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High Cost: Bangladesh May Cancel Palatana Agreement

The Bangladesh government is unlikely to renew the agreement with Tripura for continued purchase of power from the Palatana project in Udaipur after March this year when the agreement between the two countries expires. Reports from across the border said that Bangladesh is preparing to build a thermal power station on its own using the natural gas reserve in Comilla and for transmission of the  power generated the transmission line built from Comilla to Akhaura will come in handy. What the Bangladesh government wants is abolition of import duty, VAT and local tax to reduce the prices of power from Bangladeshi taka 6.00 per unit. However there is a difference of opinion on the issue as the power minister of Bangladesh Nasrul Hamid Bipu is of the opinion that importing power from Palatana is much more profitable than setting up a new thermal project . He said that import of power from Palatan has generated an income of Rs 45 crore for Tripura annually but the Bangladesh government has been able to save 2200 Taka . “If we try to set up a 100 megawatt power station we will have to acquire 100 acres of land and the total cost will come to 2 billion dollar ; a time frame of at least five years will be required to complete the project; hence importing power from Palatana project in Tripura will be much more profitable” said Nasrul Hamid Bipu. But the difference of opinion persisists. The Bangladesh government had helped in cross border transportation of equipments for Palatan project and then in 2016 March the agreement had been signed between two countries digitally whereby Tripura exported 160 megawatt of power daily. But because of stated reservation of Bangladesh over importing power from Tripura the matter will be taken up afresh and the chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb has brought the matter to the notice of Centre for intervention.

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