India has principally agreed to provide the same facility to the Nepali private vehicles entering India that vehicles bearing Indian registration number get in Nepal.
During a joint-secretary level meeting held in New Delhi, the Indian side expressed its readiness to provide hassle free entry to the Nepali private vehicles to Indian territory on reciprocal basis.
The third meeting of India-Nepal Cross Border Transport Facilitation Joint Working Group under the Motor Vehicle Agreement held in New Delhi on Friday made this decision.
“The meeting decided to provide same facility to the Nepali private vehicles that Indian vehicles receive while entering Nepal. This decision is reciprocal basis and its implementation would be immediate,” said Keshab Kumar Sharma, head of Nepali talk team.
According to Sharma, who is also Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), the two sides will finalise the procedural guidelines for private vehicles soon.
The bilateral agreement on motor vehicle was signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal in November, 2014.
Nepal has demanded since long that Nepali private vehicles should receive similar facility that Indian vehicles enjoy while crossing into Nepal.
The issue of private vehicles was also raised by Nepali side during the second meeting of the joint working group held in Kathmandu on February this year.
Indian number plate vehicles have been easily getting permission to enter Nepal by going through normal process and by paying minimum charge at the customs checkpoints.
According to The Kathmandu Post, after getting permission, such vehicles ply on the roads across Nepal without any hassle while Nepali private vehicles go through long and difficult process to enter India.
Currently, Nepali vehicles have to get a permit from the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu or Birgunj-based Consulate Office to enter India. Besides this, Nepali vehicles have to complete documentation work.
The meeting also decided to include officially Janakpur-Ayodhya route under cross-border bus service operated between Nepal and India.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM KP Sharma Oli had jointly inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service during the former’s visit to Nepal in May last year. The bus service, however, was limited only to the inauguration as the route did not get gain momentum.
The Joint-Secretary level meeting, however, provided official permission to ply buses on that route. “The meeting has also decided to include Janakpur-Ayodhya route among six routes under the cross border bus service between Nepal and India,” said Sharma .
Sources: The news first appeared in The Kathmandu Post