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Tripura wants better bus services from northeast

Agartala : The Tripura government Tuesday reiterated it would launch direct bus services between the northeastern states and Kolkata via Bangladesh for easy ferrying of people from the mountainous region.

“We have been demanding direct bus services between Tripura and other northeastern states and Kolkata via Bangladesh for easy movement of people of northeastern region to other parts of India,” Tripura Transport Minister Manik Dey told reporters.

He said: “To introduce the direct passenger bus services between Tripura and Kolkata via Dhaka, a high level meeting was held in Kolkata March 10, 2010.”

“The meeting finalised various technicalities of the proposed bus services. Officials of foreign, surface transport ministries, government transporters’ bodies and other officials were present in the meeting,” he said.

The minister said the union road transport and highways ministry had confirmed about the bus service to the Tripura government Dec 13, 2011 but after that there was no progress in this regard.

“Currently, the Agartala-Dhaka and Dhaka-Agartala bus services being on run four days a week and the periodicity is likely to be increased amid pressure of Kolkata-bound passengers,” said an official of the Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC).

The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation and the TRTC operate the bus services.

The Agartala-Dhaka bus service started in September 2003. The Kolkata-Dhaka bus service was introduced in July 1999.

To introduce the Guwahati-Shillong-Dhaka bus services, a trial was conducted in the second week of December from Guwahati city.

The transportation via Bangladesh is much easier as road connectivity is a big factor for the mountainous northeastern states which share boundaries with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China.

Agartala via Guwahati is 1,650 km from Kolkata by road and 2,637 km from New Delhi, while the distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just about 350 km.