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India-Bangladesh development partnership: City street light system modernization project in Chattogram

Staff Correspondent: In a significant milestone for India-Bangladesh relations, a contract was signed on July 6, 2024, in Chattogram for the modernization of the city street light system in the Chattogram City Corporation area. The project is being funded through a concessional Line of Credit from the Government of India, amounting to USD 25.71 million (approximately BDT 300 crore).

The contract signing ceremony witnessed the presence of several dignitaries, including the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives of Bangladesh, Md. Tazul Islam, the Mayor of Chattogram City Corporation, Md. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, and the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, Pranay Verma.

This event marks a new chapter in the India-Bangladesh Development Partnership, emphasizing the shared commitment to sustainable development and urban modernization.

The modernization project aims to replace conventional street lights with eco-friendly, low power-consuming LED lights across approximately 460 kilometers of city streets in Chattogram. The project will involve the installation of 20,600 LED light fittings and other associated technology and equipment. This upgrade is expected to significantly reduce the city’s carbon footprint while offering multiple benefits, including lower energy consumption and reduced maintenance costs due to the longer lifespan of LED lights.

The project is not just an infrastructure upgrade but also a step towards sustainable urban development. By providing well-lit streets, the initiative aims to enhance the safety and security of Chattogram’s residents, encouraging safer use of public spaces.

During the event, High Commissioner Verma highlighted the project’s significance in establishing the foundations of a Smart City infrastructure for Chattogram. He underscored the importance of this initiative in the context of the declaration of a Shared Vision for an ’India-Bangladesh Green Partnership for a Sustainable Future,’ which was signed during the recent State visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in June 2024.

High Commissioner Verma emphasized the collaborative efforts of both countries to introduce environment-friendly approaches in development projects. He highlighted the mutual aim to co-develop energy-efficient measures, enhance energy independence, reduce carbon emissions, improve power transmission efficiency, optimally utilize energy, reduce energy wastage, seek sustainable urban development, set up smart urban infrastructure, and improve the quality of urban life.

Verma also described the project as a testament to the commitment of both India and Bangladesh to sustainability. He expressed hope that such collaborations would illuminate the path towards a brighter, greener, and more prosperous future for both nations. The project reflects the shared vision of India and Bangladesh to foster sustainable development through innovative and energy-efficient solutions.

This project is part of a broader context of enhanced cooperation between India and Bangladesh, which have seen a series of high-level interactions and agreements in recent years. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s historic consecutive fourth term victory and the reaffirmation of people-centric cooperation between the two countries have paved the way for numerous bilateral initiatives.

In addition to this project, other significant engagements include the inauguration of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, the operationalization of several cross-border rail links, and various agreements in digital payment mechanisms, cultural exchange, and agricultural research. These initiatives reflect the enduring and multifaceted partnership between India and Bangladesh, characterized by shared history, culture, and mutual aspirations for development and prosperity.

The modernization of Chattogram’s street light system is expected to set a precedent for similar sustainable urban development projects in the future. As India and Bangladesh continue to collaborate on various fronts, the emphasis on green and smart city infrastructure will likely remain a priority.

Through such projects, both countries aim to address the challenges of urbanization while promoting environmental sustainability and improving the quality of life for their citizens. The success of the Chattogram street light modernization project will serve as a model for other cities in Bangladesh and beyond, demonstrating the potential of international cooperation in achieving sustainable development goals.

As the project progresses, it will not only transform the urban landscape of Chattogram but also strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between India and Bangladesh, clearing the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for the region.

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