Modi, Hasina jointly inaugurate oil pipeline, rail projects

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly unveil e-plaques for the ground-breaking ceremony of two projects – India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline and Dhaka-Tongi-Joydebpur Railway Project via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Sept 18, 2018. Also seen External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday jointly inaugurated the construction works of a cross-border oil pipeline and two rail projects, with the former describing the two countries as members of the same family.

Hasina and Modi joined the event in the evening via video-conferencing from Dhaka and New Delhi respectively.

The 130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline connecting Siliguri in India with Parbatipur in Bangladesh will transport petroleum products from Numaligarh Refinery in Assam. Of the total length, 125 km will be constructed in Bangladesh and 5 km in India.

“Geographically we may be neighbours, but in our hearts we are members of the same family,” Modi said while addressing the programme.

“We have shown the world, what can be achieved when neighbours work together,” he said, adding that there had been unprecedented progress in cooperation between the two sides in the last few years.

At the same event, the ground-breaking ceremony of two rail projects to improve Dhaka’s connectivity with Tongi and Joydebpur, two towns on the outskirts of the capital city, was also held.

Officials said 48.80 km of the two new dual gauge rail lines would be constructed on the Dhaka-Tongi route while a 12.28 km new dual gauge railway double line on the Tongi-Joydevpur route.

The projects came a little over a week after both the Prime Ministers inaugurated two railway projects and an electricity project connecting the two countries on September 10.

Stating that the pipeline will further boost bilateral cooperation, Modi said that energy was the cornerstone of any country’s development.

“The pipeline will help in the development of the northern Bangladesh. Though it is being done with grant-financing from India, the project will be dedicated to the people and government of Bangladesh once completed,” he said.

Modi said the railway project will bring relief to road traffic in Bangladesh.

Speaking from Dhaka, Hasina said that ever since she formed her government in Bangladesh in 2009, she has been working relentlessly to deepen ties with India.

She thanked Modi for the new projects which she said will help in Bangladesh’s development.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan joined the video conference from Delhi and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali from Dhaka.

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