Prime Minister Modi-Sheikh Hasina inaugurate the first unit of Maitree Super Thermal Power plant, Rupsha rail bridge

On the second day of the state visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India on Tuesday, a slew of projects were unveiled and seven MoUs signed between the two countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the first unit of the 1320 MW (660×2 MW) Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant at Rampal in Khulna district of Bangladesh. The USD 2 billion power plant is being built with USD 1.6 billion as Indian Development Assistance under Concessional Financing Scheme.

The two leaders also inaugurated the 5.13 kilometre long Rupsha rail bridge built under the concession Line of Credit (LOC) provided by India.  The bridge is a key part of the 64.7 kilometre long Khulna-Mongla port single track broad gauge rail project.

Once completed, the rail line would help increase the connectivity of Mongla Port, the 2nd largest port of Bangladesh, and provide an alternate route for rail and maritime trade. It would also allow other countries in the region to use the port and boost sub-regional trade.

The Khulna Darshana railway line link project which involves upgradation of the existing infrastructure linking the current cross border rail link at Gede-Darshana to Khulna was also announced during the visit. It will augment the rail connections between the two countries, especially to Dhaka, but also in future to Mongla Port. The project cost is estimated at USD 312.48 million, said an official press release of PIB enumerating the list of projects inaugurated, announced or unveiled.

Another railway project estimated to cost USD 120.41 million for the conversion of the existing Metre Gauge line to Dual Gauge line between Parbatipur and Kaunia  was also announced. The project will connect to the existing cross border rail at Birol (Bangladesh)-Radhikapur (West Bengal) and will enhance bilateral rail connectivity.

The MEA spokesperson in his tweet said that the projects will further multi-modal connectivity, enhance people to people contact and facilitate regional economic integration.

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