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12 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Trying to resolve Teesta issue: Modi

Rohingya issue discussed with Myanmar, he tells President Abdul Hamid
Trying to resolve Teesta issue: Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said they were trying to resolve the hurdles to the signing of the Teesta water-sharing deal with Bangladesh 'keeping all concerned on board', reports UNB from New Delhi. He made the remarks during a meeting with President Abdul Hamid on the sidelines of the International Solar Alliance founding conference 2018 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the Indian capital. "During the meeting, President Abdul Hamid underscored the importance of the Teesta water availability for the socio-economic development of Bangladesh. In response, Narendra Modi said his government is making all-out efforts to this end and is keen to resolve the issue together with everyone," President's Press Secretary Md Joynal Abedin said after the meeting.

Without mentioning the name of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he mentioned that the Indian Prime Minister said, "We're trying to keep her on board."

The Teesta water-sharing deal was about to be signed during the visit of former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka several years back, but it was stopped in the last moment due to Mamata Banerjee's objection.

After this, the Indian government has repeatedly been assuring Bangladesh of signing the agreement, but the problem has not been resolved yet.

The President also sought Indian cooperation for safe, dignified and sustainable return of forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their homeland in Rakhine state of Myanmar.

In reply, Modi said the matter has already been discussed with Myanmar, assuring Bangladesh of giving assistance in this regard as it is a big problem for it.

During the meeting, Modi also congratulated Abdul Hamid on being elected Bangladesh President for the second term, Joynal Abedin said.

He also lauded the communal harmony prevailing in Bangladesh mentioning the festivals of all religions being celebrated at Bangabhaban.

When the President apprised the Indian Prime Minister of his last two-day visit to different places in Assam and Meghalaya, Modi said, "This tour is very significant as you (Hamid) are a freedom fighter."

Modi also said he is happy and feels honoured for his visit to Assam and Meghalaya as well as for showing respect to the Indians who took part in the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.

Abdul Hamid said Bangladesh attaches great importance to the existing excellent relations between the two countries and the relationship is gradually being expanded.

Another report adds: The first founding conference of International Solar Alliance (ISA) was held in New Delhi yesterday, aiming to promote solar energy.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and his French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron co-hosted the Summit at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and senior representatives and dignitaries from over 50 countries joined the Summit.

Bangladesh signed the ISA Framework Agreement at the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco on November 15, 2016 and ratified on September 28, 2017.

Bangladesh identified the project 'Establishment of Solar based Base stations in hard to reach areas for

strengthening Teletalk Network coverage’ at an estimated cost of US $ 30 million.

The objective of the project is to cater to modern High Speed 3G Telecommuni-cation services to the unconnected population of Bangladesh in the Sundarbans, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Haor areas.

The International Solar Alliance is a treaty based alliance of 121 solar resource rich countries, headquartered at Gurugram, India.

The ISA initiative was launched on November 30, 2015 as an action oriented international and intergovernmental organization to maximise harnessing of solar energy potential, to modernise our energy systems, universalise access to energy, accelerate economic development and to alleviate poverty.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the summit. “In India, we have started the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme. We will generate 175 GW of electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2022, of which 100 GW will be from solar power. We have already achieved 20 GW installed solar power,” he said.

Modi said what is going to be the way forward is something all they have to think.”I have ten action points in my mind that I want to share with you all. First and foremost, we have to ensure that better and affordable solar technology is available to all and accessible to everyone. We need to increase the proportion of solar power in our energy mix.”

He said they have to encourage innovation so that solar solutions can be provided for various needs.”We will have to provide concessional financing and low risk finance for solar projects.”

Modi said developing countries will have to develop consultancy support for bankable solar projects. “If you want all of humanity to benefit, then I am confident that we all will come together and think like one family, so that we are able to bring unity and solidarity in our objectives and efforts.”

“This is the way we will be able to achieve what ancient monks used to pray for when they said ‘Tamaso ma Jyatirgamaya’ which means “From darkness, lead me to light.”

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the Alliance is a reflection of the vision and the firm belief that the beneficence of the sun could be used to bring together the peoples of this planet for a shared solution to our energy needs.

She added that in a recognition of this responsibility, India has provided support worth US$ 27 million towards hosting the ISA secretariat, created an ISA corpus fund, offered training support for ISA member countries at National Institute for Solar Energy (NISE) and also provided support for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and for other solar applications.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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