Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi today jointly inaugurated the 12.24 km Akhaura-Agartala cross-border rail link, hoping to foster possibilities in trade, business, tourism and people to people contact.
The two leaders jointly opened the rail link unveiling the inaugural plaque by pressing button through video conferencing, from Dhaka and New Delhi.
At the same programme, they also jointly inaugurated India-assisted two more development projects, Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line; and Unit – II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant.
Chief Minister of India’s Tripura Dr Manik Saha also virtually joined the event.
The 12.24 km Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link project with a 6.78 km Dual Gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura has been implemented under India grant assistance of INR 392.52 crore.
On Monday, the trial run took place on this route by a cargo train that travelled from Bangladesh’s Gangasagar to Nischintapur railway station in Agartala while the trial run of passenger train will be conducted soon.
The Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line project has been implemented with India’s concessional Line of Credit as its total project cost is $388.92 million (69.18 percent funding came from Indian LoC).
The construction work of the approximately 64.7km rail line was completed at a cost of Tk 4,260 crore which to usher in new opportunities in trade and commerce in the country’s southwestern region, including the Mongla Port.
With opening of the rail link, Mongla, the second largest port of Bangladesh, has got connected to the broad-gauge railway network.
The Maitree Super Thermal Power Project under Indian Concessional Financing Scheme loan of $1.6 billion, features 1320MW (2×660) Super Thermal Power Plant (MSTPP) located in Rampal in Khulna Division.
The plant help meet the growing demand of power in Bangladesh.
The project has been implemented by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Private) Limited (BIFPCL), which is a 50:50 Joint Venture company between India’s NTPC Ltd and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).
Unit I of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant was unveiled jointly by the two prime ministers in September 2022 as Unit 2 was inaugurated today.
The operationalization of Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant will enhance energy security in Bangladesh.