Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a historic tour to Bangladesh and signed 22 agreements on various bilateral issues. For the first time in history, Chief Minister of a state accompanied the Prime Minister in such an official tour. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not only there with Prime Minister Modi, but also played a key role of catalyst when Modi met his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina. The three leaders flagged off the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus services marking a historic moment between the two countries.During the flag off ceremony, Modi handed over a symbolic ticket of the Agartala-Dhaka-Kolkata service to Hasina and in return, she handed over a symbolic ticket of Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati service to Modi. Mamata Banerjee gave Hasina a symbolic ticket of the Kolkata- Dhaka-Agartala service.PM Modi said the bus services – that will link West Bengal to three North-eastern states of India via Bangaldeshi capital Dhaka, will strengthen relations between both the countries.The Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala service would reduce by 560 km or nearly one-third the distance between West Bengal and the land-locked state of Tripura, which is surrounded by Bangladesh from three sides, benefitting commuters.When asked about her feeling on the bus services, Hasina said, “How can we forget the contributions and the role played by India during our Liberation War?” “It will bring relief mainly to those who want to travel between Kolkata and Agartala. We could not ignore the demand of the people in Bengal,” said Bangladesh’s Information and Broadcasting Minister, Hassan Ul Haque Inu.There would be two buses on the Kolkata-Agartala-Dhaka route, one of which would be run by the West Bengal Government and the other by the Tripura Government. The solo bus in the Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati route would be run by the Bangladesh Government. Buses on this route would originate three days a week each from Guwahati and Dhaka, respectively.India and Bangladesh are also keen to strengthen railway connectivity, particularly to revive railway links which were in existence prior to 1965. They are also set to sign a coastal shipping agreement to facilitate sailing of small vessels from India to various ports in Bangladesh which now go through Singapore.