NEW DELHI: Expanding cross-border linkages in the Bay of Bengal region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday jointly inaugurated three India-assisted development projects in railways, power and port sectors.
The three projects, Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link, Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line, and Unit–II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant, will widen cross-border connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region.
The projects are expected to strengthen the position of the Hasina government amid violence in Bangladesh ahead of January general elections.
Addressing the inauguration event, Modi emphasised the focus placed by the two countries on developing infrastructure and connectivity to meet the aspirations of people, and said that over the past nine years, both sides launched three new bus services and as many rail services. Both the sides also opened four new immigration check posts and launched container and parcel trains in 2022, he said.
Modi further said Bangladesh’s Chattogram and Mongla ports have been linked to India’s northeastern states and the connectivity initiatives served as a lifeline during the Covid-19 pandemic when more than 4,000 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen was transported to Bangladesh.
“The inauguration of the Akhaura-Agartala rail link is a historic moment as this is the first rail link between India’s northeastern states and Bangladesh… The Khulna-Mongla link will connect Mongla port to trade centres in Dhaka and Kolkata,” he said.
“The joint inauguration of these important projects manifests the firm friendship and collaboration between our two friendly countries. I would like to thank PM Modi for the warm hospitality during my visit in September 2023 to attend the G20 Summit,” the Bangladesh Prime Minister said.
Source: The Economic Times