Your Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh,
Foreign Minister of India and Bangladesh,
Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal,
Shri Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister of Tripura,
A few days ago, I met Sheikh Hasinaji at the BIMSTEC Summit in Kathmandu. Before that, we also met at Shantiniketan in May and in London during the Commonwealth Summit in April.
I am glad that today once again I have got the opportunity to interact with you through this video conference.
I have stressed upon the fact several times before that the relationship with the neighboring countries must be like that of close neighbors. We may talk or visit one another whenever we feel like. We must not be tied to protocols for these things.
I can clearly see this intimacy in the relationship with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinaji. Apart from the several meetings, this is our fourth video conference and one more video conference will be organized in the near future.
The most important thing about these video conferences is that the inaugurations of the joint projects of the two countries do not require VIP visits.
Excellency, whenever we talk of connectivity, I always feel like restoring your vision of connectivity prior to 1965. I am extremely delighted to say that we have been taking steps in this direction since the last few years.
Today we have enhanced our power connectivity and we have started two projects to deepen the railway connectivity.
When I visited Bangladesh in 2015, we decided to supply 500 megawatt of additional power to Bangladesh. Thus, the transmission link from Bangladesh is being used in West Bengal for this. I congratulate the Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee for supporting this work.
With the completion of this project, 1.16 gigawatts power is being supplied to Bangladesh from India. I believe that this quantum leap to gigawatt from megawatt is a symbol of the golden chapter of our relationships.
Our connectivity is also improving in the field of railways. The key aspects of our cooperation include internal connectivity of Bangladesh and connectivity with India.
Once the connectivity of Akhaura-Agartala is completed, another link will be added to our cross-border connectivity. I congratulate Chief Minister Mr. Biplab Kumar Deb for his cooperation in this project.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinaji has set ambitious targets for the development of Bangladesh i.e. becoming a Middle Income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041. It a matter of great pride for us to support and help them to realize this vision.
I have complete faith that as we enhance our relations and strengthen relationships between people, we will touch new heights of growth and prosperity.
I express my heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Tripura for supporting this work and attending today's programme.