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25 Apr 2018

Trans-border trial trip reaches India ....Hundreds throng gates to welcome buses at Fulbari

One of the buses arrives at Fulbari on Tuesday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
BIRESWAR BANERJEE, TT, Apr 25, 2018, Fulbari: Two buses which were flagged off from Dhaka on Monday reached Indian at Fulbari on Tuesday afternoon.

The buses, carrying delegates of India, Bangladesh and Nepal, are on a trial run ahead of the formal inauguration of regular bus service between Dhaka and Kathmandu. It has been planned after the three countries, along with Bhutan, have signed the BBIN MVA, a motor vehicle agreement in June 2015, to facilitate easy movement of goods and passengers vehicles among these nations.

Hundreds of enthusiasts, including representatives of travel and trade sectors of Siliguri and surroundings, were present in Fulbari (located around 5km from here) with officials of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) to welcome the 45 delegates who had boarded the buses in Dhaka on Monday.

"It is a historical occasion for residents of the three nations as the international bus service will commence soon and the trial run has been a success so far. Introduction of regular service will definitely boost tourism and commercial activities among these countries," said Subal Roy, the managing director of the NBSTC, who is a member of the delegation.

The delegation comprises 25 Bangladeshis, six Nepalese, 12 Indians and two officials of the Asian Development Bank. From Dhaka, they travelled around 600km to reach Fulbari.

Officials of the countries, who completed a partial journey from Bangladesh to India, said a feasibility report of the entire trip would be submitted after the trial run, so that further steps to introduce a regular service between Dhaka and Kathmandu via Siliguri, can be taken up.

"This bus service between the neighbouring nations will definitely work for economic integration. After the completion of the journey, we will study its feasibility and will submit a report to our government. On the basis of this report, a protocol agreement will be signed between the countries for regular bus service," said Farid Ahmed Bhuiyan, the chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).

Binod Bhattarai, a senior divisional engineer at the ministry of physical infrastructure and transport of Nepal, echoed Ahmed.

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