The much awaited Imphal-Mandalay bus service between India and Myanmar likely to start its operation by the month of March with one trip in a week.
Indo-Myanmar Frienship Association and Indo-Myanmar Fraternal Alliance (IMFA) initially took up the initiative to make the bus service a reality. There is a sizeable Manipuri population at Mandalay and Tai Ahoms of Assam have also close links with the Shans of Myanmar.
The proposed 600 Km International bus service route via Moreh and Tamu, has been in the pipeline for some years now as part of the Look East Policy taken up by the Government of India.
Manipur Development Society has been entrusted for developing some bus terminals of the State Transport Department at the border town Moreh, and to build a multi-storey shopping complex there as well.
Earlier last year, the said bus service is also mentioned in the 12 agreements and MoUs signed between India and Myanmar after the historic meeting of Indian Prime Minister PM Manmohan Singh and Myanmar President U Thein Sein, where India had assured to undertake the upgradation of the Kalewa-Yargyi road segment to highway standard and also upgrade 71 bridges on the Tamu-Kalewa while Myanmar would undertake the upgradation of the Yargyi-Monywa stretch to highway standard by 2016.
This project would help in establishing trilateral connectivity from Moreh (India) to Mae Sot (Thailand) via Myanmar. The two countries had signed an MoU between Exim Bank and Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank to facilitate the $500 million credit line to Myanmar announced by India in 2011.