Nepal, India finalise road transport agreementtext_fields
Kathmandu: In a bid to boost people-to-people contact and tourism in the region, Nepal and India have finalised a new agreement that envisages bus services from Kathmandu and Pokhara to New Delhi and Varanasi.
The Motor Vehicle Agreement will be signed during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Himalayan nation to attend the Saarc summit slated for Nov 26-27.
The agreement proposes regular bus services on three routes -- Kathmandu to New Delhi via Gorakhpur and Lucknow; Kathmandu to Varanasi via Azamgarh; and Pokhara to New Delhi via Gorakhpur and Lucknow, the Indian embassy here said.
The agreement also intends to simplify the movement of private vehicles across the border.
The proposed India-Nepal Friendship Car Rally on the route Puri-Kathmandu-Delhi will also get assistance from both governments.
"The governments of Nepal and India held talks in Kathmandu on Oct 30 to finalise the Motor Vehicle Agreement and other matters related to road transport and infrastructure," the Indian embassy statement said.
A Nepali official told IANS that the new bus services will be launched Nov 25, the day Modi arrives in Kathmandu.
The Nepal delegation was led by Tulasi Prasad Situala, secretary in the physical infrastructure and transport ministry, while the Indian side was led by Vijay Chibber, secretary in India's road transport and highways ministry.
The Nepali side appreciated the offer from India to impart technical training to Nepal's highway engineers at the Indian Academy of Highway Engineers.
India also shared its experience in construction of roads through the public private partnership (PPP) and engineering procurement and construction (EPC) models.
Both sides also decided to prepare a feasibility report for three motorable bridges on the Mahakali river at Mahendra Nagar, Jhulaghat and Darchula and a suspension bridge at Shirsha in Dadeldhura district of Nepal.