Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan today on 18th March informed that, “Oil major Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) starts shipping petrol and diesel to Bangladesh via rail from its newly commissioned crude oil refinery at Paradeep” and as a pre-implementation information he also shared with the media saying “We had discussions on the possibility of shipping petrol and the quantum would depend on the requirement of Bangladesh. The timeline has not been decided as we had only preliminary talks with the Bangladesh delegation”. Similarly another official on duty informed that “A goodwill rail rake consignment carrying diesel from Siliguri marketing terminal of Numaligarh Refineries Ltd (NRL) was flagged off today”
It was during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in the month of June last year, that NRL and BPC signed a Sale-Purchase Agreement for building a pipeline from Siliguri to Parbatipur for delivery of diesel to Bangladesh. Until this 135 km Indo-Bangla-Friendship Pipeline, with 5 km of length in India and 130 km of length in Bangladesh and a capacity to carry 1 million tons per annum gets completed, diesel will be transported through rail. For a successful operation of this great initiation, a 15 million tonne IOCL refinery at Paradeep has also been made primarily for the domestic market and which is also competent enough for export.
Two very positive statements on this matter came out from both the parties involved. Indian side stated that “The present consignment is a symbolic gesture of friendship and cooperation that exists between India and Bangladesh” and Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury from Bangladesh has been recorded saying, “We have been trying to give the relationship between the two countries a concrete shape. The minister (Pradhan) talked on some concrete areas of cooperation. We also talked about other opportunities that are emerging”.
“The export of petroleum products from India to Bangladesh is also in line with the ‘Neighborhood First Policy’ of Government of India to boost bilateral trade between the two countries and sub-regional cooperation within SAARC” is one final and firm statement on which this entire step has been taken. Hope we see more such collaborative inceptions from India with the rest of the world, as it will develop and enhance the nation as a whole.