It was a trial run for Kolkata to Jessore bus service and the cargo service from Dhaka to New Delhi, were flagged off from Paribahan Bhawan II. Considering the importance of closer regional economic cooperation and integration through enhanced regional connectivity, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement was signed in last year on June 15.
Under the agreement, which was signed in Bhutan’s Thimpu, it was agreed that cargo vehicles including trucks, trailers, some passenger vehicles and personal vehicle which were registered in either of the four countries will be allowed to ply in the territory of the other three countries.
For finalisation of the protocol and the agreement, two meetings were held in Dhaka, where all the stake holders were present. But the countries are yet to come to a single conclusion.
“Although the discussion is still going on to finalise the protocol, some of the routes between India and Bangladesh have already been operational. Bus service of Kolkata, Dhaka and Agartala is doing well since inception. Now the state transport minister flagged off Kolkata-Jessore-Khulna bus service and Dhaka-Kolkata-New Delhi bus service. The vehicular service among the BBIN counties will start soon after the finalisation of protocol,” said Alapan Bandyopadhyay, secretary, state transport department.
Bengal Surface Transport Corporation Limited was designated as the operator for the Indo-Bangladesh route considering its long experience operating the bus service between two nations. The terminal point, where Kolkata-Khulna Bus service will start and conclude in India, is International Bus Terminus at Salt Lake’s Karunamoyee. BRTS Bus Terminus near New Market of Khulna will be the terminal point in Bangladesh. A 185 km distance will be covered within 6 hours including customs and immigration checking, refreshment and traffic snarl if it happens.
“We are working under the instruction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She has instructed us to start the bus and cargo service as quick as possible. We also have some other exciting plans which will come in future,” said state transport minister.