bengal and Assam`s main city of Guwahati is 333 km. The NFR, one among the 17 railway zones in India, operates fully and partially in six of the eight northeastern states, excluding Meghalaya and Sikkim, and in seven districts of West Bengal and five districts of north Bihar.
The New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka Cantonment “Mitali Express,” which connects India and Bangladesh, was officially inaugurated in June 2022 by Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and his Bangladeshi opposite Mohammad Nurul Islam Sujon. The third passenger train to run between Bangladesh and India is this one. The new train will operate two days a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays, the New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka Cantonment train, bearing number 13132. The Dhaka Cantonment-New Jalpaiguri Mitali Express train number 13131 will run on the return trip every Monday and Thursday. Between New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and Dhaka Cantonment in Bangladesh, the train will travel approximately 513 kilometres in nine hours.
With inputs from PTI