Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that relations between India and Bangladesh have reached new heights and that New Delhi has considered the approach of 'Sabka Saath Sanka Vikas" with Dhaka as well.
"We have considered our approach of 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' for our neighbour country Bangladesh also. We take pride in being the biggest development partner for Bangladesh. In the last nine years, an aid of $10 billion has been given. The list of our achievements is very long," Modi said while virtually inaugurating three projects, built through Indian aid, along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
The projects are the Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link; Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line; and Unit–II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant."We took the decision of the three projects that have been inaugurated today and we got the chance of inaugurating them too. I express gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the success of our joint efforts," he added.
Modi went on to the say that "in the last nine years, our internal trade has tripled"."Today the inauguration of the Akhaura-Agartala rail link is a historic moment.This is the first rail link between Bangladesh and the northeastern states of India. Tripura has had a strong bond with Bangladesh since the days of its Liberation struggle, I am happy that we have inaugurated the second unit of the Maitree Thermal Power Project.
"For establishing peace, security and stability at the border, we signed the Land Boundary Agreement which had been delayed for decades. We also solved the maritime boundary... In the last nine years, three new bus services have been started connecting Dhaka, Shillong, Agartala, Guwahati and Kolkata. Three new train services have also started in the last nine years.
"Since 2020, parcel and container trains are also running between India and Bangladesh. By starting the world's biggest cruise, Ganga Vilas, between India and Bangladesh, tourism has also been boosted," the Prime Minister added.
Modi further said that it was a matter of joy that "once again we have connected to celebrate the success of India-Bangladesh cooperation"."Our relations are reaching new heights continuously. The work we have done together in the last 9 years was not done even in the decades before this."
On her part, Hasina expressed her gratitude to the Indian government "for your commitment to strengthening the bonds of friendship between our two countries"."I would like to thank you, Modi Ji, for your hospitality during my visit to New Delhi in September 2023 to attend the G20 Leaders Summit. I express my heartfelt gratitude for your commitment towards strengthening the bonds of friendship between the two countries."
The Bangladeshi leader also appreciated the gesture of screening of a biopic on Bangladesh's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by both the nations.It is a joint co-production by India and Bangladesh.
"I would like to extend my deep appreciation and thankfulness to PM Modi. The screening (of Mujib The Making Of A Nation, a biopic of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) is now going on, both in Bangladesh and India," Hasina said.
The Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link project has been executed under the Centre's grant assistance of Rs 392.52 crore extended to Bangladesh.The length of the rail link is 12.24 km with a 6.78 km dual gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura.
The Khulna-Mongla Port rail line project has been implemented under the Centre's concessional line of credit with a total project cost of $388.92 million.The project entails construction of approximately 65 kms of broad gauge rail route between Mongla Port and the existing rail network in Khulna.
With this, Mongla, the second largest port of Bangladesh, gets connected with the broad-gauge railway network.The Maitree Super Thermal Power Project under Indian Concessional Financing Scheme loan of $1.6 billion, is a 1320 MW (2x660) Super Thermal Power Plant (MSTPP) located in Rampal, Khulna division.
The project has been implemented by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Private) Limited (BIFPCL), which is a 50:50 joint venture company between India's NTPC Ltd and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).
Unit I of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant was unveiled jointly by both Prime Ministers in September 2022. The operationalisation of Maitree super thermal power plant will enhance energy security in Bangladesh.