Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh launched two joint venture Power Projects via video-conferencing.India and Bangladesh embarked on the path of cooperation in energy sector with the inauguration of two collaborative power projects on Saturday, a step termed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a ‘historic moment’ in the partnership between the two countries.
The projects- a transmission line for supplying 500 MW power from West Bengal to Bangladesh and a 1320 MW thermal power project in Bangladesh, were inaugurated by Singh and his counterpart Sheikh Hasina through video conferencing.
The ‘Maitri’ thermal power project is being developed by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company, a joint venture between NTPC and Bangladesh Power Development Board. Inaugurating the projects, Singh said it was a “historic moment when we embark on a new partnership for prosperity between our two countries.”
Observing that the destinies of India and Bangladesh are “inter-linked”, he said, “The initiatives being undertaken today strengthen the bonds of friendship between India and Bangladesh and add a rich new dimension to our bilateral relations.”
He said the launch of the projects shows that “a shared aspiration of our people has been translated into a concrete outcome.”
Singh said the step represents an important milestone in connecting the two countries and the broader region through a growing web of cross-border energy links and trade. Noting that economic development is the biggest challenge for all countries in South Asia, Singh pitched for interlinking of the economies of the region.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the prospects for economic development in South Asia would be substantially enhanced through a partnership for shared prosperity among the countries of the region.
“The key to shared prosperity is greater trade and investment in our region and improved connectivity through transport, road, rail, telecom, cyber and energy links,” he said during the conference which was also attended by Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah.
Noting that bilateral cooperation between the nations has made rapid progress in many areas, Singh said India would remain a steadfast and long-term partner in Bangladesh’s development efforts.
“I look forward with confidence to a future of deeper cooperation in energy and all other dimensions of our relationship,” he said.
He thanked Hasina, his ministerial colleagues, technical personnel and officials in the Central government and in the West Bengal government for implementing this landmark project in South Asia in such a short span of time.
While laying the foundation stone for the 1,320 MW power project, Singh asked the project authorities to observe the highest environmental standards in its execution, “given that the Sunderbans are our common heritage”.
The energy cooperation came up for discussion between Singh and Hasina when they met in New York last week on the sidelines of UN General Assembly.