Modi thanks Bangladesh

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked Bangladesh for allowing transportation of heavy cargo like turbines for a 700MW power plant to be set up in its landlocked Tripura state.

Published : 2 Dec 2014, 07:40 AM
Updated : 2 Dec 2014, 11:56 AM

He welcomed the Bangladeshi dignitaries on the dais on Monday by saying ‘Bangladesher bisishtho othithi, aapnader amar antorik shubeccha’.

"I am thankful to Bangladesh for its help to India in transporting the turbines for this project through its territory," he said.

Modi said that in the recent SAARC summit where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was also present, it was decided that all the members of SAARC will treat energy as a common commodity and distribute it among themselves for mutual benefit.

"So if Bangladesh wants to purchase power from India, we are ready for it.”

Modi was addressing a large gathering at the inauguration of the second unit of the 726 MW power plant at Palatana in southern Tripura.

“The Palatana power project is an example of cooperation between India and Bangladesh and shows how through regional co-operation there is scope of development and bilateral benefits,” said Modi.

He offered 100 MW power to Bangladesh from the project and for which earlier the Bangladesh prime minister's Energy Affairs Advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, who was sharing the dais, had requested for during his address.

“Today I am giving this offer to Bangladesh from that place which has suffered along with Bangladesh for its freedom struggle. My friend from Bangladesh has just told me that after more than forty years he is visiting this state after the 1971 Liberation War."

Modi said that all the eight countries during the SAARC summit held in Nepal clinched a last-minute deal to create a regional electricity grid last month.

The prime minister said this was one of the biggest investments by the federal government which will supply power to seven northeastern states and thus shall play a vital role for all-round development of the region.

"With the help of central and state government, this 100 billion rupee project in Tripura will make its presence felt in the global green energy movement," Modi said.

The Indian prime minister said India and Japan had decided for setting an economic gateway in the region where Myanmar and Bangladesh will be included.

"An economic corridor would be established using northeast India, Myanmar and the adjoining regions. Northeast India would be a gateway of Southeast Asia in future and the government has signed an agreement with Japan to open an economic corridor with Myanmar, which would boost employment in the region," Modi said.

"We want development through energy sector and northeast India's unemployment problems would be solved through this sector. Japan and Germany have also promised to help northeast India in various ways."

The Indian prime minister said the northeast "would not remain backward now".

"As the gateway to Asia, it had the potential to move forward in this century, which was being called the century of Asia. Towards this end, the government is keen on building modern infrastructure in the northeast to unlock its potential."

Tripura’s Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had demanded Modi’s intervention for getting access to Chittagong port in Bangladesh.

The first unit of 363 MW of power plant was inaugurated by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on June 21, 2013.