Start of Agartala-Dhaka-Kolkata bus service delayed

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The Tripura government has deferred the commencement of direct bus service between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka after a state government official was manhandled in the Bangladeshi capital, an official said on Tuesday.

TRTC managing director Keshab Kar said, “Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC) liaison officer L.J. Rokhum was in Dhaka on Monday to secure road permit for the new Volvo bus of TRTC. The official was manhandled in Dhaka and some hooligans snatched the road permit and other official papers from Rokhum.”

Kar said, “With a fresh road permit, Rokhum returned here on Tuesday. The Volvo bus, which was scheduled to start plying between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka from Wednesday is likely to begin its operations from Friday.”

Tripura government-owned TRTC purchased a 45-seater Volvo bus at a cost of around Rs.90 lakh to operate between Tripura capital Agartala and West Bengal capital Kolkata via Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly flagged-off the Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati and Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus services during Modi’s visit to Dhaka on 6 June.

Bangladeshi media reported that some goons allegedly close to ‘Shyamoli Paribahan’, which operates buses between several cities of India and Bangladesh for transport corporations of Bangladesh, were behind the attack on the Tripura official. Bangladeshi police are looking for the attackers.

Tripura transport secretary Samarjit Bhowmik immediately informed the Indian High Commission in Dhaka to ensure security for Rokhum.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Sheikh Hasina jointly flagged off the Kolkata-Dhaka direct bus service in Dhaka on 19 June 1999.

The Agartala-Dhaka bus service started in September 2003.

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