Home India News India-Bangladesh ‘historic’ pacts in full swing: Tripura CM

India-Bangladesh ‘historic’ pacts in full swing: Tripura CM


Agartala : New Delhi and Dhaka have started implementing the agreements finalised during the January visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Friday.

Sarkar was in Dhaka last week to attend Bangladesh’s Independence and National Day celebrations.

During his two-day stay in Dhaka, Sarkar met the Bangladesh prime minister, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and leaders of different political parties besides business leaders.

“The Bangladesh prime minister, other ministers and leaders are deeply keen to improve communications, trade and business, and people-to-people relations with India’s northeastern states,” he told reporters.

Quoting Hasina and other leaders, Sarkar said the Bangladesh government would soon undertake a survey to set up a rail track connecting Tripura capital Agartala, the second rail link between the two neighbours after the Dhaka-Kolkata rail connection.

During Hasina’s New Delhi visit in January, it was agreed that the construction of the proposed Akhaura (Bangladesh railway station)-Agartala railway link would be financed by India. A joint team of the railway authorities of the two countries will identify the alignment for connectivity.

“Bangladesh has also commenced work for improvement of roads linking India, specially Agartala to Dhaka roads.”

“Senior ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) officials would visit Dhaka April 5 to finalise the transportation of heavy machineries and turbines for ONGC’s upcoming power project from Haldia port in West Bengal to land-locked Tripura via Bangladesh’s Ashuganj sea port,” he said.

Bangladesh had earlier agreed to allow India to use its waterways to transport heavy machines for ONGC’s under-construction 740 MW power project in south Tripura. The heavy machineries and turbines would be supplied by BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd) for the gas-based project, the biggest ever of ONGC and is expected to be operational by 2011.

Terming India-Bangladesh’s recent agreements as ‘path breaking and historic’, Sarkar said: “Tripura has no objection, if the Indian government agreed to supply power to Bangladesh from the ONGC’s forthcoming mega-power project.”

“Bangladesh government has accepted my proposal to construct a bridge over river Feni to connect India’s southern Tripura with Bangladesh’s Khagrachari for easy movement of men and materials between the two countries using Chittagong international port.”

The Bangladesh government has already agreed to allow India to use Chittagong international port, about 75 km from southern Tripura’s bordering town Sabroom, situated on the bank of Feni river.

Agartala is 1,650 km from Kolkata and 2,637 km from New Delhi via Guwahati whereas the distance between the Tripura capital and Kolkata via Bangladesh is about 350 km.

Sarkar said the Bangladesh prime minister will visit the northeastern state this year-end. Tripura University, a central university, will confer an honorary D.Litt degree upon Hasina during her proposed visit to Tripura.

“Hasina and other Bangladeshi leaders have expressed their deep gratitude to the people of Tripura, for the help they extended to Bangladeshi refugees who took shelter during the Liberation war in 1971,” Sarkar said.