People-to-people links to take the two countries' prosperity to new heights, says the Indian premier
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday appreciated his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina's development goals of transforming Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.
"Closer relations and people-to-people links between the two countries will take our development and prosperity to new heights," he said while addressing a function to dedicate three projects in Bangladesh, reports UNB.
Modi reiterated his view that leaders of neighbouring countries should have a relationship like neighbours, talking and visiting frequently, without getting bogged down by protocol.
He said this closeness was evident in the frequent interactions between him and the Bangladesh prime minister.
He recalled Sheikh Hasina's vision of restoring connectivity to the way it was before 1965 and said he was happy that there had been steady progress towards this goal in the last few years.
"Today, we've increased our power connectivity, and started two projects to increase our railway connectivity," he said.
During his visit to Bangladesh in 2015, Modi recalled, it had been decided to supply an additional 500MW of electricity to Bangladesh.
He said this was being done using the transmission link between West Bengal and Bangladesh and thanked the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her facilitation in completion of this work.
With the completion of this project, Modi said, 1.16 gigawatt of power was now being supplied from India to Bangladesh.
He said this journey from megawatts to gigawatts was symbolic of a golden era in the relations between India and Bangladesh.
The Indian premier said the Akhaura-Agartala rail connectivity would provide another link in the cross-border connectivity between the two countries, and thanked the Tripura chief minister for his facilitation in completion of this work.
Sheikh Hasina, Modi, Mamata and Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb jointly inaugurated three projects in Bangladesh via videoconference on Monday.
Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had also joined the videoconference from Dhaka and Delhi, respectively, among others.
The projects include 500MW additional power supply through the existing Bheramara (Bangladesh) - Baharampur (India) interconnection; Kulaura-Shahbazpur Section Rehabilitation of Bangladesh Railway and Akhaura-Agartala Dual-Gauge Rail Connectivity (Bangladesh part).