New Delhi: Bangladesh, India and Nepal have given nod to operating procedures for movement of passenger vehicles in the sub-region under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicles agreement, the government said on Monday.
For seamless flow of passenger and cargo traffic in the region, BBIN motor vehicles agreement (MVA) was signed by the transport ministers of the BBIN countries in Thimphu, Bhutan on 15 June 2015. However, Bhutan could not ratify it later.
“Bangladesh, India and Nepal have agreed on the text of the operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement in the sub-region under the BBIN MVA signed in June 2015, and will soon complete the internal approval processes for signing of the passenger protocol," ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) said in a statement.
It said the participating countries have also agreed to conduct more trial runs for cargo vehicles under the agreement during a high-level meeting of officials of the three countries for implementation of the MVA last week in Bengaluru.
A Bhutanese official delegation also attended the meeting as observer. Earlier, trial runs for cargo vehicles under the MVA were conducted along the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Delhi-Kolkata- Dhaka routes. “Bangladesh, India, and Nepal have already ratified the MVA and have agreed to start implementation of the MVA among the three signatory countries, with Bhutan joining after it ratifies the Agreement," the statement said.
Joint secretary, MoRTH, Dakshita Das said, “India will do its best to make the MVA successful, making it a key instrument in accelerating cross-border trade and economic integration in the subregion". The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been providing technical, advisory, and financial support to the BBIN MVA initiative as part of its assistance to the south Asia sub-regional economic cooperation (SASEC) programme, a projects-based economic cooperation initiative that brings together the BBIN countries, Maldives, Sri Lanka and more recently, Myanmar.
According to the statement, the officials of the three nations have agreed on the text of the passenger protocol, the document detailing procedures for cross-border movement of buses and private vehicles, to be signed by the three countries after completing necessary internal approval processes in their governments.
The delegations also agreed to continue to conduct trial movement of cargo vehicles along scheduled routes from April 2018 onwards, before finalising the protocol for cargo vehicular movement.