India and Bangladesh on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the sustainable development of Sylhet city with financial aid from India.
Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Additional Secretary of the Economic Relations Division Shah Md. Aminul Haque and Sylhet City Corporation CEO Enamul Habib signed the tripartite agreement on Friday in Sylhet, a metropolitan city in northeastern Bangladesh.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith witnessed the signing.
Under the MoU, three projects — construction of a five-storeyed Kindergarten & High School Building, a six-storeyed Cleaner Colony Building and Development of Dhupa Dighipar area – will be implemented with Tk 24.28 crore.
The signing was the follow-up of an earlier MoU which was signed by the two governments in April 2013 for the implementation of sustainable development projects in socio-economic sectors of Bangladesh.
"Sylhet is an ancient city and a historically vibrant city. It had been a part of the former Assam province of India. It has been a focal point for 1971 Liberation War. Many eminent personalities of Bangladesh come from this very city. It has been a hub of commercial activities. We are proud to be associated with this city, that too in the educational field," the High Commissioner said, bdnews24 reported.
"We are happy that Government of Bangladesh decided to construct a building for persons who are engaged in cleaning the city," he said, referring to one of the projects which is the construction of a six-storied Cleaner Colony.
"We all should take care of the people around us who are making our surroundings habitable," he said, referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Swachh Bharat Mission' launched in October 2014.
"It has created a general awareness among the people of India, including the rural and remote areas of the country about keeping our surroundings and environment clean".
He highlighted India-Bangladesh relations that began with the 1971 War of Independence and hoped that "this good relationship will continue for times immemorial".
The Indian government will carry out similar sustainable development projects for Rajshahi at the cost of Taka 210 million. A MoU has recently been signed in Rajshahi in this regard.
The High Commissioner said the Indian government also sanctioned an amount of Taka 120 million for the sustainable development of Khulna city. "A MoU for the Khulna projects is likely to be signed shortly," he said.
The inking of the agreement comes a day after Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was in Dhaka and called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to discuss preparatory aspects of her proposed visit to India in April, besides other aspects of bilateral relations.