Agartala: The Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka, which was scheduled to resume from Thursday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was postponed owing to some “technical reasons”, Agartala Mayor Dipak Majumder said.
The decision to defer the resumption of the service was taken minutes before a bus with 16 passengers was about to commence its journey for Kolkata from here, he said.
“We were ready to flag off the Kolkata bound bus via Dhaka but due to some technical reasons in the clearance process, the resumption of service has been postponed,” the Agartala Municipal Corporation mayor said.
Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh at Agartala, Arif Mohammad, was present at the Tripura State Transport Corporation International Terminal at Krishnanagar for the programme.
“It appears that all partners concerned are not informed about the permission of resumption of the international bus service. But we all want to start the bus service at the earliest because there is demand on both sides,” the Bangladeshi envoy said.
Bangladesh Assistant High Commission, Agartala, receives 500-600 visa applications daily from people who want to visit their neighbouring country for various purposes.
TRTC’s Managing Director Rajesh Kumar Das said, “All the technical procedures- from permission to visa for crew members- were carried out on our side. We will sort out the problem for which the bus service could not be restarted.”
Once the service will resume, 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 around 35 hours, officials said.
The international bus service will benefit people amid soaring air fares and shortage of long-distance train tickets, they said.
The bus facility on this route was suspended in March 2020 after the pandemic struck.
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