AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN AND THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REGARDING RESUMPTION OF RAIL TRAFFIC
Karachi, 15 April 1955
MINUTES OF A MEETING
HELD IN PAKISTAN SECRETARIAT OFFICE ON THE 12th APRIL 1955 AT 11.00 HOURS
- Pakistan side
| Indian side |
- 1. Hon'ble Dr. Khan Sahib,
Minister for Communications.
| 1. Hon'ble Mr. Mehr Chand Khanna, |
Minister for Rehabilitation.
| 2. Hon'ble Major General |
Iskandar Mirza, Minister for Interior.
| 2. H.E. Mr. C.C. Desai, |
Indian High Commissioner.
| 3. Mr. S.M. Hasan, |
Director General Railways.
| 3. Shri K.B. Mathur, |
Member, Railway Board.
| 4. Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad, |
Financial Adviser Communications.
| 4. Shri K.P. Mathrani, |
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rehabilitation
| 5. Mr. I.A. Abbasi, |
Chief Operating Supdt. N.W. Railway.
| 5. Shri R.T. Chari, |
Deputy High Commissioner for India
I. Resumption of rail traffic via additional rail links between West Pakistan and India It was agreed that rail traffic should be
restored on the following routes
The General Managers of North Western Railway (Pakistan) and Northern Railway (India) should meet at an early date and work out the
details for the resumption of traffic on these routes in conjunction with the representatives of customs and police authorities.
The target date for the resumption of this traffic should be the 1st June, 1955.
II. Resumption of through passenger service between West Pakistan and India It was agreed that Railways and other departments concerned
of the two countries should work out the details for providing suitable through passenger services between the following points (i)
Lahore and Calcutta via Sohararpur; (ii) Lahore and Delhi; (iii) Lahore and Bombay via Delhi; and (iv) Hyderabad (Sind) and Ahmedabad
via Khokrapar. It was further agreed that every endeavour should be made to commence the through service between Lahore and Calcutta
from the 1st of June 1955.
III. Resumption of movement of cross traffic between stations in India on the Eastern Zone via the East Pakistan route. I It was agreed
to resume through booking of this traffic with effect from the 1st of May 1955 in accordance with the details outlined in Appendix
IV. Customs and Police checks The Ministers were anxious that a rational system of customs and police inspection, which would substantially
minimize the inconvenience and delay to the passengers, should be adopted. It was, therefore, agreed that : (a) in regard to passenger
traffic moving between Amritsar and Lahore, these examinations should be made at Amritsar and Lahore and not at intermediate border
points; (Note : Instructions have already been issued to the respective General Managers to fix up the details of these arrangements
in conjunction with the Police and Customs authorities of the two countries.)
(b) arrangements for Police and Customs check should be so adjusted on all the routes that they are completed as far as possible within
V. It was agreed that all payments hereafter between the two railway systems should be adjusted from month to month between the railways
concerned and the balances paid up currently. These transactions should remain independent of other Government to Government transactions
and should conform to recognised business principles.
VI. It was agreed that the two Governments should ratify these decisions as early as possible and in any case before the end of April
1955 and that in the mean time, the railway authorities concerned should initiate action to implement them in time.
(Signed) Dr. KHAN SAHIB
H. M. Communications
(Signed) MEHR CHAND KHANNA
GOODS TRAFFIC FROM INDIA TO INDIA VIA EASTERN BENGAL RAILWAY (PAKISTAN)
(i) The above traffic will be resumed in accordance with the conditions mentioned in the minutes (copy attached) of the meeting held
at Calcutta on 4th and 5th April 1955 between the Railway and Customs officials concerned of India and Pakistan. It is further agreed
that to attract traffic and to enable the Indian Railways to allocate regularly an agreed quota of traffic to the above route, the
E.B. Railway shall quote special rates via border station to via border station which will be derived by giving a special rebate
of 30% over their existing rates between the border stations concerned, with such exception as may be necessary in the case of any
particular commodity to conform to what the traffic can bear.
(ii) The cross traffic over the E.B. Railway will be resumed from the 1st May, 1955. As the examination of exceptions may take time,
the E.B. Railway will quote, as an immediate measure, special rates on the basis of 30% reduction mentioned in (i) above. Exceptions,
if any, will be made later.
