Bangladesh and Nepal have launched a trial bus service between their capitals through India as two buses carrying delegates of the three nations left Dhaka for Kathmandu. “The trial run aimed to establish communication with Nepal by road,” said Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) chairman Fariduddin Ahmed who led the delegation of 25 Bangladeshis, 12 Indians, six Nepalese and one Asian Development Bank (ADB) official that left yesterday. Officials familiar with the process said the delegation would reach Kathmandu on April 26 passing through India’s Siliguri district and scrutinise in detail all aspects of the journey on the 1,200-kilometre route.
“A protocol is expected to be signed on the basis of the delegation’s report for launching a regular and direct bus service between Dhaka and Kathmandu,” Bangladesh’s road transport and highways division secretary Nazrul Islam said, adding “This marks a good beginning of sub-regional connectivity”. The proposed commercial bus service comes under the purview of BBIN (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal) Motor Vehicles Agreement, which the four countries signed in June 2015 to enable movement of passenger and cargo vehicles.
Operators say the proposed route will cut short the journey by more than 100 kms, while straightening the way. Currently, passengers use the Lalmonirhat-Burimari-Changrabandha-Siliguri route to go to Kathmandu.