India suspends Delhi-Lahore bus service
Pakistan, on Saturday, had announced suspension of the ‘friendship bus service’ from its end starting Monday. Yet, a DTC bus was scheduled to leave for Lahore on Monday at 6 am, but it was cancelled not only because of Pakistan’s decision, but also because there were no bookings for that day, DTC officials said.Updated: Aug 13, 2019 00:55 IST
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on Monday said it cancelled the Delhi-Lahore bus service as Pakistan has decided to discontinue it after in the wake of India revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, said a senior official of the public transporter.
Pakistan, on Saturday, had announced suspension of the ‘friendship bus service’ from its end starting Monday. Yet, a DTC bus was scheduled to leave for Lahore on Monday at 6 am, but it was cancelled not only because of Pakistan’s decision, but also because there were no bookings for that day, DTC officials said.
The DTC also released a statement on the issue where it said, “Consequent to Pakistan’s decision to suspend the Delhi-Lahore bus service, DTC is not able to send bus (from Delhi to Lahore) from August 12.”
The last bus for Lahore left Delhi on Saturday morning carrying two passengers while the return bus from the other side reached the national capital carrying 19 passengers in the evening of the same day.
On Friday, the Delhi-Lahore bus had carried more than 24 passengers. The bus service did not operate on Sunday.
DTC officials said the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) had on Saturday also telephonically informed the corporation about suspension of the service from Monday.
The Delhi-Lahore bus service was first started in February 1999 but suspended after the 2001 Parliament attack.
It was restarted in July 2003. The ridership of the bus had drastically reduced post the Pulwama terrorist attack and the Balakot surgical strikes in February this year which strained Indo-Pak relations.
The DTC had even written to the Centre urging suspension of the service as it claimed it is suffering huge losses due to tepid response. The service continued nevertheless.
The Lahore-Delhi bus service is operated from Ambedkar Stadium terminal near Delhi Gate. DTC buses ply every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and PTDC buses every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, from Delhi to Lahore. For the return trip, DTC buses leave Lahore every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday whereas the PTDC buses are available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
First Published: Aug 12, 2019 23:57 IST