Business Other News 23 Mar 2016 India gives power su ...

India gives power supply, gets Internet bandwith from Bangladesh

PTI | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Mar 23, 2016, 2:25 pm IST
Updated Mar 23, 2016, 7:03 pm IST
The eight north-eastern states would be immensely benefited with the opening of the third International Internet gateway. (Representational Image)
 The eight north-eastern states would be immensely benefited with the opening of the third International Internet gateway. (Representational Image)

Dhaka: Signalling burgeoning Indo-Bangla ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated100 MW power supply from Tripura to Bangladesh while Premier Sheikh Hasina launched the export of 10GBPS Internet connectivity to India simultaneously.

India started supplying 100 MW power from Tripura's Palatana to Comilla while Bangladesh launched supply of 10GBPS bandwidth from Cox's Bazar to Agartala.

"In this age of interdependence, the two countries would further strengthen its ties and it is a significant day that both are promoting the ways of development," Modi said during the programme organised via video-conferencing.

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

"Bangladesh would observe its National Day on March 26and 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," Modi said.

He was referring to 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding leader of Bangladesh and the father of Prime Minister Hasina. The eight north-eastern states would be immensely benefited with the opening of the third international Internet gateway, Modi said, adding that Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan have made considerable development in road links.

"Now India and Bangladesh is connected through water, surface communication and air. We want to be connected with Bangladesh though space also," Modi said. He said the festival of Holi has started in India and Bangladesh both would be coloured with new colours.

Modi also congratulated India and Bangladesh cricket teams for their World Twenty20 tie in Bengaluru. Hasina described "interconnectivity" as the "next frontier" of bilateral cooperation with India.

"It's not only physical connectivity that we want toachieve, rather connectivity of all types—virtual connectivity, connectivity of minds, knowledge, ideas andpeoples (which we want to attain)," she said.

"Today is yet another important and happy occasion in Bangladesh-India relations...exchanging electricity and (Internet) bandwidth is a 'fine display' of mutuality of our relationship," the Bangladeshi Premier said.

Hasina said she also believes that regional connectivity would unlock the endless potentials of the region. "We have agreed on the BBIN framework for sub-regional cooperation in road-rail networks, power grids and power trading to begin with. Under this, we are in the process of identifying hydropower projects in Bhutan and Nepal for joint development and investment," she said.

Tripura's Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, on the invitation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, also joined the programme from Agartala through video-conferencing.

Modi, while speaking on the occasion, said, "The two countries have set an example (before the world) that how to maintain relations with the neighbours and what could be the path for establishing an interdependent world."

The supply of 100 MW power from Tripura is in line with the decision taken at the 7th Joint Working Group meeting on Power in April in response to Bangladesh's goodwill gesture of allowing transport of over-oversized cargo during the construction of the Palatana power plant in Tripura in 2011.

Discussions on the pricing were finalised at the joint technical committee meeting held during the visit of Tripura's Power Minister to Dhaka on January 9, 2015. India's state-run Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) erected 400 KV d/c line from Agartala's Suryamaninagar to the Indian border while Power grid Corporation of Bangladesh Ltd built the transmission line from the border point to Comilla.

On the other hand, the bandwidth connection came as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) signed an agreement for leasing of international bandwidth for Internet at Akhaura during Modi's 2015 Dhaka visit, officials said.

BSCCL has laid the optical fibre cable for the 30 km distance from Brahmanbaria to Akhaura, which adjoins Agartala, while BSNL has set up international long distance (ILD)gateway at Agartala along with associated equipment.

India is already supplying 500 MW of power to Bangladesh through the Bahrampur-Bheramara inter-connection and supply of another 500 MW through the same interconnection was also announced during Modi's 2015 visit.

In addition, India's NTPC and Bangladesh' BPDB has entered into a Joint venture (BIFPCL) for commissioning of the1320 MW Rampal power project for which India's BHEL has been recently identified as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor.

The Internet bandwidth export will enable reliable and fast Internet connectivity for the people of Tripura as well as other part's of India's northeastern region. Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla and senior officials of the concerned ministries were among those present.

Hasina, in her speech, said, "We always remember India's cooperation during the liberation movement in 1971."On power supply, she said during her visit to Tripura in 2012, she discussed the matter of getting power from the state's Palatana project.

Hasina said her country was getting 500 MW power from India now and both the countries made considerable development in the field of cooperation through roads, railways and power.

She also thanked Prime Minister Modi and Tripura Chief Minister Sarkar for their cooperation.

Before this link, telecom connectivity or basic bandwidth for networks was provided to North East from Chennai via Kolkata. The new link will be now a short route cable between Cox Bazar cable landing station in Bangladesh to Agartala through Akhaura.

The cost of the project is Rs 19.1 crore and BSNL will bear annual operational expenditure of USD 1.2 million from its own resources. This link will deliver bandwidth of 10 Gbps, which can be extended up to 40 Gbps.

India is already supplying 500 MW of power to Bangladesh through the Bahrampur-Bheramara inter-connection. Supply of another 500 MW was announced during Modi's visit to Dhaka last year.

Also, NTPC and BPDB of Bangladesh are working on 1320 MW Rampal power project.

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