Source: Economic Times
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) today discussed the scope for power trade and inter-grid connectivity between themselves and decided to explore the possibility of using multi-modal transport to meet commercial as well as tourist needs.
The issues figured during the second meetings of the Joint Working Groups (JWGs) of these countries on sub-regional Cooperation on Water Resources Management and Power/Hydropower and on Connectivity and Transit.
The Indian delegations, led by Joint Secretary Abhay Thakur and Joint Secretary Sripriya Ranganathan in the External Affairs Ministry, welcomed the opportunity for exchanging views on the possibilities for cooperation at a sub-regional level for mutual benefit.
The JWG on Water Resources Management and Power/Hydropower reviewed the existing cooperation in the sector and discussed the scope for power trade and inter-grid connectivity between these countries as well as the potential for closer cooperation in future power projects, an MEA release said as the two-day meetings concluded today.
“It was agreed that joint efforts would be made to explore harnessing of water resources, including hydropower and power, from other sources available in the sub-region. It was also agreed to exchange lists of potential future hydropower/power projects to be undertaken jointly involving at least three countries on an equitable basis,” it said.
The JWG also took stock of the existing bilateral arrangements between these countries on data sharing for flood forecasting and discussed ways of improving the same.
The JWG on Connectivity and Transit reviewed existing arrangements and agreed on the significance of BBIN agreements to enable movement of motor vehicles and railways.
“The meeting exchanged ideas on potential cargo (both road and railway) and bus routes involving at least three countries in addition to the existing bilateral routes and agreed to share suggestions in this regard. They also decided to explore the possibility of using multi-modal transport to meet commercial as well as tourist needs,” it said.
The JWG deliberated on the need for trade facilitation at land border stations for effective sub-regional connectivity and also exchanged views on the usefulness of sharing trade infrastructure at land border stations and harmonisation of customs procedures, according to the official release.
The next meeting of the JWGs would be held in the second half of 2015 in Bangladesh.