Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka postponed for ‘technical reasons’

Agartal: The Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka, which was due to resume from Thursday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been postponed for ‘technical reasons’, Agartala Mayor said , Dipak Majumder.

The decision to delay the resumption of service was taken minutes before a bus with 16 passengers was about to start its journey to Kolkata from here, he said.

“We were ready to report the bus bound for Kolkata via Dhaka, but due to technical reasons in the customs clearance process, the resumption of service has been postponed,” said the Mayor of Agartala Municipal Corporation.

The Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Agartala, Arif Mohammad, was present at the international terminal of the Tripura State Transport Corporation in Krishnanagar for the program.

“It appears that all the partners concerned are not informed of the authorization to resume the international bus service. But we all want to start the bus service at the earliest as there is demand from both sides,” the Bangladeshi envoy said.

The Deputy High Commission of Bangladesh, Agartala receives 500-600 visa applications daily from people who wish to visit their neighboring country for various purposes.

TRTC Managing Director, Rajesh Kumar Das, said, “All technical procedures – from clearance to visa for crew members – have been done on our side. We will fix the issue where the bus service could not be restarted.

Once the service resumes, a bus will cover a distance of around 500 km from Agartala to Kolkata via Dhaka in around 19 hours. A train journey between the two destinations via Guwahati takes about 35 hours, officials said.

The international bus service will benefit people amid rising air fares and a shortage of long-distance train tickets, they said.

Bus installation on this route was suspended in March 2020 after the outbreak of the pandemic.

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Melvin Z. Madore