Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on September 18, 2018 jointly launched the construction of India-Bangladesh Friendship Product Pipeline Project through video conferencing.
The project will go a long way in strengthening the Indo-Bangla ties. It is a new milestone in the history of cooperation between India and Bangladesh.
Both the sides had entered into an agreement for the construction of the pipeline in April 2018 during Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale's visit to Dhaka.
India-Bangladesh Friendship Product Pipeline Project
• The 130-kilometre pipeline will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.
• The six-kilometre Indian leg of the pipeline project will be implemented by the Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Limited and the remaining 124 kilometres of the pipeline project will be implemented by Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.
• The capacity of the pipeline will be 1 million metric tons per annum.
• Bangladesh would initially receive 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel every year and it would gradually be increased to 4 lakh tonnes.
• The project will replace the existing practice of sending diesel by rail covering a distance of 510 kilometers.
• The estimated project cost will be Rs 346 crore and it will be completed in 30 months time.
• This will be the first such pipeline through which refined diesel will be supplied to Parbatipur depot from Numaligarh of Assam in India.
The first consignment of diesel from India reached Bangladesh in March 2016 through rail wagons. The Parbatipur Depot formally received 2268 MT diesels from the NRL through rail wagons.
Through the rail wagons, Bangladesh so far imported 57000 MT diesel from India till July 2018 and it is expected that 50000 more diesel will be brought from India in August-December 2018 through the same way.
Currently, imported oil is stored in Chattogram depot after unloading it from the ship at Chattogram Port. Later, the oil is brought to Khulna Daulatpur 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.
Dhaka-Tongi-Joydebpur Railway Project
• The two leaders also inaugurated the construction of the third and fourth dual gauge rail lines of Dhaka-Tongi section and Double Line on Dhaka-Joydevpur section of Bangladesh Railway.
• Once the project gets completed, the train communication in the south-western region through Padma Bridge and in the northern region through Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge, and on Chattogram-Sylhet routes from Dhaka would be easier and faster.
• A total of 96 kms of dual-gauge tracks along with other necessary infrastructures would be constructed from Kamalapur to Joydevpur railway stations under the project.
• This railway project would not only help carry passengers but also transport goods.
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