Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Move to increase number of buses on Agartala-Dhaka-Kolkata route

Currently, one bus is operated on the route

Update : 18 Jun 2022, 02:20 AM

The government of the Indian state of Tripura has asked the Bangladesh authorities to increase the frequency of cross-border bus services from the state capital, Agartala, to Kolkata in West Bengal via Dhaka.

The development came after a highway in Meghalaya’s Lumshnong have caved in due to landslides following incessant rains since Monday.

The cross-border bus service between the neighbouring countries resumed on June 10, after a two-year suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lumshnong is very close to Sonapur in Assam which connects Southern Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, and some parts of Manipur in India.

Due to the situation, traffic was disrupted along the National Highway 06 in Meghalaya and people were advised to avoid taking the route.

The principal secretary of transport in Tripura, LH Darlong, on Thursday said: “The situation of the roadway is not good; even the railway also. People are facing problems to travel to other parts of the country. To solve their problems, we have taken multiple steps. 

“We’ve has asked the Bangladesh government to increase the frequency of cross-border bus services from Agartala to Kolkata via Dhaka. We have asked to add to another two buses daily, alongside the existing one”, Darlong said.

He further said that the Tripura government has also spoken with the Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Agartala, Arif Mohammad, to expedite the issuance of visas to Indian citizens.

Normally it takes around 5 days to provide visas, he added.

Before the suspension of service in March 2020, buses were operated on five cross-border routes: Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka, Dhaka-Agartala-Dhaka, Dhaka-Sylhet-Shillong-Guwahati-Dhaka, Agartala-Dhaka-Kolkata-Agartala, and Dhaka-Khulna-Kolkata-Dhaka.

However, this time, only four routes were chosen to resume.

A Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation official June 10 said a discussion over the resumption of the fifth route-- Dhaka-Sylhet-Shillong-Guwahati-Dhaka route-- is also going on.

As per reports from the local Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner’s office, around 500-600 applications are submitted daily for visas to travel to the neighbouring country. Most of these visa requests are for tourism or for meeting relatives in Bangladesh as many citizens of Tripura are those who migrated during the Partition or before the 1971 Liberation War.

Tripura shares an 856-km-long international border with Bangladesh, parts of which are still unfenced due to local disputes.

On the availability of essential commodities in the state, secretary of the Food and Civil Supply department Saradindu Chowdhury said that the Tripura government has spoken with the officials of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to take up the issue with the government of Bangladesh to use their route to import petroleum through Akhaura in case of emergency services.

“However, there is no need to panic as we have a stock of 9 days of petrol and 5 days of diesel are available, apart from this many trucks are in transit. If the road restores within three days then they may come otherwise we have requested the IOCL to take up the matter with Bangladesh to use their route in case of emergency”, he said.

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