The two premiers have also inaugurated the constructions of two railway projects
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi yesterday jointly inaugurated the construction work of 130km Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline between Shiliguri in West Bengal and Parbatipur in Dinajpur.
Hasina and Modi opened the work of the oil pipeline through a videoconference from Dhaka and New Delhi, respectively, on Tuesday afternoon, reports UNB.
Besides the pipeline, they also inaugurated the construction of the third and fourth dual-gauge rail lines in Dhaka-Tongi section and the dual-gauge rail line in Tongi-Joydebpur section of Bangladesh Railway.
Dubbing the pipeline a new milestone, Hasina said: "This will be the first such pipeline through which refined diesel will be supplied to Parbatipur depot from Numaligarh of Assam in India.”
The first consignment of diesel from India had reached Bangladesh in March 2016 through rail wagons, she added.
During the videoconference, the prime minister said that she looked forward to continued support from India for Bangladesh’s development pursuit.
Referring to the joint inauguration of 500MW electricity supply to Bangladesh from India and two other railway projects on September 10 and yesterday’s projects, Hasina said: "This intermittent contact between us, I believe, will further cement our ties of cooperation."
She expressed her gratitude to her Indian counterpart Modi for his active role in implementing these projects.
The Indian prime minister said that the two countries implemented a number of projects within a short time which are the symbols of good relations.
"We are not only neighbours, we are also a family. We always extend our hands in our happiness and sorrow. We have proved that we could solve problems if we wish,” he said.
"These projects are very important for people-to-people contact between the two countries. I hope such cooperation between Bangladesh and India will continue," Modi said.
Through the cross-border pipeline, India will supply fuel oil from its Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL), located at Golaghat in the northeastern state of Assam, while Bangladesh will receive the oil at Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in Dinajpur. India will supply 2,50,000 tons of diesel in the first three years.
The import of fuel through the pipeline will be raised further as per the requirements of Bangladesh. The NRL will distribute diesel for 15 years through the pipeline and the time could be expanded following the consent of both sides.
To implement the construction work on the two rail projects, over Tk1,106 crore under Indian Line of Credit (LoC) would be spent.
Under the two projects, 48.80km of two new dual gauge rail lines would be constructed on Dhaka-Tongi route, while a 12.28km new dual gauge railway double line on Tongi-Joydevpur route, in parallel with the existing rail tracks.