Manmohan’s move to supply power hailed

UNB, Dhaka :
The government of the Indian state of Tripura has welcomed the assurance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to supply 100mw of power to Bangladesh’s national grid from the state.
“The state government has been persuading the Centre (Indian central govt) for a long time in this regard. Though late, it would still help further strengthen bilateral relationship between the neighbours,” said Tripura industries and commerce minister Jitendra Choudhury on Thursday, reports The Times of India.
The Indian PM made the assurance at a bilateral meeting with Bangladesh
 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the third Bimstec Summit in Myanmar on Tuesday.
Choudhury also welcomed Singh’s proposal that India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan can set up hydro-electric plants in joint ventures to solve the growing power crisis of the region.
He also appreciated Bangladesh’s move in the meeting to explore enhanced connectivity with India that sought introduction of a Dhaka-Guwahati direct flight and the opening of two more deputy high commissions in Guwahati and Chennai.
Choudhury pointed out that India had given duty- and quota-free access to Bangladeshi products to its market, and India is also looking for a similar benefit from Bangladesh because the bilateral trade balance of Bangladesh is heavily tilted towards India.
Records show that the export of Bangladeshi goods to India totalled $563.96 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year against the import of $4,776.10 million from India, he added.
“Unless Bangladesh allowed us to use Ashujang sea port and roads towards the Indian side by shifting the houses of commoners, market, community halls, religious places and vast cultivable land for transportation of heavy equipment, Palatana could have not come up,” Choudhury said.
With the commissioning of first unit at Palatana, Tripura has appeared to be self-sufficient in power and once the second unit of Palatana and Monarchak comes up, which is expected by this year, more than 100 MW of power would be surplus.
Tripura has to sell out surplus power and in that case, transporting power from Palatana and Monarchak to Bangladesh will be easier because both projects are close to the Indo-Bangla border, he added.