Indian Railways has handed over ten broad-gauge (BG) locomotives to Bangladesh in a virtual ceremony.

The ceremony was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal.

On the behalf of the Government of Bangladesh, the country’s rail minister Nurul Islam Sujan and foreign affairs minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen received the locomotives.

The locomotives were handed out under the grant assistance from the Indian Government and satisfy a commitment made during the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India last year.

India has modified the locomotives to adhere to the Bangladesh Railway requirements. These trains will also help accommodate the rising passenger and freight train operations in Bangladesh.

Jaishankar said: “I am delighted to join this ceremony of handing over ten locomotives to Bangladesh. I am glad to know that parcel and container trains have been started between both countries.

“This will open up new opportunities for our businesses. I am happy to note that the movement of trade by rail has been ensured. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the supply of essentials particularly in the holy month of Ramadan was ensured.”

The two countries have increased the rail cooperation to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as the trade via land was disrupted.

Rail transport was used to transport essential commodities across the country’s border.

In total, 103 freight trains were used to carry essential commodities and raw materials, which is said to be the highest exchange of these rail cars.

Additionally, parcel and container train services also started between the two countries that are expected to boost the scope of bilateral trade.