Buses on trial run from Dhaka to Kathmandu to enter India on April 24
When regular services begin, the distance between Dhaka and Kathmandu will be covered in about 48 hours.kolkata Updated: Apr 16, 2018 10:51 IST
Two buses on trial run from Dhaka to Kathmandu under the Bangladesh Bhutan India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) will enter India on April 24.
The agreement was signed on June 15, 2015 at the BBIN transport ministers meeting in Thimpu, Bhutan. It makes way for seamless flow of passenger and cargo traffic in the region.
The agreement has been ratified by Indian, Nepal and Bangladesh. The three countries are set to start regular bus services after signing a passenger protocol likely to be signed in Kathmandu after the trial run.
The Bengal government is gearing up to accord ceremonial reception and hospitality as two buses on the trial run would cross over to Indian border on April 24.
Bengal tourism minister Goutam Deb who is also a senior Trinamool Congress leader said “The development would further strengthen the ties between India and the three nations,” said Goutam Deb, the state tourism minister and a senior Trinamool Congress leader who lives in Siliguri.
“The new route would help to boost tourism industry in Darjeeling hills as they have always been an attraction for people of Bangladesh. It would also make travelling between the nations involved economical,” said Kamal Kumar Mittal, the founding chairman of CII North Bengal chapter and the chairman of Siliguri-based PCM Group of Industries.
The distance between Dhaka and Kathmandu is about 960 km by road. When regular trips begin, the distance will be covered in approximately 48 hours.
For the trial run, the buses would leave Dhaka on April 23 and halt for the night in Rangpur of Bangladesh. The vehicles will cross Fulbari border and reach Siliguri in Darjeeling district in the evening of April 24.
On April 25, the buses would start from Siliguri at 8 am, cross Panitanki/Kakarvitta at India-Nepal border and proceed towards Damak in Nepal and reach Kathmandu the next day.
The buses will carry 23 Bangladeshi passengers, 11 Nepali passengers and eight Indians including officials, of whom two will be from West Bengal. Members of Asian Development Bank (ADB) will also join the journey.
The Kathmandu meeting after the trial run is expected to finalise the protocol based on the trial run, which will ascertain road conditions and other facilities that passengers will need.
The passenger protocol will allow the three countries to operate passenger bus service using Rangpur-Banglabandha-Fulbari-Siliguri-Panitanki-Kakarvitta route.
At present, passengers use Lalmonirhat-Burimari-Changrabandha-Siliguri route to go to Kathmandu. The new route will save more than 100 km of journey.
Passengers will be able to enjoy some of the lush green hills through which the vehicles will pass in this route.
First Published: Apr 16, 2018 10:51 IST