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India, Bangladesh inch closer, says PM: New rail, power projects launched


New Delhi, India and Bangladesh have inched "more closer" with the inauguration of new rail and power projects between the two countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. Inaugurating three projects jointly with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said: "aaj theke aamra aro kachey elam (We have come more closer from today)". Under the new initiatives, 500 megawatts (MW) more electricity are going to be added to the national grid from India as part of India-Bangladesh cooperation in power and energy sector. Ms Hasina and Mr Modi will jointly inaugurate the power supply to Bangladesh-India Power Interconnection Grid at Bheramara of Kushtia through a video conference. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chief Ministers of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee and Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb were also part of the video conference event. Prime Minister Modi also pledged Indian cooperation with the Bangladesh government and also the Sheikh Hasina administration in particular for her vision to make Bangladesh a middle income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041. "It will be a matter of pride for us to cooperate and extend you all help," Mr Modi assured Ms Hasina. Joining the programme from Ganabhaban in Dhaka, Ms Hasina with Indian Prime Minister in Delhi, both the leaders also jointly launched the newly-constructed 500 MW HVDC back-to-back station 2nd Block at Bheramara. The sources said of the 500 MW electricity, 300 MW will come from India’s state-run National Thermal Power Plant, while 200 MW will come from private Power Trading Corporation of India. With the addition of 500 MW electricity, the amount of import of electricity from India will stand at 1160 MW. At present, Bangladesh is importing 660 MW electricity from India. Sheikh Hasina thanked India for cooperation and extended special compliments to Prime Minister Modi and also the Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Biplab Deb. The two Prime Ministers also inaugurated construction work of the Bangladesh part of Akhaura-Agartala Dual Gauge rail line project.They also gave nod to commence the construction work of Kulaura-Shahbajpur section rehabilitation project of Bangladesh Railway through the video conference.

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