Kathmandu: Indian and Nepali officials have recommended launching of four new regular bus service routes to improve connectivity and decided to put in place an online vehicle permit system for easy movement of personal vehicles between the two countries.
The proposed measures are part of several steps aimed at streamlining the movement of people and vehicles across the India-Nepal border, the Indian Embassy here said.
The recommendations and decisions were made at the first meeting of the India-Nepal Cross Border Transport Facilitation Joint Working Group under the Motor Vehicle Agreement for regulation of passenger vehicular traffic between the two countries held at New Delhi earlier this month.
"It was decided that in order to facilitate movement of vehicles across India-Nepal border, National Informatics Centre (NIC), the IT-solution provider of the Government of India, would design a web-based solution for issue of online permits under the India-Nepal bilateral Motor Vehicle Agreement," the Indian Embassy said in a statement today.
The web-based solution would be developed for issue, monitoring and verification of permits for non-scheduled and personal passenger vehicles, it said.
The new online vehicle permit system, after being developed by NIC, would be demonstrated to the Government of Nepal for their consideration, suggestion and concurrence, it added.
Citizens of both countries do not require visas for travelling across the border but need to carry valid identity documents issued by the respective governments.
As for vehicles, certain procedures have to be followed, which were made easy in 2014 after both countries signed the bilateral motor vehicles agreement.
"The new system will facilitate procurement of vehicle permit for people based in far-flung and remote areas. After concurrence by both sides, the web-based portal would be tested on a pilot basis at the Birgunj-Raxaul and Bhairahawa-Sunauli border points," the embassy said.
Both sides also agreed to rationalise permit fee, customs duty and bank guarantee for different categories of vehicles.
In a significant decision, the JWG recommended that regular bus services between India and Nepal may be started at four new routes -- Kathmandu-Patna-Bodhgaya, Mahendranagar-New Delhi, Siliguri-Kakarbhitta-Kathmandu and Janakpur-Patna.
Regular bus services between Kathmandu-New Delhi and Kathmandu-Varanasi are already operational since November.
Once the new routes are made functional these would improve connectivity and seamless movement between Nepal and the border states of India i.E. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttarakhand.
The new routes would be made operational after discussion and consent of all stakeholders on both sides, the embassy said.