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West Bengal Suspends Kolkata- Dhaka Bus Service


Authorities in West Bengal have ordered the suspension of the only private bus service between Kolkata and Dhaka because the operator's permit has run out. But the operator does not agree and is continuing the daily run between the two countries.

The West Bengal Surface Transport Corp Ltd (WBSTCL) ordered the suspension of the Souharda service April 10 pending the appointment of a new franchisee.

'The WBSTCL has decided to change its franchisee,' Sumantra Chowdhury, the state transport department's additional chief secretary, told IANS.

'The June 16, 1999, agreement with Kolkata's Basanti Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd (BTTPL) expired April 9,' Chowdhury said.

He said the private tour operator had failed to renew its carriage permit since 2003 despite repeated reminders.

However, the tour operator flouted the WBSTCL order and carried over 80 passengers Wednesday to Dhaka.

Chowdhury said the tour operator could be penalised.

But BTTPL managing director Taraknath Ghosh said: 'We have documents that prove the state transport department has permitted us to operate the services till 2009.

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