PATNA: An air-conditioned deluxe bus service between Bihar and Nepal, the first ever direct bus service between the two places, was launched on Tuesday, linking two cities in Bihar – Patna and Bodh Gaya – and two in Nepal – Kathmandu and Janakpur.
“This bus service will further strengthen the relations between India and Nepal. It will prove very beneficial for Buddhist tourists in the two places,” said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while inaugurating the bus service, a public-private partnership that was commissioned after an agreement between India and Nepal. Kumar went inside the buses and inspected them before launching the service.
Bihar transport secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, who had attended the joint working group (JWG) meeting in Kathmandu in February, said total eight buses would ply on the three routes – Patna-Kathmandu, Patna-Janakpur and Bodh Gaya-Kathmandu.
The Bodh Gaya-Kathmandu bus will pass through Gaya, Patna, Hajipur, Muzaffarpur, Motihari, Raxaul and Birganj. It will depart Bodh Gaya at 10 AM and the fare is fixed at Rs 1,250. The Patna-Janakpur bus will pass through Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Bhitta More. Its fare is Rs 400. Fare of the Patna-Kathmandu bus is fixed at Rs 1,015. Each bus has 44 seats for passengers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli had jointly inaugurated a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh on May 11 as part of the Ramayana Circuit.
The Bihar-Nepal bus service was started after two meetings held in Kathmandu and in New Delhi led to the signing of a tripartite agreement between Nepal, the ministry of external affairs and Bihar.
Apart from Buddhist tourists, the direct bus service between Bihar and Nepal will help thousands of people in the Indian state who have relatives and business set-ups in Nepal, said officials.