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India-Bangladesh Nuclear Agreement
May 18, 2016

India has concluded a nuclear agreement with Bangladesh in a sign that the bilateral neighbourhood relationship is becoming special. The core of the new engagement is all 21st century—energy, connectivity, security.

  • The nuclear agreement is a three-document package that has been negotiated between the Ministry of External Affairs, India and the Bangladesh department of science and technology over the past few months.

  • The Indian nuclear deal will equip and train Bangladesh to import their first nuclear power plant from Russia.

  • It’s a very big deal for Bangladesh and almost unique for India.

  • After Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina inaugurated a 100Mw power transmission line from Palatana to Bangladesh, India is preparing to upgrade it to 500Mw.

  • India also promised to send diesel to Bangladesh from West Bengal.

  • India wants to transport LPG and LNG to the northeastern states—through Bangladesh.

  • India has offered Bangladesh a stake in this, letting them share LPG and LNG according to their needs, even as they allow transit of energy to Tripura.

  • In the next stage, India has told Bangladesh, it want to generate power in the northeast and have it pass through Bangladesh, offering them an’ offtake’, that is allowing them to take power for own use from the transmission line.

  • Four Indian companies—BHEL, Reliance, Shapoorji-Pallonji and Adani—have bid to build power plants in Bangladesh.

  • The comfort factor for both countries is the fact that both land and maritime boundaries are now clearly demarcated. In this case, certainly, better fences have made better neighbours.

  • The almost seamless implementation of the LBA has made it easier to plan roads and railways to Bangladesh.

  • The two countries want to revive the train lines that were operational between the two sides, until 1965, when Pakistan shut them down—Akhaura-Agartala, Khulna-Darshana, Parvatipur-Kawnia lines will be on top of the list.

  • A bridge on the Feni river will come in the coming years.

  • Bangladesh has its eyes set on a water deal, particularly on Teesta and Feni. And India has promised to deliver.

In the new evolving relationship, both sides are willing to give each other some space. Basically, once all these projects kick in, Bangladesh could be well on its way to becoming a middle-income country in a decade.


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