New Delhi [India], Nov. 13 (ANI
): Guided by objectives to improve connectivity by road in the South-East Asian region and to sensitise the stakeholders of India, Myanmar and Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreement regarding potential benefits of such a regulatory regime, a Friendship Motor Car Rally from India Gate lawns here to Bangkok was flagged off by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemical Fertilisers Mansukh Lal Mandaviya on Sunday.
On the occasion, Ambassador of Thailand Chalit Manityakul was also present.
While addressing a gathering, Mandaviya said the rally would also play an important role in developing the economic, transport and cultural relations among the three countries. He said the rally would give a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Act East Policy' and would improve India's relationship with its neighbouring countries.
A commemorative stamp for IMT Rally, 2016 was also released on the occasion.
The rally caravan will cover a distance of 5,722 km along the IMT Trilateral Highway with about 80 participants from all the three countries, in 20 Indian-made vehicles on a journey from Delhi to Bangkok over 19 days.
Ceremonial flag off will also be held in other cities and state capitals en route like Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Patna, Siliguri, Guwahati, Shillong, Kohima and Imphal, and Began and Yangoon in Myanmar and Bangkok in Thailand.
The rally that will conclude at Bangkok on December 2 will further cement cultural and economic ties among the three nations and highlight the potential benefits of connectivity and integration in the region and in keeping with India's focus on its close neighbourhood, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The basic purpose of this rally would be to sensitise people about an all-weather road connecting New Delhi and Bangkok that would soon be operational. With the opening of the trilateral highway, it would become a reality to travel from New Delhi to Bangkok by road.
A trial run of passenger vehicles on the IMT Trilateral Highway up to Naypitaw in Myanmar was carried out during 9-14 November, 2015 in which Indian vehicles travelled to Myanmar on Imphal-Mandalay-Bagan-Naypitaw route and back and Myanmar vehicles joined the Indian vehicles on the return journey from Naypitaw to Imphal and returning to Myanmar. (ANI