Kolkata: Flagging off the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service here on Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the initiative will turn the India-Bangladesh ties into an everlasting relationship. "The launching of this service makes this day forever memorable and historically significant for both the countries," Banerjee said at the flagging off event at the state secretariat, Nabanna, in the neighbouring Howrah district.
"This service will bring both India and Bangladesh closer and turn our cordial ties into an everlasting relationship," she added. The cross-border bus service was approved at a recent meeting between Bangladesh Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader and his Indian counterpart Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.
The bus service will facilitate visiting mainland Indian states for people of the mountainous northeastern region, reducing the distance by over 1,000 km. Agartala via Guwahati is 1,650 km from Kolkata by road, but the distance between the tripura capital and the West Bengal capital via Bangladesh is only around 500 km. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina are scheduled to flag off the Agartala-Kolkata direct bus service in Dhaka on June 6.