SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement for easy travel between Nepal and India
Proposed SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement would widen horizons for movement of all vehicles types across SAARC member States. Agreement for passenger and cargo vehicle movement in SAARC countries is expected to be signed when the Prime Minister visits Kathmandu. India is doing what’s necessary to support infrastructure development in Nepal in regards to connectivity and people-to-people contact.
An official delegation from India recently met a Nepalese Delegation led by Secretary, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MOPIT), and officers from MOPIT and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal to further efforts to reach an agreement in regards to Regulation of Passenger Traffic between both countries. SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement in its suitably amended form to regulate movement of passenger vehicles between India and Nepal.
The development facilitates Nepal-India bus services on reciprocal basis, promotes tourism, and people-to-people interaction. The 3 bus routes identified to begin with are: Kathmandu – Bhairahawa – Sunauli – Gorakhpur – Lucknow – New Delhi: (ii) Kathmandu – Bhairahawa – Sunauli – Azamgarh – Varanasi – New Delhi; (iii) Pokhara – Bharahawa – Sunauli – Gorakhpur – Lucknow – New Delhi.
Motor Vehicle Agreement also provides for movement of private vehicles and non-regular passenger vehicles across borders in adherence to established entry and exit points in the agreed upon framework as per Draft Agreement. Apart from agreement signing, flag-off of the first bus from Kathmandu to New Delhi isn’t too distant. Efforts are being made to pinpoint an Indian transporter to simultaneously begin a regular bus service on the same day, from Delhi to Kathmandu.
In regards to discussions between India and Nepal regarding Phase-II of Terai Road Project, issues pertaining to stalled projects under Phase-I need to be resolved. Phase-I decisions can can be taken up separately, as preps of DPR / feasibility studies for road length identified under Phase-II can be undertaken independently, and is under consideration by Government of India.