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Nepal Mountain Focus

Direct bus service to China to resume

A passenger bus being used in direct bus service between Kathmandu and Lhasa, China. Photo: File photo
A passenger bus being used in direct bus service between Kathmandu and Lhasa, China. Photo: File photo

KATHMANDU, Nepal – A direct bus service from Kathmandu to the ancient city of Lhasa in China will soon be come into operation after three years of operational haltage.

The Chinese side has requested Nepal to stop the direct bus service joining the two ancient cities in the wake of Olympic Games there in 2010.

The chances of direct bus services resumption has materialized after joint-secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mohan Krishna Sapkota and Wang Bi-Chu, vice general secretary of the Chinese autonomous region Tibet signed agreement to start the service.

Though the respective governments had agreed to run direct bus services in 1996, the service was brought into operation only after nine years in 2005. However, the service brought to a halt citing possible security threats during the Olympic Games there in 2010.

But now the Chinese side has even removed the mandatory clause on deposit amount that the operators have to guarantee to run the buses. Earlier, the operators had to fix one million Yuan in deposit.

Tour and travel operators here are happy with this recent agreement to launch the stalled bus service. They said that the service would help to bring more Chinese and other foreign tourists to Nepal at the time when the European Commission has imposed ban on Nepali domestic carriers in the Euro zone.
According to the ministry, with the new agreement, private tour operators can even launch the bus services.

Earlier two buses each of both countries used to run on twice weekly basis. The unexpected shutdown of the service had saddened the tour operators as they were launching eight to 11 days tour package in the sector.

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