Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday jointly flagged-off the Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan Express via video-conferencing.Speaking on the occasion of the joint flagging off of the Bandhan Express on its inaugural run between Kolkata-Khulna, Prime Minister Modi said, ” I am glad that we are inaugurating projects that will go a long way in improving connectivity between our two countries.While extending his best wishes to both Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Prime Minister Modi further said, “I have always believed that India must have good relations with its neighbouring countries and their leaders. I have always said that protocol must not come in the way of bilateral relations, especially when it comes to interactions with neighbours, and when it is aimed at achieving development and progress. Today, two railway projects are being launched. This is the first of many steps that both countries will take both now and in the future. Development and connectivity operate in tandem; one cannot be achieved without the other. This is a time-tested practice.” The dignitaries also inaugurated the International Passenger Rail Terminal, End-to-End Immigration and Customs Clearance Facilities (for the passengers of Maitree Express and Bandhan Express) at Kolkata station, under India-Bangladesh Cooperation in Railways. Rail bridges over river Titas and Bhairabh in Bangladesh were also launched.
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