Official spokesperson of the Road transport department confirmed that two buses with about 35 passengers including officials of the Road Transport department left Dhaka in the evening. The trial run was inaugurated by Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation Chairman Ehsan Elahi. The bus will return back to Dhaka on December 16.
Darjeeling and Gangtok are popular tourist destinations for Bangladeshi visitors. Currently, travellers to these destinations have to change bus on the India Bangladesh border before proceeding to Gangtok or Darjeeling. When fully operational, the direct bus service will provide a smooth travel experience to the travellers. Private operators have expressed their willingness to operate bus services on this route.
Darjeeling via Siliguri is around 450km and Gangtok about 500km away from Dhaka.
Currently, buses operate on five cross-border routes between Bangladesh and India — Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka, Dhaka-Agartala-Dhaka, Dhaka-Sylhet-Shillong-
Bangladesh sends the largest number of foreign tourists to India. Almost 20 percent of all foreign travellers to India are from Bangladesh.
In 2018, more than 22 lakh Bangladeshi tourists visited India.