Craze for bus to Kathmandu wanes

After the initial buzz, the craze for the newly launched Delhi-Kathmandu DTC bus service seems to be dipping with each passing day.

For the past three or four days, the 35-seat Delhi Transport Corporation bus has been carrying only about 14 passengers in one trip. There is no wait list and tickets for the trip can be bought from the current counter, said officials.

The Delhi-Kathmandu luxury bus service was launched by the DTC on November 25 as part of the India-Nepal diplomatic engagement. The bus covers a distance of 1,250 km in 30 hours.

The DTC bus leaves at 10 am every day and a trip costs Rs 2,300 per person for one way.

“Though the Delhi-Kathmandu bus service is not bringing in profits, the service is touted to be a major boost in terms of trade and tourism and will also strengthen the bilateral ties between the two neighbouring countries,” said a DTC official.

“We were earlier planning to have a system in which the passengers were supposed to book their tickets 60 days in advance. But since there is low demand, we are now allowing even last-minute walk-ins,” told a ticket seller on the Ambedkar Terminal Bus stand in central Delhi.

The bus travels through Delhi-Lucknow (via Yamuna Expressway)-Gorakhpur-Sanauli-Bhairahawa before terminating at Swaymbhu terminal in Kathmandu. There are four halts enroute.

The service was launched days after the Narendra Modi cabinet gave a nod to signing an agreement on passenger traffic between India and Nepal at the 18th SAARC summit.

While Indian and Nepalese passengers only need to carry government-approved ID cards, foreign nationals travelling on the bus have to show their passports.
Few foreigners

According to a DTC official, very few foreigners are using the DTC bus.
“Most of the passengers are either Indians working in Nepal or Nepalese people working in India. Some traders are also using the service,” said the DTC official.

Over the last few days, the buses are running late by about five hours due to the bad condition of roads and poor weather.

The DTC also runs the Delhi-Lahore bus which was launched by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in March 1999.

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