NEW DELHI, Sept 18 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina today jointly launched the construction of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Product Pipeline Project through video conference.
The project also includes the Dhaka-Tongi-Joydebpur railway line. The 6-km Indian leg of the product pipeline project will be implemented by the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), while the remaining 124 km of the pipeline project will be implemented by the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.
The project will replace the existing practice of sending diesel to Bangladesh by rail, covering a distance of 510 km. The capacity of the product pipeline will be one million metric tonnes per annum.
Inaugurating the project, Modi, who was joined by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, said the ease in ties between the two countries is not because of technology, but growing relationship. �Geographically we are neighbours, but emotionally we are one family. To partner in good and bad times and to share in each other�s development is example of our close ties,� he said.
The Prime Minister said the new product pipeline would further energize not just Bangladesh�s economy but also the relationship between the two countries. He expressed confidence that the proposed railway project will also contribute to the process of strengthening national and urban transport in Bangladesh.
�I am confident that the pipeline project will be a major asset for development of Bangladesh... The pipeline will boost ties between India and Bangladesh... The railway project will help in developing Bangladesh national railway network,� he said.
�In ten days, we have inaugurated five projects. The momentum is because of your leadership. In coming days, we will work for bright future of the people of India and Bangladesh,� Modi said.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister said development of South Asia is a major challenge and cooperation between the two countries will further boost economic development of South Asia. �In the recent past cooperation in different sectors have given new boost to our relationship,� Hasina said.
Earlier, Swaraj said the way the project�s progress is being pursued by the two governments �is testimony to our joint commitment, broadening and intensifying the India-Bangladesh relationship.� Pradhan said the project will go a long way in strengthening Indo-Bangla ties.
India and Bangladesh had entered into an agreement for the pipeline project in April this year during Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale�s visit to Dhaka. The 130-km pipeline will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh. The estimated project cost will be Rs 346 crore and it will be completed in 30 months.