India to supply 100 MW more power to Bangladesh

Agartala: India was making arrangements to ensure supply of an additional 100 MW electricity to Bangladesh from December 16, a senior official said. The 100 MW would be in addition to 500 MW Bangladesh is already receiving from West Bengal.

"Arrangements are being made to supply 100 MW more power to Bangladesh in view of Vijay Diwas celebrations on December 16," Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (TSECL) chairman Shyamal Roy said.

'Vijay Diwas' (victory day) marks India's military victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war, resulting in the creation of an independent Bangladesh. The union power ministry has called a meeting in New Delhi on November 26 to finalise the tariff, he said.

TSECL deputy general managar Mahananda Debbarma, who along with Tripura's principal secretary (Power) S.K. Rakesh and other senior officials would attend the New Delhi meeting, said the November 26 meeting would be the second meeting to discuss power supply.

"In the first meeting on October 26-28 in New Delhi, Indian and Bangladesh officials finalised all the nitty-gritty of the power supply, except the tariff," Debbarma said. The power ministry's director (Transmission), Ghanshyam Prasad, will preside over the November 26 meeting, where senior officials of the external affairs, power ministries as well as Bangladesh and Power Grid Corporation of India would be present.

The Indian government-owned PGCIL engineers and workers are working round the clock to set up the 47-km transmission line from western Tripura to southern Comilla (in eastern Bangladesh) before December 16. Eighteen km of this line and 67 of the 143 transmission towers fall in Indian territory.

Officials of India and Bangladesh conducted a joint inspection last week and earlier this month to see the progress in laying of a transmission line from Tripura to Bangladesh. "The PGCIL will initially invest Rs.250 crore to set up the 400 kV (kilovolt) double circuit transmission line and the Bangladesh government would subsequently reimburse the expenses," Debbarma added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the power supply from Tripura with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during his Dhaka visit on June 6-7. Modi said India would increase the power supply to Bangladesh from existing 500 MW to 1,100 MW.

Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey told IANS: "I have asked PGCIL officials to expedite work on the transmission line." "Human habitations, forests and other vital installations would be avoided while setting up the new power transmission line from (western Tripura's) Surjyamaninagar power grid to Comilla power grid," Dey added.

The central government-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has commissioned its biggest ever 726 MW commercial power project at Palatana, 60 km from Agartala, while state-run North East Electric Power Corporation is setting up 101 MW project at Monarchak in western Tripura, 70 km from Agartala.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar earlier said once the Monarchak project (10 km from Bangladesh border) was completed, the state would have a surplus of at least 200 MW. India began supplying 500 MW to Bangladesh in 2013 after an agreement between Bangladesh Power Development Board and India's NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd., a subsidiary of NTPC, on February 28, 2012.

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