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Indian government officials boarding a bus at Kolkata's Saltlake International Bus Terminal that began the trial run of Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service from June 1, 2015. Photo: Prothom Alo

Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus on trial run

WT24 Desk

Trial run of Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service kicked off this morning in a milestone cross-border transport service between Bangladesh and India. The bus departed from Kolkata’s Saltlake International Bus Terminal, carrying Indian government officials, around 9:00am. It will reach Agartala in Tripura via Dhaka tomorrow, reports Bangla daily Prothom Alo.The bus will ply the route three times a week. It will start from Kolkata on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and back from Agartala on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The regular service will begin from June 6, Abani Ghos, owner of Shyamali Paribahan in Kolkata said. The bus fare has been fixed two thousands rupees, he added. A ten-member delegation of Indian government officials are traveling on the bus led by Akhil Roy, inspector general of police (border) in Kolkata. Alapan Bandyopadhyay, chief secretary of Transport Department in West Bengal, flagged off the air-conditioned Volvo bus.

 Currently, three cross-border transport services are running between the two countries including two bus services on Dhaka-Kolkata and Dhaka-Agartala and a train service on Dhaka-Kolkata route.Both the bus and train services between Dhaka and Kolkata get expected number of passengers, but the Dhaka-Agartala service is apparently a flop, according to BRTC officials.

If anyone wants to travel from Kolkata to Agartala by bus, they must stay in Dhaka for one night. After the trial run, governments of both the countries will decide on finalising the date for inaugurating the bus service, said Md Zahangir Alam, additional secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division told this correspondent yesterday. A BRTC bus with Bangladesh government officials has meanwhile made a trial run on Dhaka-Sylhet-Tamabil-Dawki-Shillong-Guwahati route on May 22-26 to observe road infrastructure.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are scheduled to inaugurate the Dhaka-Guwahati bus service during his visit next week.

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