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Cabinet clears Amritsar-Lahore bus service
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December 16, 2005 21:39 IST

The Union Cabinet has given its clearance to signing of an agreement with Pakistan for launching of bus services between Amritsar [Images] and Lahore [Images] and Amritsar and Nankana Sahib. The Cabinet also approved setting up of a Standing Committee after the agreement is signed.

The agreement is aimed at expanding economic cooperation and facilitate people-to-people contact between the two countries, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters after the Cabinet meeting last night.

The trial run for Amritsar-Lahore bus service was to be conducted in the second week of October this year but due to the earthquake in October, it was rescheduled to December. As per the agreement, the designated operators for the bus service would be Punjab Roadways from the India side and Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation from the Pakistani side. To begin with, there would be one service every week on the 56-km route. The Indian bus will depart from Amritsar on Tuesdays and return on Wednesdays while the Pakistani bus would depart from Lahore on Friday and return on Saturday. The one-way fare would be Indian Rs 750 and Pakistani Rs 900 for the service which will be from point to point without stopping anywhere en route to pick up or drop passengers. Both Indian and Pakistani buses will carry 46 passengers, including crew members and timings would be staggered in such a manner so that it does not clash with Delhi-Lahore bus service.

The existing customs and immigration infrastructure for Delhi-Lahore bus service at Wagah border would be used for Amritsar-Lahore bus service also.

The agreement or protocol for Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service is on the same lines as Amritsar-Lahore bus service, Dasmunshi said.

There could be minor differences from the agreed draft for Amritsar-Lahore bus service, like the fare, which could be

higher due to longer distance, he said.

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