The government is procuring 300 double-decker, 200 air-conditioned and 100 single-decker non-AC buses under the second Indian Line of Credit (LoC) to Bangladesh.
A contract signing ceremony between Bangladesh and India for the procurement of 300 double-decker buses for the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation under the second LoC extended by India to Bangladesh was held at a city hotel on Tuesday.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Road Transport and Highway Division Secretary Md Nazrul Islam, Chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation Farid Ahmed Bhuiyan and Global Head, International Operation, Ashok Leyland Rajive Saharia were present.
“Development cooperation has emerged as a key pillar of the bilateral relationship,” said Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the signing ceremony.
He further said, “From the modest beginning in the years after Bangladesh’s liberation, India’s development cooperation with Bangladesh has grown in size and coverage. With USD 8 billion in Lines of Credit under implementation, Bangladesh has become India’s largest development partner.”
The LoC is focused on various infrastructure development projects in sectors such as transport, road, rail, port, airport, power, information and communication technology, health and technical education.
In addition to the LoC, India is undertaking a number of grant projects in Bangladesh in diverse sectors, including education, health, water, culture, urban development and disaster management.
The High Commissioner said the procurement of busses — 300 double-decker, 100 single-decker and 50 articulated — was one of the successful projects implemented under the 1st LoC to Bangladesh.
“I’ve no doubt that the induction of these new state-of-art busses in the BRTC fleet will greatly benefit the Bangladesh public transport system,” Shringla said.
In addition to busses, he said, Bangladesh will also procure 350 16.2 ton and 150 10.2 ton trucks for the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) under the 2nd LoC to Bangladesh.
Ashok Leyland is the second largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in India, the 4th largest manufacturer of buses in the world, and the 12th largest manufacturers of trucks.
A US$ 4 billion (2017-18) company with its footprints extending across 50 countries and it is also one of the most fully-integrated manufacturing companies on this side of the globe.
Ashok Leyland, in partnership with the IFAD group, opened a truck assembly plant in Dhamrai, Savar last year, Shringla said.
IFAD has also started utilising Mongla Port for import of Ashok Leyland vehicles through the sea route under the Coastal Shipping Agreement between India and Bangladesh.
Shringla said a number of other reputed Indian automotive companies, including Tata Motors and Hero Motocorp, are looking at a long-term presence in Bangladesh and have invested in setting up assembly or manufacturing plants in the country. unb