‘Reopen Mekhliganj-Changrabandha rail track for commerce boost’

Published : 12 Mar 2022 09:01 PM

Railway Mekhliganj-Changrabandha railway line from Burimari in the western zone of Lalmonirhat to India is still witnessing a lot of railway installations including the railway line. Although this route has been used since the British rule, India closed the railway line to the then East Pakistan in 1965 due to the Indo-Pakistani war over Kashmir. Since then, this rail track has become ineffective. As a result, India-Bangladesh goods have to be transported by road through Burimari Land Port. However, the land port traders said that the government of both the countries had agreed to restore the 650 meter railway line between Burimari railway station and Changrabandha customs station in India. According to them, if this railway is introduced, the transport routes of India, Bhutan and Nepal with Bangladesh will be reduced. This will increase the trade and commerce of both the countries as well as increase the revenue of the government several times.

Passengers and concerned people using Burimari land port including traders said that the distance from Burimari railway station in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat to Mekhliganj-Changrabandha railway station in Kochbihar state of India is only 750 meters (one and a quarter kilometers). The opening of this railway through reconnection will open the door to huge potential for expansion of international trade and commerce with Burimari land port. According to the Railway Department, the Mekhliganj-Changrabandha railway line from Patgram-Burimari in India has become very important in time. The revenue of the railway department will be increased if the goods are transported with the required wagons in the Burimari section by developing the railway. 

Besides, transporting students, businessmen and tourists or passengers from India, Bhutan and Nepal will also be able to play a positive role in the country's economy.

Recently, a meeting of senior officials of Railway Western Division was held with the import-export group of the land port regarding the possibility of constructing a railway link from Burimari Land Port to the Indian Changrabandha customs station on the other side. The meeting was presided over by Ruhul Amin Babul, Chairman, Burmari Land Port Import and Export Group, Shahid Afzal Hossain Auditorium, Patgram. , Divisional Manager of Lalmonirhat Railway Shah Sufinur Mohammad spoke. Later, they also inspected the railway track from Burimari railway station to the zero line of Indian Changrabandha customs station.

Humayun Kabir Saudagar, proprietor of Saudagar Traders, a trader at Burimari land port, said, "Everyone will benefit if there is a railway connection. Where the cost of transporting goods by truck on the road is high, it is having a negative impact on the common man and consumers. If goods are transported there by railway wagons, the cost will be reduced by two thirds. 

Buyers and sellers, importers and exporters will all benefit from this. Roads will be better - accidents will be less. Ordinary people, businessmen and all will be well.”

Lalmonirhat Railway Divisional Manager Shah Sufi Nur Mohammad said, "A proposal in this regard has been sent to the Railway Ministry. It has also been proposed to put 45 km dual gauge railway line from Changrabandha in India to Hatibandha in Lalmonirhat. The ministry also has plans to expand the railways step by step. Transporting goods by rail will undoubtedly reduce fares, benefiting the public and traders. Railway revenue will increase.

Kefayet Ullah Majumder, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Burimari Land Customs Station Customs, said the import of various goods including stones at Burimari land port is currently being transported by truck. If these products come by train then the cost of transporting goods including loading and unloading will be greatly reduced.