Dhaka opens power corridor to New DelhiManjurul Ahsan
Dhaka has decided to approve a technical report on allowing India to lay power transmission line its two north-eastern provinces to Pashchim Banga through Bangladesh in exchange for some of the power.
The transmission line will transport hydro-electricity produced in India’s Arunachal province to Pashchim Banga and in exchange, Bangladesh wants a share on the electricity at the Barapukuria substation, officials said.
The prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury at a meeting on Thursday asked power division officials to approve a report prepared by a joint-technical team, which includes six power officials of Bangladesh and India, a power division official told New Age.
Three members of the Bangladesh side in the technical team at the meeting explained the primary findings of the report.
Tawfiq, the state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, Md Enamul Huq, and other power sector officials attended.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on August 6 gave her consent in principle to carry to power transmission trade between Bangladesh and India in accordance with the draft report the technical committee.
Hasina is also the minister for power, energy and mineral resources.
‘Now the report will be discussed in the next joint steering committee meeting,’ a power division official said. The committee explored three options for the trans-border power trade.
The joint steering committee is headed by the power secretaries of Bangladesh and India.
The report suggested the establishment of a 765kV double-circuit transmission line connecting four substations at Bongaigaon in Assam, Jamalpur and Barapukuria in Bangladesh and Purnia in Pashchim Banga.
The report also studied the potential of the establishment of a multi-terminal bi-pole transmission line connecting four substations at Rangia or Rowta in Assam, Jamalpur and Barapukuria in Bangladesh and a suitable substation in Pashchim Banga.
But the Bongaigaon-Prunia transmission line via Bangladesh would need to traverse a shorter distance and face fewer natural obstacles, a power division official said.
The technical committee halted the third option of establishment of a 400kV transmission line from Silchar of Assam connecting Meghnaghat or Bhulta and Bheramara in Bangladesh to transport the electricity to Bahrampur in Pashchim Banga.
‘Bangladesh is not considering the option right now as India is not installing any big power plants in the area,’ a power division report said.
Bangladesh hopes to import 500MW of power from India’s western region from October this year through a 400kV transmission line between Bheramara of Kushtia in Bangladesh and Bahrampur in Pashchim Banga.
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