Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured of prompt measures to provide 100MW electricity to Bangladesh from Tripura’s Paltana power plant.
He gave this assurance to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a meeting on the sidelines of BIMSTEC summit at Myanmar, said the Prime Minister’s special aide Mahbubul Haque Shakil.
The two leaders met for the first time since Bangladesh’s controversial parliamentary election on Jan 5, which saw the return of Hasina for the second consecutive term.
Hasina requested her counterpart to increase India’s cooperation in Bangladesh’s power sector, according to Shakil.
“She especially requested Manmohan Singh for the 100MW electricity from Tripura. Singh has assured prompt measures”, said the PM’s aide.
According to a MoU signed in 2010, India currently sells 500MW of electricity to Bangladesh.
But it needs more electricity to meet the country’s growing demand. Accordingly, it expressed its interest to buy 100MW of electricity from Tripura’s 700MW Paltana power plant.
Bangladesh allowed India to transport the equipments for the Paltana plant over its land through the Ashuganj Transhipment arrangement.
Mentioning India as the “closest neighbour”, Hasina said the two countries could work together in such areas as electricity, connectivity, trade and investment, according to Shakil.
She also mooted the idea of a regional hydro-power initiative among Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan to solve the region’s chronic power shortage.
The two leaders also discussed the long-overdue land border agreement between the two countries, the PM’s aide said.
Hasina thanked Singh for tabling the land border protocol at the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament.
India needs to amend its Constitution to implement the 1973 treaty and the 2011 protocol. The treaty stipulates exchange of 7,110 acres of Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 17,160 acres of Bangladeshi enclaves in India.
“On Teesta deal, Sheikh Hasina told her Indian counterpart that the Bangladeshi people were awaiting India’s positive and effective measures on it,” said Shakil.
The Teesta deal was supposed to be inked during Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in 2011 but was stalled due to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banarjee’s opposition.
Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid, foreign secretary Sujatha Singh and national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon were present in the meeting while the Bangladesh delegation included state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam, foreign secretary Shahidul Haque and ambassador-at-large M Zia Uddin.
Source: Bd news24