Bangladesh has agreed to provide India a ‘power corridor’ to help its neighbour link its north-eastern and north-western parts with electricity transmission lines spanning Bangladesh territory.
The Joint Steering Committee of the two countries has agreed to explore the possibility having such connectivity.
The power lines will run from Rangia Raota, in Assam, to Borakpur, in Bihar, through Dinajpur’s Boro Pukuria, the power secretaries of the two countries told reporters after the seventh meeting of the Bangladesh-India joint steering committee on power cooperation.
The two sides met at Hotel Ruposhi Bangla in capital Dhaka on Thursday.
They said Bangladesh would rightfully draw an agreed amount of power from the network.
Power Secretary Monowar Islam led the Bangladeshi delegation, while Indian Power Secretary PK Sinha led the Indian side.
For the past few years, India has been looking for ways to transmit electricity from its north-eastern state of Assam to Bihar by using a new electricity network passing through Bangladesh.
The technical committee settled for the Arunachal-Assam-Barapukuria-Bihar route after weighing three options.
The network will be able to transmit some 6,000-7,000 megawatt of electricity.
Monowar Islam told reporters, “Today’s high point is that the Indian technical committee has placed a report, which we’ve approved in principle.”
This serves as the basis on which the two countries have formed another technical team to examine a second grid line, he said
Indian Power Secretary PK Sinha said: “It’s a historic decision.”
“A joint technical team has been constituted to explore another grid link from north-eastern India to Bihar via Bangladesh. We’ve selected one of the three options for grid interconnection. It will be able to transmit 6000 megawatt of electricity,” Sinha said.
But it is not yet unclear the amount of electricity Bangladesh stands to get from the deal.
“I think it’s not the right time for calculation,” Islam said when asked about the quantum of Bangladesh’s benefit.
He described this regional cooperation as a “win-win situation” in which both countries expected to benefit. “We’ll definitely get some electricity from the power network,” he added, an assurance Sinha readily endorsed.
The Indian Power Secretary said there was a huge hydroelectricity potential waiting to be tapped in north-eastern India, and that Bangladesh could be a beneficiary.
“Arunachal Pradesh one alone has a 50,000 megawatt of hydroelectricity potential. Several projects were being planned; others were being executed,” he said, assuring that some of the generated power it will go to Bangladesh.
Thursday’s meeting also decided in principle that Bangladesh would import 130 megawatts of electricity from India.
The meeting also agreed to explore the possibility of Bangladesh getting another 500 MW from the Indian power market through the 71-kilometer Bheramara-Baharampur grid to boost the Bheramara substation in Bangladesh.
Several steps have been initiated to increase India-Bangladesh electricity cooperation after the Awami League came to power in January 2009.
The first inter-country power grid in South Asia was commissioned in October 2013 between Baharampur (India) and Bheramara (Bangladesh) to facilitate the transmission of 500MW from India to power-starved Bangladesh.
Under a joint venture, Bangladesh and India have set up a 1320MW coal-fired power plant at Rampal Upazila in Bagerhat district.
Source: Bd news24