India for fast rail upgrade for Bangladesh
New Delhi yesterday assured Dhaka of speedy implementation of projects on rail infrastructure upgrade in Bangladesh.
All rail projects would be expedited as per the agreement with Bangladesh, Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi.
A railway link between Rohanpur and Singhabad to facilitate transit traffic from Bangladesh to Nepal through India and making Akhoura-Agartala line operational were finalised yesterday.
Indian railway would help Bangladesh build rail infrastructure that is expected to allow train services from Kolkata to Tripura, she said.
"India always had good relations with Bangladesh and its people," Mamata said.
On cultural ties, she said, "We have a great cultural affinity with the country. There will be exchange of artistes between the two countries on the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, which will be held in a big way" in 2011.
Mamata said she was invited by Hasina to visit Dhaka. "I have the invitation from her. But the date and time will be decided later" depending on how India's proposals for helping Bangladesh upgrade its railway infrastructure shape up.
Mamata presented famous Nalli sari to Hasina's sister and sweets from West Bengal to Hasina and the Bangladesh prime minister presented two volumes of book "Sheikh Hasinar Rachana Samagra", which Hasina wrote, to Mamata.
Going beyond protocol, Hasina later went to Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's house on 13 Talkatora Road and met him and his family members.
She latter attended a reception hosted by Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq A Karim.
Hasina wraps up her four-day visit today after addressing a press conference in the morning and offering prayers at the dargah of Khwaja Moniuddin Chisti (RA) at Ajmer.