– Prime Minister Modi said – relations between India and Bangladesh are continuously reaching new heights.
– Sheikh Hasina expressed gratitude to Modi for strengthening the friendship between the two countries.
New Delhi (Hindustan Reporter) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday inaugurated the India-Bangladesh international rail route between Agartala in Tripura and Akhaura in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh through video conferencing. The three Indian-assisted development projects that were jointly inaugurated include Akhaura Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link, Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line and Unit-II of Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant.
Prime Minister Modi said on this occasion that it is a matter of great pleasure that we have once again come together to celebrate the success of India-Bangladesh cooperation. Our relations are continuously reaching new heights. The amount of work we have done together in the last 9 years was more than had been done even in many decades. We concluded the decades-pending land border agreement and also resolved the maritime border to restore peace, security and stability on the border.
He said that to fulfill the common expectations and aspirations of the people of both the countries, we laid special emphasis on the development of infrastructure and connectivity. 3 new bus services have been started in the last 9 years. With this, Dhaka-Agartala-Shillong-Guwahati and Kolkata have been connected. Modi said, “Three new rail services were started in the last years. Container and partial trains have been running between India and Bangladesh since 2020. “Inland waterways have been developed for the transportation of passengers and goods in the last nine years.”
Prime Minister Modi said that our connectivity initiatives acted as a lifeline during the Covid pandemic. Oxygen Express transported more than 4 thousand tons of liquid medical oxygen from India to Bangladesh. We have considered our approach of Sabka Saath-Sabka Vikas to be relevant even for our closest neighboring friend like Bangladesh. We feel proud to be Bangladesh’s largest development partner. The three projects that have been inaugurated today were decided by us and we have had the privilege of dedicating them to the people.
During the inauguration, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “I would like to thank you, Modi ji, for your warm hospitality during my visit to New Delhi to attend the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in September 2023. I express my heartfelt gratitude for your commitment to strengthening the bonds of friendship between the two countries.”
Sheikh Hasina said, “I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to Prime Minister Modi. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s biopic Mujib The Making of a Nation is now screening in both Bangladesh and India.”
It is noteworthy that the Akhaura-Agartala Cross Border Rail Link Project has been implemented under the grant-in-aid of Rs 392.52 crore given by the Government of India to Bangladesh. The length of the rail link is 12.24 km with 6.78 km of dual gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura.
The Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line Project has been implemented under the concessional credit facility of the Government of India with a total project cost of US$ 388.92 million. The project involves construction of approximately 65 kilometers of broad gauge rail route between Mongla Port and the existing rail network at Khulna. With this, Bangladesh’s second largest port Mongla has been connected to the broad gauge railway network.
The Maitri Super Thermal Power Project, under the Indian Concessional Financing Scheme loan of US$1.6 billion, is a 1320 MW (2×660 MW) super thermal power plant located at Rampal, Khulna Division of Bangladesh. This project is being done by Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Pvt. Ltd. It is a 50:50 joint venture company between NTPC Limited of India and Bangladesh Power Development Board. Unit-1 of the Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant was jointly unveiled by the two Prime Ministers in September 2022 and Unit-2 will be inaugurated on 1 November 2023. The operation of Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant will enhance energy security in Bangladesh. These projects will strengthen connectivity and energy security in the region.
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