February 23, 2011

Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka

Mon, Jan 31st, 2011 4:17 pm BdST

New Delhi, Jan 31 (bdnews24.com) – Bangladesh may soon launch a direct bus service between India's West Bengal and its landlocked state of Tripura through Dhaka.

Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) may tie up with Tripura Road Transport Corporation for the bus service.

BRTC's director (admin and operation) S M Faisal Alam, now in West Bengal leading a delegation of senior BRTC officials to Agartala and Kolkata, told journalists that the trial run of the proposed bus service might start within two months.

They met transport officials of the Indian states and discussed the proposed direct bus-service between the two Indian cities through Dhaka.

A bus service between Agartala and Dhaka has been operational since 2003. The passengers travelling to Kolkata from Agartala have to change buses in Dhaka. But the bus service could not be popular and it became economically unviable as it takes too much time.

The Kolkata-Dhaka bus service has been operation since 1993.

Tripura transport minister Manik De said the travel time between Agartala and Kolkata would significantly come down if the direct bus service via Dhaka could be launched.

The BRTC delegation met Manik De and officials of the Tripura Road Transport Corporation in Agartala. Later, they traveled to Kolkata and held meetings with officials of the West Bengal State Road Transport Corporation.

Sources in the Indian government said New Delhi and Dhaka were discussing the possibility of simplifying visa regime, exclusively for the benefit of the passengers who would like to travel by buses between Kolkata and Agartala.

Dhaka and New Delhi are also exploring the prospects of BRTC's collaboration with its counterparts in West Bengal and Tripura state of India to launch tour packages to promote tourism.

bdnews24.com/corr/mr/1605h

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