Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed the opening of the 'Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline' as the beginning of a new chapter in India-Bangladesh ties, reports Hindustan Times.
"Under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the last few years. We are delighted that we've been able to contribute to this development journey of Bangladesh," the Indian premier said on Saturday after the inauguration of the first cross-border energy pipeline between the two countries.
Both the premiers jointly opened the 131.57-kilometre pipeline through a video conference as part of the two countries' bilateral cooperation in the energy sector.
PM Modi said the joint project is a perfect example of his 'Sonar Bangla', as envisioned by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding leader of Bangladesh and father of Sheikh Hasina.
Indian Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement, said that the operation of India- Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline will put in place a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective and environment friendly mode of transporting high-speed diesel (HSD) from India to Bangladesh and will further enhance cooperation in energy security between the two countries.
The Bangladesh portion of the pipeline – 126.57km – was built at a cost of INR 285 crore under the Indian Government's grant assistance, while the total cost was INR 377 crore.
State-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has been implementing the project under a 15-year deal, inked with India in 2017, to import 250,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes of diesel per annum from India.
Bangladesh will initially import 2,50,000 tonnes annually in the first three years, 3,00,000 tonnes in the next three, 3,50,000 tonnes in the 7th to 10th year and 4,00,000 tonnes from the 11th to 15th year of the deal.