Bus service to link Siliguri and Dhaka soon
State-run North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) will shortly introduce a bus service between Siliguri and Dhaka in association with a private transport company, NBSTC chairman Parthapratim Roy said in Siliguri on Monday.
Roy, who attended the 232nd board meeting of the transport corporation with other members at the state guest house here, said it will be their second international service.
In July last year, NBSTC launched a bus service between Siliguri and Kathmandu.
“We will shortly launch this bus service to Dhaka via Fulbari along with a private operator like we did for the Kathmandu service. Discussions are in the final stage,” he said.
In north Bengal, there is a longstanding demand to start a bus service to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, around 480km away from Siliguri.
As of now, a private operator in Bangladesh runs a similar service via Changrabandha, a land port in Cooch Behar. However, passengers traveling along the route have to change their bus at the India-Bangladesh border.
“We plan to run the bus through Fulbari and believe hundreds of people of both countries will avail the service,” Roy added.
Located in the southern end of Siliguri, Fulbari is along Asian Highway II and connects Banglabandha which is in Panchagarh district, on the other side of the border.
It has emerged as one of the popular routes for the movement of goods and passengers between India and Bangladesh owing to its proximity to Siliguri and the hills.
At the board meeting, Roy said that NBSTC earned Rs 16 crore last month, its highest-ever monthly earnings.
Sources in the NBSTC said the state transport allocated Rs 6 crore to the former to buy 20 CNG buses.
“These buses will run between Cooch Behar and Calcutta. The process of installation of CNG stations has started in many depots,” said a source.
These include the NBSTC depots of Cooch Behar, Falakata, Siliguri, Raiganj, Malda, Behrampore and Calcutta. “Vehicle tracking device will be installed in all buses soon to track the movement of each,” the source added.
As of now, NBSTC has 940 buses of which 740 run on various routes.
At the meeting, authorities also said that NBSTC will set up a new bus terminus in Dalkhola, North Dinajpur.
“A detailed project report will be ready soon and Rs 2 crore will be spent on the new terminus,” an official said.