India, Bangladesh jointly inaugurate three projects

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated multiple projects in Bangladesh, through video conferencing.

The first project — Supply of 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh through Baharampur – Bheramara interconnection was unveiled by Prime Minister Modi, Bangladeshi counterpart Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The second project — construction work of the Bangladesh part of Akhaura-Agartala railway link was inaugurated by Indian and Bangladeshi Prime Ministers, and Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb. The third project on the rehabilitation of Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways was jointly inaugurated by the Prime Minister of both the countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi said that the projects would give a fresh momentum to the India-Bangladesh relations. Calling it as ‘Shonali Adhyaya’ (golden chapter), the Prime Minister hoped that the connectivity projects would further enhance ties between both the countries.

“With the completion of the power project, 1.16 Gigawatts of power is now being supplied from India to Bangladesh. He said this journey from Megawatts to Gigawatts is symbolic of a golden era in the relations between India and Bangladesh,” the Prime Minister noted.

Prime Minister Modi underlined that Akhaura-Agartala rail connectivity will provide another link in the cross-border connectivity between the two countries. He thanked Biplab for his facilitation in the completion of the work.

Prime Minister Modi recalled Hasina’s vision of restoring connectivity to the way it was before 1965. He expressed satisfaction that there has been a steady progress towards the achievement of the goal.

Reminiscing his previous meetings with Hasina, Prime Minister Modi added, “We have improved and increased power and rail connectivity between India and Bangladesh. The inauguration of such projects will be a golden chapter (Shonali Adhyaya) in our ties. Prime Minister Hasina has done a lot of work for realising a developed Bangladesh. I express the hope that her vision to make Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021 and developed nation by 2041 would be successful and it would be a proud moment for us. Now, we have come nearer and our ties have become stronger.”

On the other hand, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister also hoped that relations between the two nations would reach new heights and thanked India for their cooperation and collaboration in various development projects. She also expressed her gratitude to Mamata for her decision to give 1,000 MW of additional power to Bangladesh.

The chief ministers of West Bengal and Tripura also congratulated the prime ministers of India and Bangladesh for inaugurating the projects and underlined that such projects would usher in a new chapter of good and cordial ties between the two countries. The chief ministers stated that the rail projects would further strengthen connectivity and improve people-to-people ties.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who was also present at the event said that the inauguration of the multiple projects is a “visible proof of energy in the strength of the partnership between two countries, which would help to move to a path towards mutual prosperity and highlighted India’s neighbourhood first policy.”

Underscoring that New Delhi would continue to remain a committed development partner of Dhaka, Swaraj added, “We are committed to promoting connectivity and economic development, through cross-border trade, transport, telecommunications, cyber and energy links. These projects will help the two countries inch closer.”

Swaraj’s Bangladeshi counterpart AH Mahmood Ali also hailed the projects and said, “Bangladesh and India have collaborated with each other in all sectors. Among which connectivity and power collectively remain the most reasonable. I am confident that the shared vision of Prime Minister Hasina and Prime Minister Modi would help to elevate our relationship to greater heights in the days to come.”