GUWAHATI, Jan 24 - Even after almost eight months since the Guwahati-Shillong-Dhaka bus service had been flagged off in both the countries, the much-hyped bilateral initiative continues to remain a distant dream.
Awaiting the green signal is the State Transport Department, which is still clueless about the operational nitty-gritty of the ambitious project.
Sources informed that as things stand today, there has been no word on the road permit that would have to be issued for vehicles by the Bangladesh authorities once the bus reaches Dawki (Indo-Bangla border) from Guwahati.
Further, the security aspect concerning the bus route, too, has not been detailed by the authorities of the neigbouring country, about which the State Transport Department has already written to the Union Ministry of External Affairs.
�Besides, a clear picture regarding the fixation of fares from both sides has not emerged, which is adding to the delay in making the bus service operational,� a senior Transport Department official told this reporter.
He divulged that both Assam and Meghalaya have agreed on having reciprocated permit, but until the matter gets the nod of the authorities concerned of the neighbouring country, things cannot take a distinct shape.
The bus service was inaugurated coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee�s latest visit to Bangladesh last year.
Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, jointly flagged off the Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati and Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus services during Modi�s visit to Bangladesh on June 6 last. While the Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati service is yet to take off, the Kolkata-Agartala via Dhaka service has begun operating.
When contacted, another senior official of the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) said that the matter, it seems, has not gained momentum like it has in the case of the other bus service.
�Lack of will from the State and the Centre could be the reason. It is unfortunate that even after so many months, we are not yet in a position to confirm the dates from which the service will be made operational,� the official added.