Six rail links with Bangladesh, two with Nepal; India to enhance cooperation in connectivity and energy sectors with neighbors

India’s prosperity and growth are linked to that of its neighbors. 'We cannot develop unless our neighbors develop', Shringla stated.

Mar 10, 2022
Representational Photo

India will soon be connected through six rail links with Bangladesh and two rail links with Nepal, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, as New Delhi focuses on enhancing cooperation with neighbors in energy and connectivity sectors.  

“Railways between countries are causing a rapid shrinking of South Asia’s geography,” Shringla said, adding that the two sectors – connectivity and energy sector – are already showing some “striking results.”

With Bangladesh, an India-Bangladesh friendship pipeline is already under construction and an LNG cross border pipeline and LNG terminal are being explored, Shringla said. New Delhi is also integrating its energy grids with those of its neighbors.

On ties with Bangladesh, Shringla pointed out that Bangladesh is the only country that the Indian president, prime minister, and external affairs minister have all visited since the pandemic struck. This, he said, signifies “cementing the very special” bilateral ties.

“They did so to cement a very special relationship on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh and the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations,” Shringla said, adding that their neighborhood is of special significance to them.

India’s policy initiatives taken by India and its neighbors have implications for each other, and ties with the neighboring countries have direct relevance to their states bordering these countries.

India’s prosperity and growth are linked to that of its neighbors. “We cannot develop unless our neighbors develop,” Shringla stated. In the last few years, New Delhi has increasingly pushed for enhancing close cooperation in the development of infrastructure in its neighborhood.

Shringla said connectivity with and within parts of India's neighborhood by road, by water, by rail, and by air, and now by multimodal transport, has steadily improved.

The Indian grid is connected to Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh through high-capacity connections, and the transnational movement of electricity in the neighborhood is a reality.

On energy ties, he said India supplies about 1160 MW of power to Bangladesh, about 700 MW to Nepal, and imports 1.8 GW from Bhutan. On cooperation in the power sector, he said  New Delhi has also taken the lead in creating power capacity in the region and has created 2100 MW of hydropower capacity in Bhutan. “More is being created.”

India is also constructing the 1320 MW Maitree Super Thermal Power Project in Bangladesh.


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