On November 1, 2023, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Bangladesh's Prime Minister, H.E. Sheikh Hasina, collaboratively inaugurated three groundbreaking development projects. This joint venture highlights the robust alliance between the two nations.
The Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link is a standout effort facilitated by the Government of India, extending grant assistance of INR 392.52 crore to Bangladesh. Covering 12.24kilometers, this project involves a 6.78 km Dual Gauge rail line within Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura. Its significance lies in fortifying cross-border connectivity, enhancing economic ties, and fostering invaluable people-to-people exchanges.
Under the patronage of the Government of India's concessional Line of Credit, the Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line Project emerges as a transformative step. With a total investment of USD 388.92 million, this initiative focuses on constructing roughly 65 kilometres of the broad-gauge rail route, linking the Mongla Port to the existing rail network in Khulna. This integration of Bangladesh's second-largest port, Mongla, into the broad-gauge railway network is set to catalyze trade and commerce, streamlining the movement of goods and enhancing logistical capabilities.
The collaborative synergy continues with the Maitree Super Thermal Power Project, operating under an Indian Concessional Financing Scheme loan of USD 1.6 billion. This 1320 MW (2x660) Super Thermal Power Plant, located in Rampal, Khulna Division, Bangladesh, is a joint venture between India's NTPC Ltd and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) through the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Private) Limited (BIFPCL). The joint inauguration of Unit 2 on November 1, 2023, following the unveiling of Unit 1 in September 2022, emphasizes the commitment to fortifying Bangladesh's energy security. Its operationalization is poised to significantly transform Bangladesh's energy landscape.
Beyond mere infrastructural advancements, these projects exemplify a shared dedication to regional progress, amplifying connectivity and ensuring energy security within South Asia. The establishment of cross-border rail linkages and the reinforcement of port infrastructure form the groundwork for heightened trade, economic collaboration, and strengthened cultural ties among people.
Furthermore, the concerted efforts in the energy sector address the critical necessity for sustainable and reliable power sources, promising an overall upliftment of Bangladesh's socio-economic fabric. The Maitree Super Thermal Power Project signifies a pivotal step toward Bangladesh's journey to achieve self-sufficiency in energy, marking a significant milestone in the nation's developmental trajectory.
The joint inauguration of these projects stands as a testament to the strong commitment of India and Bangladesh toward fostering robust ties and regional development. These initiatives, with their focus on enhancing connectivity and fortifying energy security, pave the way for a more integrated and prosperous South Asian region, where cooperation and mutual support are the guiding principles of progress.