Hasina, Modi to open cross-border oil pipeline on March 18: Momen


Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi would open jointly the maiden cross-border oil pipeline on March 18 for diesel transportation to Bangladesh.

“Good news is India will send us diesel . . . the (Oil) pipeline has been completed,” he told reporters at a briefing at foreign ministry this afternoon.

He added: “The two premiers will inaugurate the pipeline on March 18 (through videoconferencing)”.

Momen’s announcement came a week after he held talks with India’s external affairs minister Dr. S. Jaishankar in New Delhi on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting last week.

According to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) officials India would export diesel through the 130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL), built at a cost of around 3.46 billion Indian rupees drawn from the Indian line of credit (LoC).

The pipeline stretches 125-km inside Bangladesh territory and 5-km inside India while the two premiers joined the ground-breaking ceremony for the IBFPL in September 2018 through video conferencing.

Bangladesh so far used to imports diesel from India through railway carriages.

The foreign minister said in another development India withdrew its objection on building any establishment by Bangladesh authority inside 150 yards of Bangladesh territory along the zero lines.

“Now we can start our projects (along the frontier),” he added.

Momen said critical issues like the border killing incidents also featured his talks with Jaishankar on March 3.

“I told them (Indian side) to keep their promise (to ensure zero border killing),” Momen said adding that New Delhi also reiterated that not want to see any killing along the frontier as like Bangladesh.

The foreign minister said he also urged New Delhi for ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential products to Bangladesh.

Momen said India gave high respect to Bangladesh delegation throughout the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting reflecting the excellent Dhaka-Delhi bilateral relations.