PM Modi Says We Must Together Face Attacks On Mutual Trust, Inaugurates Projects With Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

India and Bangladesh also signed seven agreements and Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina inaugurated five joint projects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held bilateral talks with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi.

Hasina is on a four-day visit of India that began on Monday. The visit is expected to touch issues of water management, railway, science and technology, and information and broadcasting. On business side, issues related to investment, enhanced trade relations, and power and energy sector cooperation are likely to have figured in talks between Hasina and Modi.

Speaking beside Hasina at a press conference after their talks, Modi said that India and Bangladesh should jointly face terrorist and fundamentalist forces that threaten to attack mutual trust between the two countries.

"Today we also stressed on cooperation against terrorism and fundamentalism. To keep the spirit of 1971 alive, it is also very necessary that we face such forces together, who want to attack our mutual trust," said said.

Hasina made a strong pitch for early conclusion of the Teesta water sharing agreement. Modi noted that 54 rivers pass through the borders of India and Bangladesh and are linked to the livelihoods of the people of both the countries for centuries.

"I recall that the two countries have resolved many issues in the spirit of friendship and cooperation. We hope that all outstanding issues, including Teesta water sharing agreement, will be concluded as an early date," Hasina said.

Agreements signed during Sheikh Hasina's visit

India and Bangladesh signed seven memorandums of understanding (MoUs) after the talks between Modi and Hasina, including one on sharing of waters of Kushiyara river which is expected to benefit the regions of southern Assam and Bangladesh's Sylhet region.

Last month, India and Bangladesh finalised the text of the agreement on interim sharing of the water of the Kushiyara river. The text of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was finalised at the 38th ministerial-level meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) that took place in Delhi on August 25.

The seven agreements are:

  1. MoU between the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India and Ministry of Water Resources, Government of Bangladesh on withdrawal of Water by India and Bangladesh from common border river Kushiyara.    
  2. MoU between the Ministry of Railways, Government of India and the Ministry of Railways, Government of Bangladesh on training of Bangladesh Railway personnel in India.    
  3. MoU between the Ministry of Railways, Government of India and the Ministry of Railways, Government of Bangladesh on Collaboration on information technology  such as freight operations information system (FOIS) and other IT applications for Bangladesh Railway.
  4. MoU between the National Judicial Academy, India and the Supreme court of Bangladesh on Training and Capacity Building Programe for Bangladesh Judicial Officers in India.    
  5. MoU on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between India's Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Bangladesh Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (BCSIR).
  6. MoU on Cooperation in the Areas of Space Technology between New Space India Limited (NSIL) and Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited (BSCL).
  7. MoU between the Prasar Bharti and Bangladesh Television (BTV) on cooperation in broadcasting.

Projects inaugurated by PMs Narendra Modi, Sheikh Hasina

Besides the seven agreements that India and Bangladesh signed, Modi and Hasina also inaugurated five bilateral projects:

These projects are spread across the sectors of power, physical infrastructure, and connectivity.

  1. Maitree power plant: It's 1320 (660x2) MW super critical coal-fired thermal power plant at Rampal, Khulna. It is being set up at an estimated cost of approximately $2 billion out of which $1.6 billion is Indian Development Assistance under Concessional Financing Scheme.
  2. Rupsha bridge: It's a 5.13 km rail bridge. It is a key part of the 64.7 km Khulna-Mongla Port single track broad gauge rail project. It connectis Mongla Port with Khulna (in Bangladesh) by rail for the first time, and thereafter to Central and North Bangladesh and also to the India border at Petrapole and Gede in West Bengal.
  3. Supply of road construction equipment and machinery: The project consists of supply of road maintenance and construction equipment and machinery in 25 packages to Bangladesh Road and Highways Department.
  4. Khulna Darshana railway line link project: The project is upgradation of existing infrastructure linking the current cross border rail link at Gede-Darshana to Khulna by doubling of Broad Gauge. 

    "It thereby augments the rail connections between the two countries, especially to Dhaka, but also in future to Mongla Port. The project cost is estimated at $312.48 million," said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in a press release.
  5. Parbatipur-Kaunia railway line: The project converts the existing Metre Gauge line to Dual Gauge line. The project is estimated at $120.41 million. 

    "The project will connect to the existing cross border rail at Birol (Bangladesh)-Radhikapur (West Bengal) and will enhance bilateral rail connectivity," said the PMO.

(With PTI inputs)