Despite a deal between India and Myanmar to run a bus route from Mandalay to Imphal, travelling to the area still remains difficult due to security threats, according to local residents and officials at the India-Myanmar border.
Deputy Minister for Immigration and Population U Win Myint in June signed a bilateral agreement with India to run the bus line from Myanmar’s second largest city to Imphal in India’s Manipur state.
“The armed separatists from India are still threatening the security of both sides. The traders and passengers from both areas are having difficulty crossing the border,” said Ko Kyaw Thet Win of Kalay regional Central Statistical Organization (CSO).
As governments from both sides need to solve the issue, the CSO from that area will make an announcement this month to urge the governments from both sides to take action, he said.
During a parliament session, U Win Myint said an official permit is still required to run the bus line and the travellers from both countries can legally cross the border with a border crossing certificate or passport.
However, there are still some unresolved territorial disputes, he added.
As armed groups frequently take extortion money from traders, the instability can impact transportation in the long term, according to local residents in border towns of Tamu and Chindwin in Sagaing region.