(Signed) K.B. MATHUR
Member Transportation Railway Board (India) 14-4-55
(Signed) S.M. HASAN
Director General Railways (Pakistan) 14-4-55
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN EASTERN RAILWAY HEADQUARTERS, CALCUTTA ON 4th AND 5th APRIL, 1955 TO DISCUSS THE FEASIBILITY OF RESTORATION
OF CROSS TRAFFIC ACROSS THE EASTERN BENGAL RAILWAY
| Pakistan Officials || Indian Officials |
| 1. Mr. M.J. Chughtai, |
General Manager, Eastern Bengal Railway.
| 1. Mr. B. Arora General Manager, |
North Eastern Railway.
| 2. Mr. M.K. Mohiuddin, |
Chief Traffic Manager, Eastern Bengal Railway.
| 2. Mr. B.C. Malik, Director |
Rail Movements, Railway Board.
| 3. Mr. S.M. Haza, |
Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer,
Eastern Bengal Railway.
| 3. Mr. P.K. Sarkar, |
Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer,
| 4. Mr. S.M. Abbas, |
Collector of Central Excise and
| 4. Mr. J.S. Mathur, |
Chief Operating Superintendent,
North Eastern Railway.
| || 5. Mr. S.K. Guha, |
Dy. Chief Comml.
Supdt. North Eastern Railway.
| || 6. Mr. H.P. Sen Gupta, |
Asst. Collector, Land Customs.
It was recognised that all the three modes of transport, viz. (i) All India Link route to and from North Bengal and Assam, (ii) Steamer
route through Indian and Pakistani waters to and from North Bengal and Assam, and (iii) Route across the Eastern Bengal Railway should
be availed of. In regard to movement by the route across the Eastern Bengal Railway, the following agreements were reached
I. Routes over which cross traffic will be permitted to move through the Eastern Bengal Railway
(a) Via Darsana-via Chilhati. (b) Via Darsana-via Mogalhat (goods to be transhipped at Santahar). (c) Via Biral-via Mogalhat. (d)
Via Latu-via Darsana. (e) Via Latu-via Biral. The Indian representatives enquired whether it would be possible for the Eastern Bengal
Railway to move traffic on the Bhurangamari- Sonahat Section so that traffic via Mogalhat can also move directly to Golakganj. The
Eastern Bengal Railway representatives stated that a bridge on this section was damaged during the floods and it will take considerable
time to repair it. If, however, substantial traffic was expected to move that way, they would consider the restoration of the Section.
The Indian representatives stated that most of via Mogalhat traffic could pass over this section.
II. Volume of traffic
1 . The Indian representatives roughly estimated that the traffic will amount to : (a) One Broad Gauge train-load a day of about 60
Broad Gauge wagons from via Darsana to via Mogalhat (goods to be transhipped at Santahar); and (b) About 15 Broad Gauge wagon loads
a day from via Darsana to via Chilhati. This traffic is expected to develop to about 30 Broad Gauge wagons a day as soon as adequate
transhipment, facilities are provided at Haldibari by the North Eastern Railway. Substantial traffic is not expected to materialise
on the other routes.
2. All traffic to North Bengal and Assam is at present planned and co-ordinated by the Director, Rail Movement, Railway Board, in
consultation with the Governments of West Bengal and Assam and other important users in the area. This arrangement will continue
and the Director, Rail Movements will now also plan for traffic across the Eastern Bengal Railway and in doing so, will consult the
Chief Traffic Manager, Eastern Bengal Railway as and when necessary. In allocating the traffic to the three modes of transport, the
Eastern Bengal Railway will be allotted a reasonable share of high-rated traffic. 3. The Eastern Bengal Railway representatives enquired
what the traffic in the reverse direction would be. It was explained by the Indian representatives that even on the North Eastern
Railway traffic to North Bengal and Assam is considerably heavier than return traffic and empties are worked to certain points in
the reverse direction. The position will substantially be the same in respect of the new routes via the Eastern Bengal Railway. There
was, however, a possibility of a substantial amount of timber in logs being offered in the reverse direction if facilities for transhipment
could be provided at Santahar. The Eastern Bengal Railway representatives promised to examine this and advise the North Eastern Railway
and the Director, Rail Movements of the position. There may also be a possibility of bamboos moving from the hill section via Latu
III. Operating arrangements
1. The traffic moving via Santahar will be offered by the Broad Gauge Section in three groups, viz : (i) for destinations between
Gitaldaha and Alipur-Duar Jn. inclusive (also Bamanhat), (ii) stations east of Alipur-Duar Jn.' and (iii) stations north and west
of Alipur-Duar Jn. Eastern Bengal Railway will, after transhipment, marshal the goods trains in the same three groups before handing
them over at Lalmanirhat.
