The Cabinet on Monday endorsed the draft of a protocol to be signed for receiving assistance from Russia over the operation and maintenance of the Ruppoor Nuclear Power Plant after the construction of the country’s first nuke plant.
The approval came from the weekly Cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office.
“It’s essential to receive assistance from Russia for properly running and maintaining the Ruppoor Nuclear Power Plant after launching its operation as it’s the first nuke plant in the country and Bangladesh has no experience of the operation and maintenance of such a plant,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said while briefing reporters at the Secretariat after the meeting.
The protocol will be signed for bringing amendments to the agreement signed on November 2, 2011 between Russian and Bangladesh on Cooperation Concerning the Construction of a Nuclear Power Plant on the Territory of Bangladesh.
The Cabinet Secretary said the Nuclear Power Company Bangladesh Limited will run the Ruppoor Nuclear Power Plant after its construction is completed with the assistance of Russia in line with the existing intern government agreement.
He said now the company is recruiting manpower for operation of the nuke power plant and Russia provides trainings to them under the general contract signed with Russian Federation.
The Cabinet also approved the draft of 2nd Addendum to the Protocol on Inland Water, Transit and Trade (PIWT&T) between Bangladesh and India in a bid to expand trade between the two countries through waterways, said the Cabinet Secretary.
According to the draft of the 2nd addendum, Badarpur, Sonamura, Kolaghat, Maia, Jogighopa in India and Ghorashal, Daudkandi, Sultanganj, Aricha and Bahadurabad shall be added as routes in the PIWT&T signed in June 2015.
Besides, Rajshahi, Sultanganj, Chilmari, Daudkandi and Bahadurabad alongside the existing Narayanganj, Khulna, Mongla, Sirajganj, Ashuganj and Pangaon in Bangladesh part have been announced as ‘Port of Call’ in the proposed 2nd addendum, according to the factsheet provided during the briefing.
In the Indian part, Dhulian, Maia, Kolaghat, Sonamura and Jogighopa like the exiting Kolkata, Haldia, Karimganj, Pandu, Silghat and Dhubri have been declared as ‘Port of Call’ in the draft 2nd addendum.
“If the 2nd addendum is signed, it’ll increase the waterway trade between Bangladesh and India, increase revenue of Bangladesh, create employment opportunities in Bangladesh and reduce the cost of goods transportation,” said Anwarul Islam.
He said some 470 kilometres of river routes will be dredged and maintained under the joint venture.
Besides, the Cabinet approved in principle the draft of Bangladesh National Museum Bill, 2020, aiming to specify further the formation and functions of Board of Trustees of the Bangladesh National Museum.