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B'desh to start direct road bus service to Siliguri, Darjeeling

Dhaka, Jan 14 (UNI) As part of the Bay of Bengal regional connectivity initiative, Bangladesh has decided to launch direct road connectivity to popular Indian tourist spots of Siliguri and Darjeeling in West Bengal from Thursday.
The move will further boost the Indo-Pacific vision. The decision came after a meeting held by the Thematic Group on Regional Connectivity at the Road Transport and Highways Division of the Bangladesh
government, local reports said here.
In this meeting, Dhaka showed interest in opening a direct road network between Bangladesh and India as soon as possible, because the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) has been delayed due to Bhutan’s temporary withdrawal from the BBIN-MVA.
The BBIN countries signed the Motor Vehicle Agreement for free movement of goods and passengers among the four countries on June 15, 2015.
Under the agreement, the contracting parties will allow trucks and trailers with containers, and passenger vehicles hired or personal to ply in the territory of other contracting parties.
Although road connectivity between Bangladesh and India already exists, it is not direct. Under the new initiative, passengers will not have to change buses at the border that was required in the previous system
During the Non-Aligned Movement Summit last year in Azerbaijan city of Baku, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina spoke with her Nepali counterpart KP Sharma Oli, where they decided to carry on with an open road network project without Bhutan.
Meanwhile, during her recent visit to New Delhi, Ms Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi discussed working towards a bilateral India-Bangladesh Motor Vehicles Agreement.
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