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Hasina keen to restore rail connectivity with India: Min

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a high-level

Agartala: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is keen to restore rail connectivity with India, which was snapped after the 1965 Indo-Pak war, and has agreed to give access to India for use of its Chittagong and Mongla ports, a state minister said today.

Tripura Transport and Power Minister Manik Dey, who met the Bangladesh Prime Minister in Dhaka yesterday, said she was keen to restore the rail link and expressed her satisfaction at improvement of trade and business between the two countries through border haats and Land Custom Stations (LCS) through Tripura.

“She also assured us that there was no problem in access to Chittagong and Mongla ports and asked officials to cooperate with India in constructing a bridge on river Feni in South Tripura district to connect Chittagong with Southern Tripura,” Dey said.

Hasina also wanted expeditious work for laying the 15km long tracks to connect Agartala with Akhaura in Bangladesh for connecting India’s North-East with the neighbouring country through rail, the minister said.

An Indian delegation led by Dey visited Dhaka to finalise the power tariff to supply 100MW of electricity from Tripura’s 726 MW Palatana power project in Gomati district.

“Transmission lines were set up on both sides of the border to send power. Now Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and our NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN) will ink an agreement soon and transmission of power will take place,” Dey told reporters.

The Power minister said his parleys with Hasina was held in a very cordial atmosphere and she expressed her willingness to buy more power from Tripura as the neighbouring country needed 8,000 MW to meet its demand.

“We have told her that Tripura can sell some more power to Bangladesh, but it is subject to the Centre’s approval,” he added.

The decision to sell power from Tripura was finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka in June, 2015.

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