India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL)

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    • Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh recently inaugurated the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL).
      • It is the first cross-border energy pipeline between the two countries.

    More about the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL)

    • About:
      • The entire pipeline is 131.5 km long.
      • The pipeline runs from the Siliguri-based marketing terminal of the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to the Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
    • Cost:
      • The pipeline has been built at an estimated cost of ?377 crore. Bangladesh’s section of the pipeline cost ?285 crore.
        • The construction of the project started in 2018 with the help of India’s grant funding.
    • Fuel transport:
      • It will be used to supply diesel from India to Bangladesh.
        • The supply will start on an experimental basis in June this year.
      • The pipeline will transport 1 million metric ton of high-speed diesel every year to seven districts of North Bangladesh.
      • The fuel transport deal will be effective for 15 years with an option for further extension.
    • Significance:
      • The operation of India- Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline will put in place a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective and environment friendly mode of transporting HSD (High-speed diesel) from India to Bangladesh and will further enhance cooperation in energy security between the two countries

    India Bangladesh Relations

    • India was one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh and establish diplomatic relations immediately after its independence in December 1971.
    • Internationally both the nations share the following platforms: 
      • SAARC, BIMSTEC, Indian Ocean Coastal Regional Cooperation Association, and Commonwealth.
    • Trade and investment:  
      • Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia and India is the largest market in Asia for Bangladesh’s exports
      • India’s exports to Bangladesh during 2021 was US$14.09 Billion.
      • Bangladesh may become India’s fourth-largest export destination in FY22, jumping five places in two years.
      • Bangladesh’s growth stems largely from its success as an exporter of garments, which account for around 80 percent of its total exports
    • Power and energy cooperation:
      • Cooperation in the power sector has become one of the hallmarks of India -Bangladesh relations. 
        • Bangladesh is currently importing 1160 MW of power from India.
      • Bangladesh is the biggest development partner of India. 
        • India has extended 3 Lines of Credits (LOC) to Bangladesh in the last 8 years amounting to US$ 8 billion for the development of infrastructure in various sectors including roads, railways, shipping and ports.
    • Capacity Building and Human Resource Development:  
      • Human resource development is a key component of India’s development cooperation efforts in Bangladesh through its several ongoing training programs and Scholarships.
      • The Government of India has been training 1800 Bangladesh Civil Service officials from 2019 at National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Mussoorie
      • The Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC) in Dhaka plays an important role in the celebration of common cultural links between the two countries.
      • Its training programs including Yoga, Kathak, Manipuri dance, Hindi language, Hindustani classical music and the cultural programs of renowned artists of India and Bangladesh contribute to the promotion of people-to-people contacts.
    • Defense Cooperation: 
      • High level exchanges at the level of services chief of Indian Navy, Bangladesh Navy and Indian Air Force, the conduct of second annual defense dialogue and inaugural tri-services staff talks, service specific talks of Navy and Air Force.
      • DG-level talks between the Coast Guards have contributed to significant improvement in bilateral defense cooperation.
      • In the training domain both the countries have continued and enhanced mutual engagements.
      • Various Joint exercises take place between the two countries:
        • Exercise Sampriti (Army) and 
        • Exercise Milan (Navy).
    • Multimodal Connectivity: 
      • The passenger trains between India and Bangladesh:
        • Bandhan Express: starting from Kolkata for Khulna – Since 2017
          • It covers the distance via Petrapole and Benapole border route to cater to the demands of the people from both countries.
        • Maitree Express: starting from Dhaka for Kolkata – since 2008
          • The tri-weekly service between Kolkata and Dhaka used to run with 90 percent occupancy. 
          • The train has a capacity to carry 456 passengers, the same as Bandhan Express.
        • Mitali Express: starting from New Jalpaiguri in North Bengal for Dhaka.
      • Bus Serice:
        • Both the governments decided to commence: Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka and DhakaSiliguri-Darjeeling-Dhaka bus service to enhance people to people contacts between both the countries and the trail run of Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka was also held in December 2019.
      • The Government of India has also been providing grant assistance to Bangladesh for various infrastructure projects including the construction of the Akhaura-Agartala rail link, dredging of inland waterways in Bangladesh and construction of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline.

    Source: TH