The country’s second international bus service, between the Capital and Nepal’s Kathmandu located a little over 1,200 kilometres away, was flagged off from Dr. Ambedkar Stadium Terminal here on Tuesday. A similar facility between New Delhi and Lahore is already available.
Union Minister of Transport, Highway and Shipping Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the daily transportation facility, which promises to cut both travelling cost and time for a large number of passengers who have to use various modes of transportation on a long and circuitous route to visit the country. Delhi Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung was also present.
Mr. Gadkari said the bus service, which will be operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), was ‘yet another initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build trust and enduring camaraderie between India and other member states belonging to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)’ and, though late, ‘still a symbol of India’s commitment to consolidating its relationship with Nepal, its natural ally’.
“I congratulate the lucky passengers partaking in this historic journey and encourage passengers on the other side of the border to join in too,” Mr. Gadkari said adding that similar services for other SAARC nations would be on offer soon.
The Minister flagged off the maiden instalment of the service – an ostentatiously decorated Swiss-made Volvo bus with 20 passengers, four Sasashtra Seema Bal (SSB) commandos and a five-member ‘route-researching team’ composed of DTC officials on board – a little before 6 p.m.
A daily service, it will use Volvo or German-made Mercedes buses to ferry passengers across a 1,250-km-long route consisting of the Yamuna Express Highway, Agra, Firozabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur and Sunauli before entering Nepalese territory to reach the Capital, Kathmandu.
A single ticket is priced at Rs.2,300; photo identification is essential and estimated time of arrival in Nepal is expected to be 30 hours after departure.
“The bus will not halt anywhere on the way after leaving the terminal every day at 10 a.m. Passengers can book their tickets 60 days in advance and will soon be able to do this on our website,” said DTC spokesperson, R.S. Minhas.
Chatuvan Pradhan, from Kathmandu, said he was fortunate enough to have booked tickets for himself and his family of six on the maiden journey and that trips to Nepal usually took a little over three days and cost upwards of Rs.4,000 per passenger.
“We travelled from Manali to Delhi for the trip back home. If it wasn’t for this bus, we would have taken a train to Gorakhpur, a bus to Sunouli and some other mode of transport to further travel into Kathmandu.”
News: The Hindu