More bus services will boost India-Bangladesh ties: Minister

Agartala, Oct 16 (IANS) With an increase in the bus services between India and Bangladesh, the people-to-people links, trade and economy would get strengthened, Tripura Transport Minister Manik dey said here on Friday.

“The increase in bus services between India and Bangladesh would further boost the people to people direct connections, trade and economy,” Dey said at a function after the regular bus service between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka by Tripura government was flagged off.

He said the lifestyle, languages, food, culture, clothing and many other issues related to most people of eastern India and Bangladesh were the same.

“Since 2002, the Tripura government had been demanding direct bus services between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh. The governments of India and Bangladesh held a series of meetings involving Tripura officials. Today (Friday) our demand was fulfilled,” he said.

The minister also said the Indian government had started work to lay railway-line linking Agartala station with Bangladesh’s Akhaura railway junction.

“After the laying of Agartala-Akhaura railway tracks, the connectivity between the two neighbours would be further improved. Besides people to people contact, the new connectivities would also further enhance the trade and economy amongst the two closest countries.”

“After the new railway link (Agartala-Akhaura), Tripura would be the gateway for northeastern states and southeast Asian countries as well,” Dey added.

Tripura Chief Secretary Y.P. Singh said the process has been initiated by the External Affairs ministry to set up a full-fledged passport office here so that the people of Tripura and adjoining northeastern states could get the passport easily.

Tripura Transport Secretary Samarjit Bhowmik said the Indian High Commission officials in Dhaka have told him that the Bangladesh government has assured to provide adequate security to the Indian buses while plying through that country.

Mohammad Moniruzzaman, Bangladesh’s diplomatic mission chief in Agartala, at the function said that with the increasing relations between people of India and Bangladesh, the economy of the two nations would flourish.

“More bus services between new cities of India and Bangladesh are expected to be launched in future,” the envoy said.

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