Secretary Monwar Islam on Friday told bdnews24.com the foundation stone of
Maitree Super Thermal Power Project at Bagerhat’s Rampal would be unveiled at
Kushtia’s Bheramara at the inauguration ceremony of power import from
He said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will join Hasina at
the ceremony through a video call.
The government had earlier said that
the ceremony would be held on Oct 22.
Asked why the rush, Secretary Islam
said, “The foundations will be officially laid at Rampal on Oct 22. But the
Indian Prime Minister won’t be able to attend that programme that day. That’s
why the ceremony is being arranged on Saturday along with the main function at
Bangladesh signed an agreement with India in January last
year to set up the 1,320MW joint veture named ‘Bangladesh-India Friendship Power
Company Limited’ with equal partnership.
activists, and the local people of Rampal fear the plant will endanger the very
existence of the world’s largest mangrove forest, only 14 kilometres
The protesters have already held demonstrations against the
government move and threatened to thwart the foundation stone-laying ceremony on
Oct 22 if the project is not scrapped by Oct 11.
Hasina will inaugurate
the Bangladesh-India Power Transmission Centre and Bheramara 360 Combined Cycle
Power Plant at the same programme.
A total of 175 megawatt power from
India would be added to the National Grid starting from Saturday.
Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) is the coordinator of the import process. Its
Managing Director Chowdhury Alamgir Hossain on Sept 27 had said by the end of
October around 250MW of power will be imported.
Another 250MW is expected
to be bought from India’s private sector by next month.
Each unit will
not cost more than Tk 6 as per the agreement, Power Development Board (PDB)
member (company affairs) Tomal Chakrabarty had told bdnews24.com.
98 kilometres of conduction line had been set up since Aug 30 in the two
countries to facilitate the export-import process. Two switching stations have
been set up at Bangladesh’s Bheramara and India’s Bahrampur for power
Bangladesh is importing the power under a memorandum of
understanding signed during Hasina’s 2010 visit to New Delhi.
officials believe power outages would come down to some extent once 500MW is
added to the national grid.