631Published on November 1, 2023
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the joint inauguration of three India-assisted development schemes demonstrated the rare friendship and mutual cooperation between Dhaka and New Delhi, hoping that the existing relationship will be enhanced further in future.
"We (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and me) today jointly inaugurated three projects. It is a demonstration of having rare friendly relations and mutual cooperation," she said.
She also said Bangladesh and India will attain many successes in the days to come through mutual cooperation which will strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
The prime minister made the remarks after inaugurating three Indian assisted development schemes with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi through video conferencing connecting from Dhaka and New Delhi.
Addressing the inaugural programme, Narendra Modi said, "This is a matter of great delight that we have again come together to celebrate the success of India-Bangladesh mutual cooperation. Our relations are seemingly reaching new heights continuously".
The Indian prime minister has pledged to stay beside Bangladesh to transform it into developed, prosperous and smart country by 204l.
"The work we have done together in the last nine years was not accomplished even in the decades before this," Modi said.
Chief Minister of Tripura, India, Dr Manik Saha also virtually joined the event.
Sheikh Hasina said two newly inaugurated rail link projects will help boost trade, business, tourism, people to people contact and attain economic prosperity of both the countries.
The thermal power plant will also help provide uninterrupted power supply at affordable price in Bangladesh, she said.
The Akhaura-Agartala cross-border rail link will especially help boost communication between the people of the two countries basically of the northeastern part of India, which will be economically beneficial for both the countries.
"It will enhance communication, trade and economic growth of both the countries," she said.
The Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line will connect the Mongla port with the existing rail link, she said.
"It will help transport imported goods to northeastern part of the country at affordable cost," she added.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh and India proved that friendly relations between the neighboring countries help attain mutual development.
"I think it is an instance for the world," she said.
The prime minister welcomed the assistance of the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in implementing the projects.
She said they have given opportunity to India to use Chattogram and Mongla Ports and Chattogram Airport.
"We have created a scope for regional cooperation through Chattogram and Mongla ports," she said.
The premier said Bangladesh and India have achieved great success due to mutual cooperation in recent times.
She said the mutual efforts have helped ensure peace and stability in northeast region of India and establish connectivity between many Indian states with its northeast part through Chattogram and Mongla Ports.
She also said her government has attached topmost priority to the development of infrastructure in the last 15 years.
To this end, the prime minister said they have already opened Padma Multi-Purpose Bridge, Padma Rail Link, elevated expressway, metro rail and the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel under Karnaphuli River.
The opening of the first-ever tunnel under the river in the South Asia will help enhance capability of the Chattogram Port and further development of trade and commerce, she said.
"We believe that the Padma Multipurpose Bridge will help boost communication in both the countries," she added.
The prime minister conveyed best wishes in advance to the Indian prime minister and Indian people from her and on behalf of the countrymen ahead of the Dipaboli Festival.
She also recalled with gratitude the hospitality of Narendra Modi and Indian people during her recent India visit to attend G-20.
The premier as well extended her sincere thanks to the Indian government particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India-Bangladesh co-produced Bangabandhu’s biopic ''Mujib: The Making of a Nation", which is now being screening both in Bangladesh and India.
The 12.24 km Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link project with a 6.78 km Dual Gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura has been implemented under India grant assistance of INR 392.52 crore.
On Monday, the trial run took place on this route by a cargo train that travelled from Bangladesh's Gangasagar to Nischintapur railway station in Agartala while the trial run of passenger train will be conducted soon.
The Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line project has been implemented with India's concessional Line of Credit as its total project cost is $388.92 million (69.18 percent funding came from Indian LoC).
The construction work of the approximately 64.7km rail line was completed at a cost of Tk 4,260 crore which to usher in new opportunities in trade and commerce in the country's southwestern region, including the Mongla Ports.
With opening of the rail link, Mongla, the second largest port of Bangladesh, got connected to the broad-gauge railway network.
The Maitree Super Thermal Power Project under Indian Concessional Financing Scheme loan of $1.6 billion, features 1320MW (2x660) Super Thermal Power Plant (MSTPP) located in Rampal in Khulna Division.
The plant help meet the growing demand of power in Bangladesh.
The project has been implemented by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Private) Limited (BIFPCL), which is a 50:50 Joint Venture company between India's NTPC Ltd and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).
Unit I of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant was unveiled jointly by the two prime ministers in September 2022 and Unit 2 was inaugurated today.
The operationalization of Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant will enhance energy security in Bangladesh.