Beyond G20: Why India-Bangladesh pipeline merits a special discourse
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina (L) and Indian PM Narendra Modi (R)

Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will jointly inaugurate the maiden cross-border oil pipeline between the two countries on March 18 for diesel transportation to this country, Bangladesh’s foreign minister has said.

Speaking at a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference here on Thursday, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said, “The two premiers will inaugurate the pipeline on March 18 (through video conferencing),” the country’s official news agency BSS reported on Thursday.

Delhi would use the 130 km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFP), built from approximately Rs 3.46 billion, drawn from the Indian Line of Credit (LoC), to export diesel to Dhaka, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation officials were quoted as saying in the report.

“Good news is India will send us diesel. The pipeline has been completed,” Momen said.

A long-term agreement was signed in 2017 to import diesel from India to Bangladesh through the pipeline, which stretches from West Bengal’s Siliguri to a Meghna petroleum depot in Dinajpur’s Parbatipur, the BDNews news portal reported.

The bilateral project launched in March 2020 had an initial deadline of June 2022 that was pushed back another year due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, the report added.

The pipeline stretches 125 km inside Bangladesh’s territory and 5 km inside India.

Previously Bangladesh used railway carriages to import diesel from India.

The two premiers also joined the ground-breaking ceremony for the IBFPL in September 2018 through video conferencing, the report said.

India also withdrew its objection to Dhaka building any establishment inside 150 yards of Bangladesh territory along the zero lines, Momen said.

“Now we can start our projects (along the frontier),” the foreign minister was quoted as saying in the report.

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