New Delhi: Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari Tuesday flagged off the Delhi-Kathmandu bus service here and said the government was planning to start similar services to every neighbouring country soon.
"This initiative by the central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to extend good relations between India and Nepal, which has existed since its independence," Gadkari told reporters while flagging off the bus from the Ambedkar Stadium bus terminal here.
This was the second international bus service by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) after its Delhi-Lahore service was launched in 1999.
The bus will run between Delhi and Kathmandu daily and cover the distance of 1,250 km in around 30 hours.
The bus will travel via the Yamuna expressway to Agra, Firozabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur and Sunauli and thereafter will enter Nepalese territory to reach Kathmandu.
The bus fare will be Rs 2,300 per person.
Gadkari said the bus service was part of Modi's agenda to strengthen ties with neighbouring countries, which was very important for every nation to do.
Emphasising that Modi wants to build good ties with every nation, he said: "I am glad that the Delhi-Kathmandu bus service is also starting from the same place from where in 1999, the Delhi-Lahore bus service was started to built good ties with Pakistan."
He also highlighted his ministry's initiatives towards reducing pollution caused by road traffic.
The ministry was considering conversion of old diesel buses into electric ones, he said.
"E-rickshaws have been modified and they would soon ply on Delhi's roads. One of the major concerns of my ministry is to end the problem of traffic jam in Delhi," he added.
Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and other ministers were also present.
"It is a very big thing that the bus started from Delhi and not from any other part of the country. This shows the dedication of the Indian government to continue its good ties with Nepal," Jung said.