After Dhaka, it’s Kathmandu. One can now reach the Nepal capital directly from the city in buses operated by the state transport department.
The Centre cleared the proposal on Friday at a meeting held in Delhi with state transport department officers and representatives from Nepal. Senior officers from the external affairs, road transport and home department were also present to finalise the formalities of plying passenger vehicles between the two countries.
The Centre has asked the state transport department to prepare the final agreement after holding discussions with their counterparts in Kathmandu. The agreement, according to officers, is expected to be signed in February in Delhi.
“We shall follow the agreement that was signed between India and Bangladesh in plying buses between Calcutta and Dhaka. A few clauses may be included for the sake of both the countries,’’ said an officer present at the Delhi meeting. “We expect to roll the first bus within three months,” he added.
Both the countries will ply an equal number of buses and any change in route and fare will be decided mutually. Initially, four buses will ply between the two capitals. Later, the number of buses will be increased, depending on the demand. The bus will follow the Calcutta-Siliguri-Panitanki-Kathmandu route. It will take about 18 hours to reach Kathmandu from Calcutta.
The terminal will be at Karunamoyee in Salt Lake. Though the fare is yet to be finalised, officers hinted that they will try to keep it within Rs 400 for a single journey.