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PM to inaugurate power export to Bangla

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, March 8 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the 100MW power export to Bangladesh and the third International Internet Gateway (IIG) at Agartala on March 23, Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey said here today.

Modi will switch on the button of supplying 100 MW power, while Hasina will click the button for inaugurating the 10GB Internet bandwidth through video conference.

"External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar that Modi and Hasina would jointly launch the power supply and inaugurate the third IIG on March 23," Dey told media-persons here. "Swaraj also requested Sarkar to join the video conferencing programme to be held simultaneously in New Delhi and Dhaka," he said.

However, "the exact venue and time are yet to be communicated to the State government", Dey said after a Cabinet meeting today.

To improve the Internet capacity in the country, especially in the northeastern States, the Union Government has set up the IIG at Agartala, by availing the service from the Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited. After the formal opening of IIG, Tripura will be the third State to have such a gateway, after Mumbai and Chennai. All the north-eastern States are going to benefit from this gateway.

On being asked about the gas shortage, the Minister said there has been report of gas shortage leading to shut down of the Manarchak power plant. "Not only Manarchak, the Palatana power plant is also facing gas shortage, affecting the normal power generation," he said.

Dey said the ONGC and the GAIL must ensure gas supply so that power projects could run without any trouble, as the power plants came up after getting assurance from the ONGC.

IANS adds: The minister, who was recently in Dhaka and attended a series of meetings there to finalise the power tariff, said: "In Dhaka, several meetings were held to finalise the power tariff. It was decided that the electricity would be supplied to Bangladesh at a price of Rs 5.5 per unit." The Tripura government was ready to provide more power to Bangladesh if the Central government has no objection, Dey added.

The Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd and the Power Generation Company of Bangladesh, both government-run companies, have set up the 47-km transmission lines on their sides for electricity supply from the Tripura power plants.

Modi, during his visit to Dhaka on June 6-7 last year, discussed with Hasina about the power supply project from Tripura.

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