Tripura keen to supply electricity to Bangladesh
Posted on Feb 04 2014 | IANS
Agartala, Feb 4 : Tripura is keen to supply at least 100 MW of electricity to power-starved Bangladesh as it has become a power surplus state, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Tuesday.
"We have already told the Indian government that Tripura is ready to supply at least 100 MW of electricity to Bangladesh. The central government can now inform this to Bangladesh government to initiate a formal process in this regard," Sarkar at a business summit here.
He said: "To supply power from Tripura to Bangladesh, only a nine km transmission line is required to be erected from (western Tripura's bordering village) Rabindranagar to connect with that country's electricity network."
"During my visit to Dhaka in 2012, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her desire to import power from our state."
The chief minister said that after the completion of commissioning of two mega power projects by June or July this year, at least 200 MW power would be surplus in Tripura.
Sarkar, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, is in favour of sharing Teesta river water with Bangladesh a move that was strongly opposed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"Everybody has a claim of water where the river flows. India should not be act as a big brother with its neighbours. I believe that the Teesta water dispute would be sorted out soon," he added.
According to Sarkar, Bangladesh has special attention towards the northeast. Hence, the Indian government should reciprocate positively this approach.
Sarkar, who was bestowed with Muktijuddha award in 2012 by the Bangladesh government for his role in the 1971 Liberation War, said that Bangladesh helped India to carry heavy machinery and turbines through its territories for the Palatana power project (726 MW) in Tripura.
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is commissioning its biggest ever commercial power project (726 MW) at Palatana in southern Tripura (60 km south of Agartala) while the state-run North East Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) is setting up a 104 MW power project at Monarchak in western Tripura (70 km south of Agartala) and eight km from the India-Bangladesh border.
The Palatana project is a hallmark of cooperation between India and Bangladesh, which ensured the smooth passage of heavy project equipment and turbines to Palatana through its territory by road and waterways from Haldia port in West Bengal.
He told the summit that his Left Front government was not in favour of setting up of projects under PPP (public private partnership) in the northeastern India.
The day-long business summit was organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (Assocham). Industrialists and investors from various parts of the country took part in the meet.
Tripura Industries and Commerce Minister Jitendra Chowdhury and Chairman of Assocham (eastern and northeastern region chapter) Sanjay Jhunjhunwala were also present at the event.