Guwahati-Dhaka bus service flagged off

By Staff Reporter,

Guwahati: The bus AS20/1613 of Assam State Transport Corporation is going to be a part of history as it started its maiden journey from Guwahati towards Dhaka on Wednesday paving a new way of relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

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A sense of excitement was clearly visible everywhere – be it on the face of bus staff, public or the government officials at the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in the morning, ahead of the maiden journey, though on the trial basis.

The bus before the maiden journey at Guwahati ISBT Shanmuddin (right) poses with another staff before the flag off of the journey at Guwahati ISBT
Assam PWD minister Ajanta Neog flagging off the bus along with other delegates at Guwahati ISBT.

“I’m lucky to be chosen to carry out the responsibility of the historic journey and that too with high level delegates of the two countries. I’m pretty excited with the development. I’m sure once the service starts, the people in general will be benefitted to a great extent,” said Shanmuddin, a supporting staff of the bus.

The proposed bus service covering approximately 500 kilometres starting from Guwahati will be taking the Shillong- Dawki (Meghalaya)/Tamabil (Bangladesh)-Sylhet-Dhaka route. Though the fare has not yet fixed, it will cost within Rs 1000 to reach Dhaka from Guwahati.

A new chapter was added in the history of the region when the bus left the ISBT at 9 am with delegates from both India and Bangladesh aboard. They would be carrying out a survey on their way for further development of the journey.

“It’s a historic day for people from both India and Bangladesh. Once the bus service is on the way, I believe the relation between the two countries will be strengthened. I hope the trade and commerce will get a boost once the bus service gets in operation,” Syed Shah Saad Andalib, assistant secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh said before boarding the bus.

With this, it will be the third road connectivity between the two countries after Dhaka-Kolkata and Dhaka-Agartala bus routes which were started in 1999 and 2002 respectively.

“Assam government had been trying for this for several years. The route was open before partition. Government of India has taken a decision after 67 years to reopen the route under Look East policy,” state PWD minister Ajanta Neog said before formally flagging off the journey.

The bus before the maiden journey at Guwahati ISBT Shanmuddin (right) poses with another staff before the flag off of the journey at Guwahati ISBT
The bus before the maiden journey at Guwahati ISBT

“This will promote and enhance commerce and trade between the countries besides developing the person to person relationship,” she added.

The 24-member delegation comprising government and technical officials from India and Bangladesh will study and finalize the route from Guwahati to Dhaka via Shillong. They will submit the report on the details and feasibility about starting a regular bus services shortly, said Assam tourism secretary Dhruba Hazarika. The trial run will conclude at Dhaka on Thursday.

Sheikh Abdul Ahad, joint secretary of home department of Bangladesh, also one of the delegates to undertake the maiden journey, said it is moment of pride for the region. “It’s a great pleasure for us. I would like to offer my best wishes for the cause,” he said.