Nepal-India bus service Linked by 5 Borders

An agreement between India and Nepal that allows bus service through the borders Mahendra Nagar, Nepalgunj, Birgunj, Kakarbhitta and Taulihawa-Bhairahawa has been reached.  The agreement was signed by Narayan Silwal, Secretary at Ministry of Labor and Transport Management and Shyam Saran, Ambassador of India to Nepal. 

The buses will connect Nepal’s major cities Kathmandu, Pokhara, Dharan, Dhangadi and Janakpur with NewDelhi, Kolkota, Patna and Varanasi among others.

The agreement has allowed a maximum of 53 buses to ply from each country on a regular basis. Individuals would also be allowed to stay across the border with their own vehicle for five days without paying any charges.

“India gets 5 million foreign tourists every year where as their domestic tourists numbers to 300 million. This treaty made between the two countries would help bring those Indian domestic tourists to Nepal, which would certainly flourish the country’s tourism in time to come. This would give a new dimension to tourism sectors and help diversity the flow of tourists in both western and eastern part of the country, provided the uses of different routes from different parts of India,” says T.B. Dangi, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) has welcomed the act and expressed a gratitude to the government for making it a success. It mentioned that in the present time of crisis this kind of agreement would be very beneficial for Nepal in terms of growth in Indian tourists, which would support the tourism establishments here. HAN had requested the government to extend free stay from five days to two weeks to prolong the stay of the tourists in the country. 

A protocol is yet to be signed by both sides.  It is expected that travel between the two countries will be more accessible and cheaper than the current situation. 

By Birendra Saraogi
eTN Nepal

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