Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka to resume next week

Agartala, April 15 : After two years, the Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka is all set to resume next week, as the Assistant High Commission of Bangladesh in Agartala has started issuing visa for the travellers from this month. The bus service was suspended in the last week of April 2020 with the spike of Covid19 cases and restrictions imposed on the cross border movement. Both the countries have withdrawn all restrictions on passenger movement to Bangladesh through Akhaura and Benapole land ports. Tripura government officials said that Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC) has decided to run the Maitree bus, an international fleet from April 20 next. However, the Bangladeshi government has not yet announced its bus service. As per the agreement of both the countries, TRTC runs a bus for Kolkata via Dhaka from Agartala and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation runs a bus from Kolkata Salt Lake for Agartala via Dhaka. Despite affordable flight and train services between Agartala and Kolkata, people prefer bus rides via Dhaka not only because of the shorter distance (around 500 kilometres) but for the exciting landscape of Bangladesh plains and crossing the mighty river the Padma on a ferry boat. The service was first introduced in 1999 and successfully ran with time to time improvement of service. With the opening up of tourism opport ties, tour operators of Bangladesh have put forward a proposal to introduce a direct bus service between Agartala and Chattogram via Dhaka and another directly to Cox’s Bazar covering a distance of around 150 kilometres, which is scheduled to be formalized on Indo-Bangladesh tourism festival being organised here from Sunday. “We are working on the proposal, which will be feasible once the Indian government clears the proposal. The Bangladesh tour operators have been asked to take up the issue with their government,” Tripura Transport Minister Pranajit Singha Roy told the media, adding that tourists from Tripura are keen to visit Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar to enjoy the beautiful sea beaches. BB ARN

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