India looking to export hydropower to Bangladesh
India today said it is looking to export surplus hydropower from its northeastern states to Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Virtually addressing a meeting where chief ministers of eight northeastern states were present, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said Bangladesh is importing 1,160 MW of power through adjoining states in India and the hydropower of the Himalayas has been used for the joint benefits of the North East and its neighbours through hydroelectric projects in Bhutan.
Pointing out that rivers have historically played an important role in connecting the people and business in the region encompassing the North East and the neighbouring countries, he said a plan for 20 port townships along the Brahmaputra and Barak river systems to enhance inland water connectivity could galvanise multimodal linkages in the entire region.
"This region was served by our common rivers, particularly Brahmaputra and Barak-Surma, which were used extensively for facilitating trade and commerce, and people-to-people contact. Recognising this, considerable efforts have been made in recent years to augment inland waterways connectivity between the North East and Bangladesh," Shringla pointed out.
Shringla said India and Bangladesh are working on building an India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline so that hydrocarbons from refineries in Assam can flow through this pipeline into Bangladesh.
Referring to prime ministers of India and Bangladesh jointly inaugurating the rail link between Haldibari in West Bengal and Chilahati in Bangladesh during the virtual summit held on Thursday, he said work is ongoing on the pre-1965 rail link between Kulaura and Shahbazpur in Bangladesh and Karimganj in Assam in India.
A railway connectivity that links Akhaura in Bangladesh to Agartala is under construction and will be ready by 2022 when India will commemorate 75th anniversary of its independence, Shringla said.