The Centre has conveyed to authorities in the national capital that a number of buses are “plying illegally” between Delhi and Nepal, via Uttar Pradesh, posing a threat to the country’s security. It has directed authorities, including the Delhi government, to crack down on such buses on the international route, where services were officially launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November, 2014.
The issue came up during a meeting held by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the first week of October, Delhi government sources said. “The MHA flagged the issue of illegal buses plying between Delhi and some areas in Nepal, via Uttar Pradesh. It was conveyed that such irregularities may imperil national security,” sources said.
It is learnt that certain areas like Shahdara and Tilak Nagar have been identified as the origin points of these buses. The Uttar Pradesh government has also been asked to act, as they make their way to Nepal through the state, making it possible for passengers to board. However, no UP government official was reportedly present at the meeting.
The DTC also runs two buses between New Delhi and Kathmandu. It was flagged off by the PM in November 2014, making it the first such bus service between the two neighbours. The DTC buses stop at Faizabad and Firozabad in UP, and passengers are not allowed to embark or disembark on any other point along the route.
“The MHA said people were not being asked for identity proofs on the buses operating illegally. Representatives of the DTC and senior traffic police officials were also present at the meeting,” sources said. A senior MHA official said he was not aware of the development.
Later, a bus was launched on the Varanasi – Kathmandu route. Earlier this year, the two governments decided to launch buses on newer routes, including from places such as Siliguri, Patna, Bodh Gaya and Ayodhya. According to the DTC, passengers of Indian or Nepali nationality are required to have a valid photo-identity proof issued by their respective governments’ passport or voter identity card for undertaking the journey, while passengers other than Indian or Nepali nationality are required to have a valid passport and visa.
“We will take action to catch them. We have been regularly taking action against illegal inter-state buses running into thousands. The concerned states from where these buses are issued permits must cancel them,” a senior official said.