Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna
Transport Minister Awadh Bihari Choudhary on Saturday said the international bus service between Bihar and Nepal will soon be ready.
He said the service would begin after an agreement is drawn between the Indian and the Nepalese government.
Last month the Union ministry for Surface Transport had asked the Bihar government to submit a detailed report on the bus routes between India and Nepal through Bihar.
Choudhary made it clear that only tourist buses from Nepal would be allowed. He said the Bihar state road transport buses too would be allowed to enter Nepal.
The final proposal will be sent to Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi for sanction.
Choudhary said it was also decided that passengers from Bihar will not be allowed to board Nepali buses en route, to protect the interest of private buses plying from the places bordering Nepal to other parts of state.
The Nepal buses would enter Bihar from the international border near Jogbani, Raxaul and Bhitta.
Bihar buses will travel to Kathmandu, Pokhra, Virganj, Viratnagar and Jakanpur in Nepal, while Nepal's government plans to operate busses to
Rajgir, Bodh Gaya, Vaishali, Sitamarhi and Patna in Bihar.
Nepal is the only Hindu country in the world and many Nepalis visit holy places in Bihar such as Vaishali, an important Jain center, Gaya's Vishnupad temple, and Janakpur, regarded as the birthplace of Goddess Sita.
Sources in the state government said that the Nepal government has been
pressurising for the international bus service for a long time.
The Centre has already met the transport secretaries of Bihar and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to discuss Nepal's proposal.
But Bihar opposed the plan saying the service might only increase smuggling and Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence activities.
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