Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were jointly inaugurating the construction of 130-km Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline between Siliguri in West Bengal and Parbatipur in Dinajpur on Tuesday.
They opened the work on the oil pipeline through videoconferencing.
Sheikh Hasina attended the videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban while Narendra Modi from his office in New Delhi, according to a report of UNB.
About the pipeline, the Prime Minister said the 130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline from Shiliguri to Parbatipur in Bangladesh is a new milestone in the history of cooperation between the two countries.
“This will be the first such pipeline through which refined diesel will be supplied to Parbatipur depot from Numaligarh of Assam in India,” she said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that Bangladesh will initially receive 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel per annum and it will gradually be increased to 4 lakh tonnes.
She also said the first consignment of diesel from India reached Bangladesh in March 2016 through rail wagons.
Hasina expressed her gratitude to her Indian counterpart for his active role in implementing these projects.
Referring to her inauguration together with Modi of the supply of 500MW electricity and two railway projects on September 10 and today’s joint projects, the Prime Minister said, “This intermittent contact between us, I believe, will further cement the ties of cooperation between Bangladesh and India.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two countries implemented a number of projects within a short time which are the symbols of good relations between the two countries.
Modi said these projects have initiated a new chapter in the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India.
“It’ll play a significant role in Bangladesh`s development as fuel oil could be supplied to the northern region at a low cost,” he said.
Currently, imported oil is stored in Chattogram depot after unloading it from the ship at Chattogram Port. Later, the oil is brought to Khulna Doulatpur depot through coastal tanks and carried to Parbatipur again through rail wagons.
This requires additional time and money as well as transport. The pipeline will solve these problems.
Through the cross-border pipeline, India will supply fuel oil from its Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL), located at Golaghat in the northeastern state of Assam, while Bangladesh will receive the oil at Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in Dinajpur. India will supply 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel in the first three years.
The import of fuel through the pipeline will be raised further as per the requirements of Bangladesh. The NRL will distribute diesel for 15 years through the pipeline and the time could be expanded following the consent of both sides.
Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushama Swaraj and Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Prodhan also spoke on the occasion.