NEW DELHI/KATHMANDU: India and Nepal launched the first ever bus service between the two countries on Tuesday afternoon. To begin with daily buses will ply between Delhi and Kathmandu. Later, there will be similar buses which will ply on two other routes – Delhi-Pokhara and Varanasi- Kathmandu.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala flagged off the Kathmandu-Delhi bus service called Pashupatinath Express from Kathmandu, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari and tourism minister Mahesh Sharma launched the first bus from Delhi.
Before the launch, both PMs hopped onto the bus and interacted with travellers of the bus, which was decorated with streamers, balloons and flowers. In Delhi, the first bus carrying 14 passengers and three personnel from Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) started from Ambedkar stadium bus terminus.
Officials of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), which will run buses from Delhi, said that the total journey will take around 30 hours and there will be four stops. “The route will be Delhi-Lucknow (via Yamuna Expressway)-Gorakhpur-Sanauli-Bhairahawa before terminating at Swaymbhu terminal in Kathmandu. There will be four halts enroute. We are getting good response,” said a government official.
Every traveller has to carry identity proof to take the bus to Nepal or to reach Delhi. TOI on November 2 had first reported the bus service between the two countries.
Both Gadkari and Sharma said that the launch of the bus service will strengthen relations with Nepal since both countries have strong historic and cultural ties. “This has been an outcome of PM Narendra Modi’s initiative to make relations with Nepal much stronger and his willingness to contribute to the progress of Nepal,” Gadkari added.
Delhi Lt Governor said DTC running this luxury bus service has huge significance after having the honour of running similar bus services between Delhi and Lahore.
The bus service is touted as a major boost in terms of trade and tourism.
The Cabinet has approved the signing of a bilateral agreement for the regulation of passenger traffic between India and Nepal on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu on November 26-27.
Source : Times of India .