India has started supplying an additional 500MW of electricity to Bangladesh as part of the neighbours’ cooperation in the energy sector.
The power transfer from the West Bengal’s Baharampur grid to Kushtia’s Bheramara was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi via videoconference on Monday.
The two prime ministers officially inaugurated the newly-built 500MW High-Voltage DC Back-to-Back Station 2nd Block on the occasion.
The two prime ministers also inaugurated construction work on the Bangladesh portion of the Akhaura-Agartala dual gauge rail line project and the Moulvibazar district Kulaura-Shahbazpur rail connection repair project.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Tripura Chief Minister Biplob Kumar Deb also spoke via videoconference from Kolkata and Agartala respectively.
According to the agreement, 300MW of power will come from India’s public sector ‘National Thermal Power Plant’ and 200MW from the private sector ‘Power Trading Corporation’.
Currently, India exports 660MW of power to Bangladesh, 500MW of which are transferred through the Baharampur-Bheramara connection and 160MW from Tripura to the Cumilla power grid.
Tk 6.78 billion will be spent to rebuild the 53km-long Kulaura-Shahbazpur rail connection, of which Tk 5.55 billion will be paid by an Indian LoC, while the Bangladesh government pays the remaining 1.23 billion.
The project will build railway bridges, bridge and station buildings, platforms, rail lines and other rail infrastructure.