Move to Finalize Motor Vehicles Agreement

Officials from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal met recently to finalize a Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA). The agreement is expected to be signed at a meeting of Transport Ministers of the four countries to be held soon this year.
The countries have agreed to set up individual national committees and a sub-regional joint committee for overall facilitation of land transport and to coordinate and monitor the agreement’s implementation.

Motor Vehicles Agreement:

The proposed SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement has wider scope for movement of all types of vehicles across SAARC member States and will be a path breaking endeavour.

What are the benefits?

  1. The agreement will allow passenger, personal and cargo vehicles to travel along designated key routes in the four SAARC countries without the need for trans-shipment of goods and passengers at the border crossings.
  2. The agreement will reduce costly and time-consuming unloading and loading of people and goods at the border crossing points making cross-border trade more efficient.
  3. It would help transform transport corridors linking the four countries into economic corridors and enhance people to people contact.
  4. This agreement would facilitate the transit of all types of vehicles between the contracting parties as is prevalent in other common markets like the European Union.
  5. It would promote tourism and people-to-people interaction.

The following three routes have been identified for the bus service in the first instance:

1. Kathmandu – Bhairahawa – Sunauli – Gorakhpur – Lucknow – New Delhi.
2. Kathmandu – Bhairahawa – Sunauli – Azamgarh – Varanasi – New Delhi.
3. Pokhara – Bharahawa – Sunauli – Gorakhpur – Lucknow – New Delhi.
Private and non-regular passenger vehicles would be entitled to use all established entry and exit points in the agreed upon framework envisaged under the Draft Agreement.

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Sources: The Hindu, PIB.