Dhaka, Delhi stress critical connectivity infrastructure: Envoy

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader along with Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma speaks to the media on 24 May, 2023.PID

The Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh, Pranay Verma, has highlighted the priority accorded by governments of Bangladesh and India to building critical connectivity infrastructure, reports UNB.

He said the India-Bangladesh bilateral relationship had touched new heights across all sectors in recent times, and Bangladesh was India's largest development partner both in terms of value and number of projects, with nearly 10 billion dollars extended under concessional financing.

The high commissioner was addressing a ground breaking ceremony for a work package of “Widening of Baraiyerhat-Heanko-Ramgarh Road Project” at Sarak Bhaban on Wednesday.

The project is being taken up under government of India's third concessional line of credit of USD 4.5 billion extended to the government of Bangladesh.

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader joined the virtual ceremony as the chief guest.

High commissioner Pranay Verma and road transport and highways division secretary ABM Amin Ullah Nuri attended the event as special guests.

The physical ground breaking ceremony was held for work package 1 with senior officials of Roads and Highways Division present on site.

More than USD 2 billion has been contracted till date and disbursements crossed the milestone of USD 1 billion during the year 2022.

The High Commissioner expressed appreciation for the fact that India had emerged as the fastest and largest disburser among the development partners of Bangladesh during the most challenging pandemic period.

He emphasised the importance of projects in the roads and highways sector, with five projects worth USD 932 million, 12 per cent of the total commitment under implementation by Roads and Highways Department.

Additionally, three supply projects worth USD 91 million for supply of double-decker, single-decker, AC and non-AC buses and heavy-duty trucks have already been completed, thereby taking India's total project commitment in the roads and highways sector to over USD 1 billion.

The Baraiyerhat-Heanko-Ramgarh road widening project, at a total project cost of USD 80.06 million under government of India Line of Credit, envisages the widening of approximately 38 kms of the Baraiyerhat-Heanko-Ramgarh road in Ramgarh upazila under Khagrachhari district and would contribute to improvement of the road network between the Chattogram port and the Ramgarh Land Port.

Additionally, with government of India funded India-Bangladesh Maitree Friendship Bridge on Feni River having already been constructed, this road project will boost two-way trade between Bangladesh and India as well as regional trade of Bangladesh through the Sabroom-Ramgarh LCS, said the Indian side.