India & Myanmar agree to ink pact for smooth movement of cargo and traffic

India and Myanmar on Friday discussed various projects to enhance bilateral connectivity, besides agreeing to ink a pact for the seamless movement of cargo and traffic, an official statement said.

Myanmar Minister for Communication and Transport U Thant Sin Maung called on Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari here.

Both the leaders discussed the progress of the ongoing India - Myanmar transport connectivity projects.

"The two sides discussed the status of the project for upgradation of the Kalewa-Yagyi stretch of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway, starting Imphal-Mandalay bus service and a bilateral Motor Vehicles Agreement between the two countries," the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in the statement.

The upgradation of the Kalewa-Yagyi stretch of IMT is being executed by the National Highways Authority of India and is expected to be completed within the scheduled date.

"The two sides also expressed keenness to start the Imphal-Mandalay bus service soon. India and Myanmar had operationalised the Land Border Crossing Agreement earlier this year," the statement said.

The agreement allows nationals from the two countries holding valid passport and visa to cross over without requiring special permission.

Now both countries have to select bus operators to run the service, the statement said, adding once the service starts, a bus from India will take passengers to Myanmar border where they will be transferred to the bus run by Myanmar operator for travelling further.

Likewise, India-bound Myanmar nationals will be transferred to the bus run by an Indian operator.

"Both countries expressed their eagerness to further carry forward the process of connectivity by signing a bilateral Motor Vehicles Agreement for seamless movement of cargo and passenger movement," the statement further said.

The draft agreement is under discussion and the two sides are keen to finalise it soon, it said.

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