2. The Eastern Bengal Railway will exercise running power on the Broad Gauge Section from the Pakistan-India border to Haldibari.
3. On the Mogalhat side, North Eastern Railway manned trains are running at present only up to Mogalhat. With the re-introduction
of cross traffic running powers would be exercised by the North Eastern Railway, as in the past, up to Lalmanirhat. 4. At Haldibari,
broad gauge shunting will be performed by the Eastern Bengal Railway locomotives operated by the Eastern Bengal Railway crew under
the directions of Traffic shunting staff of the North Eastern Railway. The charges for these locomotives shall be paid for on an
hourly basis. 5. Eastern Bengal Railway are at present maintaining a credit balance with Indian Railways both on Metre Gauge and
Broad Gauge. With the responsibility for finding rolling stock for carrying cross traffic they may need to adjust these balances
to some extent. If this is found necessary, they will give adequate notice.
IV. Commercial matters
1. Rates: Class, schedule and special rates, if any, over the Eastern Bengal Railway portion by the various routes will be calculated
by Eastern Bengal Railway in terms of Indian currency and communicated to Eastern and North Eastern Railways who will then issue
necessary foreign rate circulars to their staff. Except in cases where a modification of rates is found necessary on account of a
change in the basic rates structure or in the basis of calculation of such rates in terms of Indian currency, no change will be effected
without prior consultation. It was recognised that there will be no manipulation of rates by any party with a view to altering the
balance of movements between the various routes.
2. Booking : All traffic moving across the Eastern Bengal Railway shall be booked freight pre-paid. Small traffic, if booked across
the Eastern Bengal Railway, will be handed over in sealed wagons. Arms and ammunition and military stores and equipment will not
be booked across the Eastern Bengal Railway.
3. Claims : The responsibility for claims arising in respect of consignments will be determined in terms of the "Fundamental
and Subsidiary Rules for interchange of traffic between India and Pakistan" in force from time to time. All other rules in respect
of interchange of Railway traffic and rolling stock etc. contained in the Fundamental and Subsidiary Rules will equally apply except
that Note 2 to Rule (7) of Annexure I will now be treated as cancelled.
4. Documentation : (a) Separate series of Invoice Books (of distinctive colour) will be used by all stations in booking such traffic.
It will also be arranged by the Eastern and North Eastern Railways that wagons are labelled with distinctive labels. Usual seals
will be used and any additional seals required by the Customs authorities will also be provided. The invoice will be prepared in
six foils, as follows: (i) Booking Station Record. (ii) Railway Receipt. (iii) Border Station Invoice. (iv) Invoice for Destination
Station (Through Invoice). (v) Junction Invoice. (vi) Accounts Foil - to be specially forwarded by the forwarding station to the
combined Foreign Traffic Accounts Office, Calcutta. This copy will be attached to the Division-Sheet, which will be submitted by
the Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer, Eastern Railway, Calcutta, to the Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer,
Eastern Bengal Railway, Chittagong.
(b) Five copies of in-transit manifest for customs requirements will also be prepared by the booking station for each invoice. These
manifests will contain the following particulars: (i) Invoice No. (ii) Station From. (iii) Station To. (iv) Name of consignor. (v)
Name of consignee. (vi) Number of packages. (vii) Description of contents. (viii)Weight. Four copies of these manifests will be securely
pinned to the Junction and Border Invoices and sent to the first customs stations.
V. Financial settlement
1. As regards payments to the Eastern Bengal Railway for carrying the cross traffic, it was suggested by the Eastern Bengal Railway
representatives that some special arrangements will have to be devised to effect prompt settlement. An arrangement already exists
according to which the value of and freight on coal from India for Pakistan are paid in Indian currency at Calcutta out of an irrevocable
credit placed with a Bank at Calcutta by the Pakistan Government. On the same lines the Indian Railways will place an irrevocable
revolving credit with a bank at Chittagong in favour of the Eastern Bengal Railway and authorise the Eastern Bengal Railway each
month to draw upon this credit for its dues. The amount of this irrevocable credit in the initial stage may be fixed at Rupees three
lakhs, subject to modification on periodical review in the light of traffic actually carried, the underlying principle being that
this credit should not be less than the freight earned by the Eastern Bengal Railway during any month.
