Agartala: The Kolkata-Agartala bus via Dhaka, which began its trial run from the West Bengal capital, arrived in Agartala today after travelling 500 km.
The air-conditioned 45-seater Volvo bus was carrying a 10-member delegation of West Bengal government led by Principal Commissioner in the transport department Alapan Bandopaddhyay.
It had started from the Salt Lake international bus terminus in Kolkata yesterday and made a stopover in Dhaka on the same day to take on board a nine-member delegation from Bangladesh.
The bus left Dhaka today morning and reached at the Akhaura check post in Agartala at noon. The delegates were received by Agartala Mayor Prafullajit Sinha.
"It was all along a smooth journey and I enjoyed it. It would reduce the distance by about 1000 km," Mr Bandopaddhyay said at Akhaura.
The distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka is 500 km, but it is 1650 km if one travels through the 'chicken's neck' connecting West Bengal to the north east and Guwahati.
"It is expected that the Kolkata-Agartala bus service will start soon and the fare would be decided in a tri-partite meeting between officials of India, Bangladesh and Indian states concerned," Mr Banndopaddhyay said.
The bus service would open economic cooperation between South Asian countries, he said.
Tripura Transport Minister Mannik Dey had earlier said the Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka was likely to be flagged-off during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh between June 6 and June 7.
The Agartala-Dhaka bus service began in September 2003 and plies four days a week. The Kolkata-Dhaka bus service was inaugurated in July 1999.