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Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Jaishtha 27, 1422 BS, Shaban 22, 1436 Hijr

Dhaka-Guwahati bus service hits snag
Saleem Samad
Published : Wednesday, 10 June, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 280
The much awaited Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus service would be delayed for several months to sort out a few sticky issues, official sources said.
The Indian passengers from Guwahati and Shillong will not be able to avail the bus as they will have immense difficulty in obtaining visa to visit Bangladesh, or avail the Dhaka-Kolkata bus service.
The Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus was formally flagged off at Dhaka on Saturday jointly by visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Bangladesh has recently announced that a Consulate Office would be opened in Assam state capital Guwahati.
Bangladesh foreign office said they are working on it and soon the Consulate Office would be opened. However, it is not clear when it will happen.
Presently, Bangladesh visas are issued for Indian nationals living in the Eastern and North-eastern region from Kolkata and Agartala.
Apart from the absence of a Consulate Office, Assam state government has not provided plans for the security escort, especially on the Indian side.
Both Bangladesh and Indian officials have noted that the inter-country state buses need special security protocol in the Shillong-Guwahati route. The route is understood to be vulnerable to attacks from separatist militants active in the hill forest terrain of Assam.
The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) has already finalised formalities to start the Dhaka-Guwahati bus service.
A senior official of BRTC said that Bangladesh was ready to facilitate regular bus service as and when asked by their Indian counterpart.
Meanwhile, both Bangladesh and Indian transport departments have recently completed road trial of the buses separately.
The Dawki-Tamabil check post is one of the few road border crossings between India and Bangladesh. The check post has recently undergone major upgrading of infrastructure, including a truck terminus and a pre-fabricated immigration facility.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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