Dhaka/New Delhi: On Wednesday (November 1), Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated three development projects in Bangladesh with India’s assistance through video conference. These three projects are – Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link, Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line and Rampal Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant Unit-II. These three projects are expected to strengthen connectivity and energy security in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Modi in his speech after inaugurating the projects emphasized increasing India-Bangladesh cooperation. Addressing the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, he said, “Madam, India will fully cooperate in realizing your dream of a smart Bangladesh.” Bangabandhu’s dream of building a golden Bengal will succeed.” On the other hand, Sheikh Hasina said, “I am grateful for your commitment to strengthen the bond of friendship between our two countries.”
Prime Minister Modi claimed that the work that the two countries have done together in the last 9 years has never happened before. He said that in the last 9 years, India has taken joint ventures like land border agreement, resolution of maritime boundary disputes, 3 new bus services between Dhaka, Shillong, Agartala, Guwahati and Kolkata, 3 new train services, parcel and container train services, Ganga Luxury Cruise. And Bangladesh. He also said that trade between the two countries has increased three times in the last 9 years. He called the inauguration of the Akhaura-Agartala rail link a ‘historic moment’. Because it is the first rail link between Bangladesh and the North Eastern states of India. He also reminded me about Bangladesh’s strong historical ties with Tripura.
India has contributed Rs 392.52 crore for the Akhaura-Agartala cross-border rail link project. Bangladesh has 6.78 km of a total of 12.24 km of railway. And Tripura has the remaining 5.46 km. The Government of India has loaned more than USD 380 million to Bangladesh for the Khulna-Mongla port railway project. That too at discounted interest. In this project, about 65 km of broad gauge railway is constructed between Bangladesh’s second largest port Mongla and Khulna. The Government of Bangladesh has recently allowed the transportation of goods from West Bengal to North-Eastern states through Chittagong and Mongla ports. So both countries will benefit from this railway. India has loaned USD 1.6 billion for the Maitri Super Thermal Power Project. The production capacity of this plant in Khulna Rampal is 1,320 MW! Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Pvt Ltd has built this plant.