India-Bangladesh Relations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina on Saturday inaugurated the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, a Rs 377-crore pipeline project to supply diesel to northern Bangladesh. After this project, the cost of supplying diesel from India to Bangladesh will be reduced and carbon emissions will also be reduced. Modi said during the inauguration that a new chapter of India-Bangladesh relations is starting with this pipeline. At present, diesel is supplied from India to Bangladesh through a 512 kilometer long rail route. The 131.5 km long pipeline will supply one million tonnes of diesel every year from Numaligarh in Assam to Bangladesh.
Both countries will benefit from this
According to PM Modi, this will not only reduce the transport cost, but also reduce carbon emissions. This pipeline is especially important in the context of many developing countries struggling for fertilizer and energy security. The construction of the pipeline project started in 2018. This is the first cross-border energy pipeline between the two countries. It has been built at a cost of about Rs 377 crore, of which Rs 285 crore has been spent on laying the pipeline in Bangladesh. India has spent this amount under grant aid. The foundation stone of this pipeline was laid by both the Prime Ministers in September 2018. Numaligarh Refinery Limited has been supplying petroleum products to Bangladesh since 2015. Prime Minister Modi thanked Sheikh Hasina for her constant suggestions regarding the project and expressed hope of working further for the benefit of the people of both the countries. He said that the work on the pipeline continued despite the Covid pandemic and this would reduce the transportation expenditure. Along with this, carbon emissions will also be reduced by supplying diesel through this route as compared to the alternative route.
It is beneficial for agriculture sector
Reliable and sustainable diesel supply will be beneficial for the agriculture sector. Industries will also benefit from this. Prime Minister Modi said that this pipeline will accelerate the development of Bangladesh and will prove to be a great example of increasing connectivity between the two countries. Referring to the energy trade between the two countries, he said that the petroleum trade between the two countries has crossed one billion dollars. Bangladesh is India’s largest development partner and largest trading partner in the region. The Maitri pipeline will provide a boost to Bangladesh’s development, especially in the agriculture sector, while continuing energy cooperation between the two countries. Initially, diesel will be supplied to seven districts of northern Bangladesh. Trade relations between India and Bangladesh are growing rapidly. Bangladesh is the fourth largest country in the world for Indian exports. India exported about 16 billion dollars to this neighboring country. The two countries are currently negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which could double India’s exports to Bangladesh.