Dhaka keen to invest in Meghalaya power projects

Shillong:  Bangladesh has evinced interest for investment in power projects of Meghalaya to boost bilateral ties.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FBCCI) Chairman Abdul Matlub Ahmad said the neighbouring country’s offer is in the form of a joint venture with Meghalaya government in developing cascading hydel power projects.
The formal proposal will follow within 90 days.
“We have made our offer in response to Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma’s appeal when he visited Bangladesh,” Ahmad told PTI.
“We feel that once this project starts, we can begin our coal-based power projects for which the power could be sold back to us. We are ready to buy back power,” he said.
Ahmad, who led a Bangladeshi delegation here, met Mukul Sangma on Monday night where the details of the project were discussed at length.
Ahmad said the delegation and the Chief Minister met officials of the World Bank here where they sought the latter’s assistance in dredging of rivers in Bangladesh to boost bilateral and transit trades of the two countries.
Using riverine routes of Bangladesh will benefit Meghalaya, Assam and other north eastern states as transportation of goods will be cheaper, he said.
However, the problem with rivers in Bangladesh is they are getting dried up and the depth is insufficient to be used economically. “We need dredging. If the World Bank can finance the dredging expenses, we can do it as part of a two-nation project,” Ahmad said.
Among the many routes, the Karimganj-Ashuganj sector is one of the preferred option to boost either bilateral or transit trades but the navigability of the Kushiara river has to be improved. At present, only country boats with capacity to load 50 to 100 tonnes are able to ply during summer, he said. Meghalaya Chief Minister, during his visit to Bangladesh earlier this year, had proposed at least three riverine routes. (PTI)

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