Shillong | A third India-Bangladesh friendship bus service connecting Dhaka, Shillong and Guwahati will be launched next month during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the neighbouring nation.
We were informed that the final decision on the bus service will be taken during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit scheduled next month, Bangladesh Road Transport and Bridges Ministry joint secretary Md Azharul Islam Khan told reporters here.
Modi will officially launch the third bus service between the two countries after both the leaders (Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina) sign an agreement and a protocol, he said. Khan, who led a 22-member high-level official delegation on a bus ride from Dhaka to Guwahati via Shillong on May 22, prior to the official launching, today left Shillong on the bus’s return leg.
Since the officials had complained of the steep climb from Dawki-Pynursla to Shillong, on its return leg, the bus took the Jowai-Amlarem-Dawki route when it departed at around 2 pm today. Since the official bus service is in the offing, the preliminary findings of the delegation will be crucial to ensure that the service runs smoothly. Sharing the preliminary findings, Khan noted that the narrow 1932-built bridge at Dawki was one of the major constraints.
A 32-seater bus can narrowly pass through the narrow bridge along the Indo-Bangladesh border near Tamabil in West Jaintia Hills district, Khan said. He also said that the wayside amenities are one of the drawbacks on the Indian side adding that there are no proper toilets and eateries for the passengers who will be using the service.
On the three-hour delay at the immigration check point at Tamabil, Khan said the service has to be upgraded since they are operating manually at present. The Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati service is aimed at improving people-to-people contact between residents of both the countries.
This preliminary service was launched by Bangladesh Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader at the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) bus depot on Friday. The service comes after Dhaka-Kolkata and Dhaka-Agartala services.
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