India and Bangladesh on Thursday inaugurated the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link between the two countries. The trans-border railway line service was restored after 55 years. The announcement was made during a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Thursday.

The inauguration of the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link is expected to enhance connectivity to Assam and West Bengal from Bangladesh.

India and Bangladesh have been making efforts in the last few years to enhance transport and connectivity. “Bangladesh is a significant pillar of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. To strengthen relations with Bangladesh has been a priority for me since the first day,” Modi said during the summit.

The inauguration of the Haldibari-Chilahati link will be the fifth pre-1965 railway link to be made operational between the two countries.

The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was part of the broad gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri. However, the war of 1965 effectively cut off all the railway links. Initially, the rail link will facilitate the movement of goods cargo. Passenger movement will also commence on the development of infrastructure on both sides, they said.