Imphal, Mar 2 (ANI): Under its Look East policy, the Centre plans to start the first ever bus service from Imphal to Myanmar.
A high-level delegation, led by S Narendra, Secretary, Ministry of Transport, consisting of representatives from several other ministries, visited Manipur recently to assess the feasibility of the Imphal-Mandalay bus service.
The 10-member team looked into several issues like road safety, change points on border and infrastructure, which need to be discussed, before starting the service.
Team members also met state government officials and indicated that the service is likely to start this year itself.
"We have made our assessments and are quite positive about it. The next step is that we will be talking to the Myanmarese Government and we are hopeful that it will come through," said Narendra.
The team also visited Moreh and Tamu to assess the border situation.
They later sent a formal request to the Myanmarese Government to open a visa office in Imphal.
The bus service is expected to help in increasing people to people contacts between both sides.
It will also boost trade relations between the two nations that will generate revenue, create more employment opportunities and improve the infrastructure in the region.
Currently, trade between India and Myanmar is around 1.5 billion dollars and is expected to cross the three billion dollars by 2015.
Both countries are planning to boost trade by establishing Integrated Check Posts and Land Custom Stations across the 1600 km long border.
"The Integrated Check Posts will come up by 2013 that should give a boost to trade and commerce. The Manipur Government is working on it and it has been allotted huge funds under the 13th Finance Commission for this," said Jayshree Mukherjee, Secretary, DoNER Ministry.
India and Myanmar are also jointly working on the construction of a trans Asian Highway that will improve connectivity between both the countries. It will also provide India a gateway to Southeast Asian markets through Myanmar. (ANI)
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