Santiniketan (West Bengal), May 25 (IANS) India and Bangladesh have scripted the golden chapter of their relations over the past few years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday.
“During the past few years, we have seen the golden chapter of the relations between India and Bangladesh. The Land Boundary Agreement, resolution of the sea border dispute….. complex bilateral issues, which seemed impossible even some time back, have been solved now. In roads, rail, waterways, coastal shipping, we are moving fast in the areas of connectivity.
“The roads of connectivity, closed since 1965, are being opened again. New areas of connectivity are also being developed,” Modi said after inaugurating the Bangladesh Bhawan here, along with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
He also referred to the start of the Kolkata-Khulna AC train service, called Bandhan Express.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh was now getting 600 megawatt (MW) of electricity from India, and the target was to raise it to 1,100 MW.
He said in the northeastern states, an internet connection was coming through Bangladesh, while India has made available $8 billion letter of credit to the neighbouring country for carrying out development work.
Praising Sheikh Hasina and the people of Bangladesh “from my heart”, Modi referred to the country launching its first satellite ‘Bangabandhu’.
He said India was now using space technology to improve the standard of living of the poor and introduce more transparency and exuded confidence the sector will open new vistas of cooperation with the neighbouring country.
Averring that the constant connect between him and Hasina was giviign a further momentum to the bilateral relations, Modi also referred to challenges like climate change.
“Climate change is before us, if the burning sun is a challenge for us, it can also be of advantage to us. PM Hasina has come up with a vision of ‘power for all’ by 2021, while in India, we have set up a target of electricity to every home by next year.
Expressing his happiness over Bangladesh being a part of the International Solar Alliance that explores solar capacity worldwide, he said: “It shows the burning desire and keenness for cooperation on both sides of the border to convert the challenges into an advantage.”
He also praised Hasina for the progress made by Bangladesh in social sector to ease the life of poor people, and said it was an inspiration for India too.
Describing the journey of development of the two countries to a beautiful garland with which both are attached, Modi said: “In the last few years the eternal truth emerged before us is that the friendship between India and Bangladesh is must for progress, prosperity, peace and stability, happiness and cooperation.”