Bangladeshi railways to receive locomotives and technology from India


As part of their ongoing cooperation to improve connectivity, India is ready to supply locomotives and passenger carriages as well as transfer technology for railway signalling systems to Bangladesh.

The issue came up when Bangladesh high commissioner Muhammad Imran met with railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday to discuss a variety of issues relating to the railways sector, including infrastructure development and Bangladesh Railways’ capacity improvement.

According to a statement from the Bangladesh high commission, Imran also briefed the minister on the upgrade of the Dhaka-Chattogram railway link, particularly the Akhaura-Laksam section, and sought India’s support in this regard.

According to the statement, India is ready to “supply locomotives, diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) trains, mainline electric multiple unit (MEMU) trains, as well as passenger carriages, and transfer technology for railway signalling system to Bangladesh.”

The Bangladeshi envoy met with Raj Kumar Singh, Bangladesh’s power minister, to discuss various aspects of bilateral cooperation in the power and new and renewable energy sectors.

Imran requested the Indian minister’s support for trilateral hydropower cooperation between Bangladesh, Bhutan, and India. They also discussed the Maitree super thermal power plant’s commissioning in Rampal, as well as trans-national power connectivity.

The Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (BIFPCL), a 50-50 joint venture between India’s state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Bangladesh Power Development Board, is building a 1,320-MW coal-fired power station at Rampal (BPDB). The plant’s construction began in 2017 and is expected to be completed this year. It will be one of Bangladesh’s largest coal-fired power plants.

India and Bangladesh resumed freight train service on the restored Haldibari-Chilahati route in August of last year, boosting rail connectivity between the two countries. During the 1965 war between India and Pakistan, when Bangladesh was still known as East Pakistan, the route was cut.

Seven rail links that were operational until 1965 are currently being restored by India and Bangladesh, with five of them already operational. In the year 2020, India gave Bangladesh ten diesel locomotives as a grant.

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