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Dhaka Saturday,  Feb 16, 2019

India seeks BD corridor to transmit power from East to West

India wants corridor facility for electricity transmission from its eastern part to the western part through Bangladesh using a 765 kV transmission line, a transmission infrastructures to facilitate transmission of approximately 4,000 MW of hydropower of which Bangladesh would be allowed to buy up to 1,000 MW.
Although the project is still not matured and yet to complete feasibility study but India wants a green signal from the present government to connect Arunachal-Bihar super high way grid connection through using Bangladesh’s Jamalpur-Dinajpur grid (proposed) line.
However, India wants that Bangladesh will invest in the project. “As per their (India) proposal Bangladesh will build the line to support the plan, we raised the question that way Bangladesh will invest here? Yes, we plan to buy some power from here but they are talking about investment,” a senior official of the Power division told on Sunday. India’s north-eastern region, including Sikkim, has a total of 33,100 MW hydropower potentials which has remained almost untapped as the region has not much demand for electricity while transmission of the electricity to its western part requires a corridor through Bangladesh due to geo-political boundaries.

“The 13th Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting on cooperation in the power sector between Bangladesh and India will discuss the issue, however, the meeting is scheduled to start today (Monday) in Sylhet,” he added.
Bangladesh Power Division Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and Indian Power Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla will discuss the issue, according to the Power Division, the working committee (Taskforce) will sit on September 24 and the steering committee to sit on September 26 to sign the joint declaration.

The corridor issue and Bangladesh’s investment issue in this project is not a new one, India brought the power corridor issue back on the table after it proposed to lend US$400 million under its third Line of Credit with Bangladesh to build a 200-kilometre power transmission line and other infrastructures on Bangladesh side during 12th joint steering committee meeting led by the two power division secretaries, Ahmad Kaikaus from Bangladesh and Ajay Kumar Bhalla from India, held in New Delhi on January 31 in 2018.

“To implement all projects under the umbrella of joint cooperation, we will sit to discuss as per the schedule to strengthen our bilateral ties during the two-day talks between the two countries,” said Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, Secretary of the Power Division on Saturday. To transmit Arunachal hydro power, the state government has decided to vigorously pursue the matter of improving the transmission corridor availability to southern states, through Bangladesh.

“This time we want to focus on sharing experience in implementing our plan to make a success in tapping the potential of solar roof top projects. We will also focus on long term power exchange projects,” the official added, preferring anonymity.

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