Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the government has planned to import 9000 MW of electricity from neighbouring countries by 2041 to maintain the country’s high economic growth.
“We’ve a plan to import 9000 MW electricity from neighbouring countries by 2041,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a ceremony marking the inauguration of 500 MW Additional Power Supply from India to Bangladesh through Behrampore-Bheramara inter-connection jointly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee through videoconferencing.
Sheikh Hasina joined the ceremony from Ganobhaban while Narendra Modi from New Delhi and Mamata Banerjee from Kolkata.
At that time, Hasina and Modi along with Tripura CM Biplob Kumar Dey also launched groundbreaking of Agartala-Akhaura rail-link as well as groundbreaking for rehabilitation of Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railway through videoconferencing.
Hasina said Bangladesh needs more energy to keep up its high economic growth and the government is planning to import electricity from neighbours under the regional cooperation framework.
Expressing the hope that neighbouring India will remain by Bangladesh in its endeavour, she said Narendra Modi would take necessary steps regarding Mamata’s offer to supply additional 1,000 MW of electricity to Bangladesh.
She said the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India have now turned into a role model for the rest of the world as mutual trust, respect and good will between the two countries have made it mature over the years.
The Prime Minister extended her thanks to her Indian counterpart for supporting Bangladesh in its development pursuit.
In recent years, she said, the two nations witnessed a remarkable progress on cooperation in a host of areas, including trade and commerce, power and energy, connectivity, infrastructure development and people-to-people contact.
Hasina said both sides have also ventured into new areas such as blue economy and maritime cooperation, nuclear energy, cyber security, space research and so on.
Terming the power sector a ‘crucial element’ of bilateral cooperation, she said currently, Bangladesh is importing 660 MW of electricity from India while steps have also been taken to import 3,000 MW more from it.
Referring to her government’s success in increasing the power generation capacity, the Prime Minister said the capacity has now stood at more than 20,000 MW from 3,200 MW over the past nine and a half years.
She said the government is building additional 55 power plants having the generation capacities of 13,690 MW.
About cooperation in the railway sector, Hasina said Bangladesh and India are experiencing enhanced cooperation and working to reopen the pre-1965 rail links for cargo transport between the two countries.
She hoped that both sides will soon jointly inaugurate the groundbreaking for the construction of the 3rd and 4th dual gauge rail tracks between Dhaka and Tongi, and doubling the dual gauge tracks between Tongi and Joydevpur funded by India under its Line of Credit.
The Prime Minister expressed optimism that both the countries will have many more similar happy occasions in the days to come to jointly celebrate success stories of the collective endeavours.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and the chief ministers of West Bengal and Tripura also spoke on the occasion.
Railways Minister M Mazibul Hoque, Prime Minister’s Advisers HT Imam, Dr Gowher Rizvi and Dr Towfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla were present at Ganobhaban.
Earlier, a documentary was screened highlighting the Bangladesh-India cooperation on various sectors.