A regular Kathmandu – Varanasi bus service was flagged off amid a function in the Capital on Thursday. The Nepali registered ceremonial bus will follow the Kathmandu-Bhairahawa-Sunauli-Azamgarh-Varanasi route. The bus would be covering about 600 kms during its journey of about 12 hours. The bus service has been started under the provisions of Motor Vehicle Agreement between Nepal and India during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal during the 19th Saarc Summit in November last year.
Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi and Ambassador of India to Nepal Ranjit Rae flagged off the bus service. The flag-off ceremony was conducted from a spot near Dashrath Stadium, Kathmandu. Another regular bus operated by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) from Varanasi to Kathmandu through the same route was also flagged-off from Varanasi by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday. UPSRTC has fixed the ticket cost of Varanasi to Kathmandu bus at about Rs 2,100. “The start of regular bus service between Kathmandu and Varanasi is expected to enhance people to people contact and further strengthen ties between people of India and Nepal.
The bus service is also likely to have a positive impact on the tourism industry as both Kathmandu and Varanasi are popular tourist destinations,” said a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. Regular bus service on Kathmandu-Delhi route is already operating since November 25 last year. In the next phase Pokhara-Delhi route would be made operational for which consultation process between the officials of the two governments is already underway, added the statement. To discuss the issues related to implementation of bilateral Motor Vehicle Agreement for regulation of passenger traffic, an Indian delegation from Ministry Of Road Transport & Highways participated in a meeting with their Nepali Counterparts in Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport on Wednesday.
The implementation of this bilateral agreement would facilitate seamless and hassle-free movement of people between India and Nepal, said the Indian Embassy statement.
Along with the launching the bus service, flagging-off ceremony of Kathmandu-Varanasi service coincided with the flag-off of the first Indo-Nepal Friendship Motor Rally which was conducted on the same day at the same function.
Minister of Youth and Sports Purushottam Paudel and Indian Ambassador Rae flagged off the Motor Rally.