File photo: Chabahar port. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
During Tuesday's virtual meet, the Indian side gave a presentation on the operations of the Chabahar port which has handled 160 vessels since December 2018
India, Iran and Uzbekistan on Tuesday held a virtual meet on the joint use of Chabahar port and how it can help in increasing regional connectivity.
It is the second trilateral working group meeting and was chaired by Dr. Sanjeev Ranjan, secretary, ministry of ports, shipping and waterways; Dr. Ali Akbar Safaei, secretary, deputy minister and managing director, ports and maritime organization of Iran and Abdossamad Mumenof, secretary, ministry of transportation of Uzbekistan.
A release from the ministry of external affairs said, "The participants underlined the important role played by Chabahar port during humanitarian crises. It took note of the increase in transit traffic between Central Asia and South Asia through the Shahid Behesti Terminal, Chabahar port and discussed further development of transportation corridor."
The first meeting of the trilateral had taken place last December and came in the backdrop of the virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Landlocked Uzbekistan has been keen to increase its connectivity link and to use the port. Back then the proposal for the trilateral meet was proposed by the Uzbek side.
During Tuesday's virtual meet, the Indian side gave a presentation on the operations of the Chabahar port which has handled 160 vessels since December 2018 including 14,420 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and 3.2 million tons of bulk and general cargo.
On December 24 an Indian company, India Ports Global Limited which is a subsidiary of India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ) took over the operations of the Chabahar Port. India also agreed to send a high-level delegation to Chabahar next year at the invitation of the Iranian side.
During PM Modi's visit to Iran in May 2016, a trilateral agreement to establish the International Transport and Transit Corridor --Chabahar Agreement was signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.
India is participating in the development of the first phase of the Shahid Behesti Terminal, Chabahar port in cooperation with the Iranian government. The Shahid Behesti Terminal, Chabahar Port has handled shipments and trans-shipments from various countries including Russia, Brazil, Thailand, Germany, Ukraine, Oman, Romania, Bangladesh, Australia, Kuwait, Uzbekistan and UAE.
India has committed total grant assistance of $85 million and a credit facility of $150 Million for the development of Shahid Behesti Terminal, Chabahar port.
New Delhi has also supplied 6 mobile harbour cranes - two 140 tons and four 100 tons capacity - and other equipment worth $25 million.
The port provides connectivity for India not only to Afghanistan but also the Central Asian region. In 2020, the port was used to ship 75,000 MT of wheat as humanitarian food assistance to Afghanistan. Till date, a total of one lakh ten thousand tons of wheat and two thousand tons of pulses has been shipped from India to Afghanistan.