2. The Eastern and North Eastern Railways will submit cross traffic Division sheets to the Eastern Bengal Railway three times a month
and an authority of payment will accompany the last Division Sheet for the month and on this authority the Eastern Bengal Railway
will draw upon the credit opened by the Indian Railways in the bank at Chittagong.
3. Any discrepancies detected either by the Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer of the Eastern Bengal Railway or the Financial
Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer of Eastern/North Eastern Railways on check of these Division Sheets/Invoices will be communicated
to the Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer concerned for acceptance. On communication of this acceptance, the adjustment
will be made by the Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer, Eastern/North Eastern Railway in the account to be submitted
in the month following.
VI. Customs procedure:
1. Through wagons will be sealed by the Indian Customs at the last Customs-sealing station in India and by the Pakistan Customs at
the first Customs station in Pakistan. Seals will be liable to be checked at any Customs Station on the in-transit route. If seals
are found broken at any time wagons will be detained and a complete inventory of the goods taken in the presence of Railway and Customs
representatives. In any case, the Customs Officer in charge of the last Customs Stations en route in Pakistan will verify the seals
and certify that they are intact.
2. At the station of entry in Pakistan, in the case of all trains carrying in-transit cargo, the railway guard will present to the
Customs officer copies of the manifests referred to in para. IV. 4. (b). These will serve as in-transit manifests. The Customs Officer
will retain one copy and return the other copy duly stamped to the guard for presentation to the Customs Officer at the station of
exit. These two copies will be forwarded by the Customs Officers of the stations of entry and exit to the Land Customs Audit Department
for check. No other customs documents will be required by the Pakistan Customs.
3. Similarly two copies of the in-transit manifests will also be presented to the Indian Customs Stations of Exit. The Indian Customs
Officer will retain one copy, stamp the other, put the stamped copies in a sealed cover and hand over this sealed cover to the train's
guard for onward transmission through the Eastern Bengal Railway to the Indian Customs Station at the point of entry. No other documents
will be required by the Indian Customs.
4. In the case of goods to be transhipped in Pakistan from broad- gauge to metre gauge and vice versa, the wagons will be sealed by
the Indian and the Pakistan Customs to begin with, but these seals will be broken by Pakistan Customs at the transhipment station
viz. Santahar. A register will be maintained by the Eastern Bengal Railway at this station, in which particulars of goods transhipped
with the Nos. of wagons will be entered. The Customs Officer will attest this register after every transhipment operation and prepare
two copies for his own records. Transhipment will be done under Customs supervision. The Railway officials at Santahar will arrange
with the Customs for the posting of the required number of officers. One copy of the transhipment record will be sent by the local
Customs in weekly batches to the Land Customs Audit Department for check with the in-transit manifests.
5. In case of any discrepancies noticed in transhipment cargo, intimation will be sent by the Customs Officer, Santahar to the Indian
Customs officers of the two stations of exit and entry. The Eastern Bengal Railway will also send an intimation to the Indian Railway
concerned. Goods will not be detained on account of such discrepancies, unless prohibited goods like gold or silver bullion, opium
and dangerous drugs or arms and ammunition are found to be carried. Indian Customs seals will not be broken except in the event of
information being received by Pakistan Customs that such prohibited goods are being carried in a particular consignment, provided
further that the seals can be broken in such cases only under the orders of an officer not below the rank of an Assistant Collector,
who will report the case to the Collector of Central Excise and Land Customs, Chittagong.
6. In order to avoid the Indian and Pakistan Customs having to deal with individual consignors and consignees of goods which may involve
delay, the Indian Railways will act as the agents of the owners of the goods for the in-transit formalities, and at the time of booking
of goods will take a declaration from the owner authorising them to act as his agents for this purpose and indemnifying the Railway
against penalties imposed by the Customs authorities of either country on account of contravention of Customs and allied laws and
regulations. This declaration may be in such form as the legal advisers of the Railways may recommend.
7. The Indian Railways may depute an officer at Santahar to act as their agent for assisting the Pakistan Customs and Railway staff
in the quick movement of goods, specially in the event of any discrepancies detected. This will also assist in the disposal of claims
that may arise on this account.
The agreements recorded above are subject to ratification by the respective Governments.
| M.J. CHUGHTAI |
Eastern Bengal Railway
5th April, 1955
North Eastern Railway
5th April, 1955
| S.M. ABBAS |
Collector of Central Excise & Land Customs,
5th April, 1955
H.P. SEN GUPTA
Representing Collector of Central Excise &
Land Customs Calcutta
5th April, 1955