Agartala, Oct 31 (IANS): India will start transmission of fresh 100 MW electricity from Tripura to Bangladesh by January and the government-owned company is working round-the-clock to erect the transmission line by December, an official said.
The decision was taken following a three-day (October 26-28) meet in New Delhi of the Indian and Bangladesh officials, Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limiited (TSECL) Deputy General Managar Mahananda Debbarma told IANS.
"The Indian government-owned Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) is working round-the-clock to erect the 47-km transmission line from western Tripura to southern Comilla (in eastern Bangladesh) by December this year.
"The PGCIL initially would invest Rs 250 crore to set up the 400 kv (kilovolt) double circuit transmission line and subsequently the Bangladesh government would reimburse the cost," the official added.
Debbarma, who attended the meet, said though power tariff was not yet decided but was discussed. However, it would be decided soon.
India's Power Ministry's Director (Transmission) Ghanshyam Prasad led the Indian delegation while senior officials of Bangladesh Power Ministry and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) were present in the meeting.
"Of the 47-km transmission line, 18 km line would be raised in the Indian (Tripura) territory and remaining in the Bangladesh portion. Altogether 143 transmission towers (67 in India and 76 in Bangladesh) would be set up," the official added.
Electricity-starved Bangladesh will begin receiving 100 MW of power from Tripura to meet the energy crisis in the eastern part of the country.
The 100 MW power will be in addition to the 500 MW Bangladesh already receives from the West Bengal and a like amount that is on the cards from the State, as the two neighbours enter a new phase of bilateral cooperation for regional benefit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the power supply from Tripura with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during Dhaka-visit last June. He had declared that India would enhance the supply of power to Bangladesh from the existing 500 MW to 1,100 MW.
Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey after holding meetings with PGCIL engineers and officials told IANS: "I have asked the PGCIL authorities to expedite the works to fulfil our commitment given to Bangladesh about supplying 100 MW of power."
"While erecting new power transmission lines from (western Tripura's) Surjyamaninagar power grid to Comilla power grid (in eastern Bangladesh) to supply the electricity, human habitations, forests and other vital installations would be avoided," Dey added.
MK Chowdhury, the TSECL's Director (Technical), said the Indian government has submitted a proposal to send power from the northeast region to others parts of India via Bangladesh. "No formal decision has been taken so far in this regard," he added.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had earlier said that after completion of a new 101 MW gas-based power projects at Monarchak (10 km from the Bangladesh border) in western Tripura, at least 200 MW of power would be surplus in Tripura.
The Central government-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has commissioned its biggest ever 726 MW commercial power project at Palatana, 60 km from Agartala, while the state-run North East Electric Power Corporation is setting up a 101 MW project at Monarchak in western Tripura, 70 km from Agartala.
The gas based Palatana project, which supplies power in seven of the eight northeastern states, is a hallmark of the cooperation between India and Bangladesh, which ensured the smooth passage of heavy project equipment and turbines to Palatana through its territory by road and waterways from Haldia port in West Bengal.
India had begun supplying 500 MW of power to Bangladesh in 2013 after the government-run Bangladesh Power Development Board and India's NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN), a subsidiary of NTPC, signed a deal Feb 28, 2012, following an agreement signed during Hasina's visit to New Delhi in January 2010.