Chief Minister Inaugurates Bihar-Nepal Luxury Bus Service

CM Nitish Kumar flagging off Bihar-Nepal bus service in Patna on Tuesday.

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Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday flagged off two luxury buses from Patna and Bodh Gaya to Kathmandu and Janakpur in Nepal – the first ever attempt to connect two historically important places with each other.

The air-conditioned luxury bus service between Bihar and Nepal is being launched on public-private partnership (PPP) after reaching an agreement with the Nepal government.

"This will help strengthen cultural and business ties with our neighbor Nepal," the Chief Minister, who sat inside one of the buses to get a feel of it, said.

The 40-seat vehicle includes all the modern amenities including free Wi-Fi, GPS system, a DVD player and an LED television set for the entertainment of the passengers. It will also have power outlets on each seat to charge mobiles, laptops, and tablets,

Nitish Kumar sitting in the luxurious Bihar-Nepal bus during its launch on Tuesday.

State Transport Secretary Sanjay Kumar Agrawal said that altogether eight buses would ply on three routes between Bihar and Nepal including Patna-Kathmandu, Patna-Janakpur, and Bodh Gaya-Kathmandu.

Giving a timetable of the new bus service, Agrawal said that the Bodh Gaya-Kathmandu bus will leave at 10:00 am and will pass through Patna, Hajipur, Muzaffarpur, Motihari, Raxaul, and Birganj. The fare for this service is a very modest Rs. 1250. The 619-kilometer journey would be covered in a span of 21 hours.

The trip from Patna to Kathmandu would cost the travelers Rs. 1015 while Patna-Janakpur bus will go through Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi for a cost of Rs. 400, Agrawal said adding the latter would depart from Bankipore bus stand in Patna three times a day reaching its destination in about 16 hours.

While the new Bihar-Nepal bus service is being hailed by many as a positive step in the direction of bringing the two countries closer, others remain skeptic of the plan saying Kumar had launched more than half a dozen luxury bus services in Bihar since 2005 but none of them remains in service anymore and the buses, many of them being imported Volvos, that were purchased at the cost of several crore rupees have conveniently disappeared never to be seen again.

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