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Hasina arriving on 4-day visit today

By Spl Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, April 6 - India is expected to roll out the red carpet when Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina arrives here tomorrow on a four-day visit. At least 25-30 agreements are expected to be signed during the visit and there will be two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on defence.

However, the much-expected Teesta Water Sharing Agreement is unlikely to be signed during the visit, said sources.

President Pranab Mukherjee, meanwhile, invited all the Chief Ministers of the Northeastern States to attend the State Banquet on Friday evening though they have not been invited for the main meeting. Several of the Chief Ministers have agreed to attend the event though Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is yet to send his confirmation.

Meanwhile, rail connectivity between NE, West Bengal and Bangladesh is high on the agenda of the two countries. The Shahbazpur-Mahisasan route will link the Shahbazpur station in Sylhet with the Mahisasan station in Assam. Restoration of the 11-km rail track on the Bangladesh side, which was closed down in 2002, will begin soon, said sources.

�The track will extend between Moulvibazar and Kulaura and will also connect tourist spots in Shillong and Guwahati. The Bangladesh government will fund a part of the project while the rest will be paid through the second Indian line of credit,� sources said.

Connectivity is an issue of mutual interest and an MoU is likely to be signed on running passenger and goods trains, which will be of benefit to Bangladesh and NE, official sources said.

During her visit, a bus service and a train service between Kolkata and Khulna will be launched as also a rail link from Radhikapur in north Bengal.

Meanwhile, Joint Secretary of Bangladesh and Myanmar Sripriya Ranganathan, briefing newsmen, said that alignment of the railway line is main hurdle. India and Bangladesh have been working on the alignment and acquisition of land, which has been settled now. The deadline for the rail line project is 2018-end, she informed.

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Hasina arriving on 4-day visit today

NEW DELHI, April 6 - India is expected to roll out the red carpet when Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina arrives here tomorrow on a four-day visit. At least 25-30 agreements are expected to be signed during the visit and there will be two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on defence.

However, the much-expected Teesta Water Sharing Agreement is unlikely to be signed during the visit, said sources.

President Pranab Mukherjee, meanwhile, invited all the Chief Ministers of the Northeastern States to attend the State Banquet on Friday evening though they have not been invited for the main meeting. Several of the Chief Ministers have agreed to attend the event though Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is yet to send his confirmation.

Meanwhile, rail connectivity between NE, West Bengal and Bangladesh is high on the agenda of the two countries. The Shahbazpur-Mahisasan route will link the Shahbazpur station in Sylhet with the Mahisasan station in Assam. Restoration of the 11-km rail track on the Bangladesh side, which was closed down in 2002, will begin soon, said sources.

�The track will extend between Moulvibazar and Kulaura and will also connect tourist spots in Shillong and Guwahati. The Bangladesh government will fund a part of the project while the rest will be paid through the second Indian line of credit,� sources said.

Connectivity is an issue of mutual interest and an MoU is likely to be signed on running passenger and goods trains, which will be of benefit to Bangladesh and NE, official sources said.

During her visit, a bus service and a train service between Kolkata and Khulna will be launched as also a rail link from Radhikapur in north Bengal.

Meanwhile, Joint Secretary of Bangladesh and Myanmar Sripriya Ranganathan, briefing newsmen, said that alignment of the railway line is main hurdle. India and Bangladesh have been working on the alignment and acquisition of land, which has been settled now. The deadline for the rail line project is 2018-end, she informed.

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