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Mamata Banerjee flags off Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service

Kolkata, June 4 (RDI IBNS): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday officially flagged off the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service from state's main administrative building Nabanna in Kolkata.

The deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh embassy in Kolkata and State Minister Firhad Hakim were present at the inaugural event. Minister Arup Biswas andstates transport secretary Alapon Banerjeeare going to Dhaka as passengers. Inaugurating the bus service here Mamata Banerjee said that the service would tighten Indo-Bangladesh relationship. This moment is historical and never-to-be-forgotten, she said. Speaking about her Bangladesh visit with PM Narendra Modi, Banerjee said, We are going to Bangladesh onJune 6to sign historical deals and just before our visit, friendship between India and Bangladesh will become stronger by this bus service. Unfortunately, for some technical problems, the white Volvo bus (WB-23-D-1203) could not be started. Another bus has started journey around8 pm, which will reach Bangladeshs capital Dhakaon Friday. This bus service reduces the distance between Kolkata and Agartala in Tripura from1650 kilometres to just over 500 kilometres, which used to take three days, can now be covered in 17 hours. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjees visit to Bangladesh onJun 6 and Jun 7,India and Bangladesh are also going to announce Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus service . The45-seater air-conditioned Volvobus service is run by West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation (WBSTC). The Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala service will pass two international checkpoints at Petrapole between West Bengal and Bangladesh and at Akhuara between Tripura and Bangladesh as it will cross river Padma at Goalanda Ghat on a barge. The governments did not finalise the price of the tickets and frequency of the service yet. The fare will not be more than 2000 INR, one government official said. A successful trial run of this bus service was done earlier which beganon Mondayand endedon Tuesday. The Kolkata-Dhaka bus service began on June 19, 1999 and the Agartala-Dhaka bus service was flagged off on July 11, 2001. (Reporting by Deepayan Sinha) Images: Mamata Banerjees official Facebook page

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