India begins power supply to B'desh, Dhaka opens bandwidth

     
March 24, 2016

NEW DELHI: Taking Indo-Bangladesh relations forward, India has begun supplying electricity to Bangladesh in return for Internet bandwidth to connect the north- eastern States.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday launched the projects through video conference.

Modi inaugurated the 100 megawatt (MW) power supply from Tripura to Bangladesh while Sheikh Hasina switched on the supply of 10 Gigabits per second Internet bandwidth.

“In my opinion this is an historic occasion,” Modi said, adding India is marching shoulder-to-shoulder with Bangladesh in its progress and today is the opening of a new chapter. "In an era of inter-dependent world, the two nations have further strengthened their ties."

“The relation between the countries has further consolidated through the supply of power and Internet bandwidth,” said Hasina.

For the power supply, the PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd has erected 400 KV line from Suryamaninagar (Agartala) to the Indian border. The PowerGrid Corporation of Bangladesh has laid a line from there to Comilla.

A new gateway to give broadband connectivity to the North-East States via Bangladesh was also opened.

“We have gateways in west and south but the entire east was untouched. As part of my Act East policy, this gateway in the east is very important. The opening of eastern gateway in association with Bangladesh will bring connectivity to eastern region, particularly Assam, Tripura and Sikkim,” Modi said.

Road connectivity between Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Bhutan had been initiated. "Today we are doing electricity and digital connectivity... we have to cooperate in space too. It is our desire that Bangladesh joins India in space satellite mission too," he said.

"Bangladesh would observe its National day on March 26 and I pay my respect to the memory of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh. The era of good relations began during the time of 'Bangabandhu' between the two countries which still continues," said Modi.

Hasina said: "We always remember India's cooperation during the liberation movement in 1971."

Hasina said her country was getting 500 MW power from India at present. She also thanked Prime Minister Modi and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar for their cooperation.

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Co Ltd (BSCCL) has laid a 30-km optical fibre cable from Brahmanbaria to Akhaura, adjoining Agartala, while the State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has set up an international long distance (ILD) gateway at Agartala along with associated equipment. There is an international bandwidth cable at Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh.

Telecom connectivity or basic bandwidth for networks till now was provided to the North East from Chennai via Kolkata.

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