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India pursuing to use B’desh port for Tripura
Published on 25 Oct. 2009 10:37 PM IST
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The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has formally asked the Bangladesh government to provide access to Ashuganj Port to facilitate transport of consignments for Palatana Mega Power Project in Tripura, the biggest power project in the Northeastern region so far. Official sources here today said Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni had also agreed in principle to the proposal during her last visit to India. The move had been initiated as the existing Assam-Agartala National Highway (NH-44) was not capable of transporting turbines weighing 300 tonnes each and the MEA had taken up the issue with its Bangladesh counterpart so that heavy equipment could be transported through Bangladesh waterways, reported UNI. The OTPC, a joint venture of ONGC, ILFS and Tripura government, was also exploring feasibility to bring turbines through NH-44, but due to poor load bearing capacity, it would not be possible to transport turbines for the 726 MW power project, officials added. The latest report indicated that first unit of the 726 MW power plant would be operational by March 2012. Before this, the OTPC would carry out pre-commission work by last quarter of 2011 and ONGC would be able to supply three million cubic metre gas per day, while the demand presently stands at 1.5-1.6 million cubic metre gas for the state. According to the latest agreement, Bangladesh would designate Ashuganj as a new port of call under Article 23 of the Inland Water Transit and Trade Agreement as well as the use of Chittagong port by India while the Indian government would facilitate Nepal-Bangladesh and Bhutan-Bangladesh connectivity. Bangladesh has also been contemplating to get at least 100 MW on a priority basis and initiated a feasibility study on power grid inter-connectivity for transmission lines and other infrastructure between both the countries.

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