India proposes inclusion of Chabahar port in North-South Transport Corridor

Reported By: Sidhant Sibal Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: Mar 04, 2021, 05:47 PM(IST)

Chabahar Por Photograph:( DNA )

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Last year amid the pandemic, India had used the Chabahar port to send 75,000 metric tonnes of wheat as humanitarian food assistance to Afghanistan and 25 MT of the pesticide Malathion to Iran to deal with locust invasion.

India has proposed the inclusion of the key Chabahar port in the mega International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that connects Mumbai with Moscow. 

 

Speaking at "Chabahar day" hosted by India on the sidelines of the International Maritime Summit, India's External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said, "India has also proposed the inclusion of Chabahar in the INSTC route. I am hopeful that during the INSTC Coordination Council meeting, member states would agree to the expansion of the INSTC route to include the Chabahar Port and also agree on expanding the membership of this project."

Chabahar is key to India's connectivity towards its west, providing routes to Afghanistan and Central Asia while North-South Transport Corridor made up of rail, shipping, and road route currently passes via cities like Bandar Abbad, Bandar Anzali, Tehran in Iran, Baku in Azerbaijan and Astrakhan in Russia.

More than 10 countries are part of the corridor, with more countries keen to join it. Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, both landlocked countries, are keen on joining the connectivity project. Uzbekistan had proposed joining the project during the India-Uzbekistan virtual summit last year.

Highlighting Chabahar's role in connectivity, Jaishankar said it "has not only emerged as a commercial transit hub for the region but also facilitated the delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic" and "part of our shared commitment towards peace, stability, and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan." 

Last year amid the pandemic, India had used the Chabahar port to send 75,000 metric tonnes of wheat as humanitarian food assistance to Afghanistan and 25 MT of the pesticide Malathion to Iran to deal with locust invasion.

Minister of State for Ports, Mansukh Mandaviya, whose ministry coordinated the maritime summit said, "Chabahar Port is a joint effort of the governments of India, Iran and Afghanistan, to support landlocked Afghanistan by giving access to the open seas, optimising logistic cost by bringing in efficiency and create a reliable and safe transport corridor."

 

Ministers from six countries -- Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan -- took part in the "Chabahar day". 

Transport Minister of Afghanistan Qudratullah Zaki, Armenia's Infrastructure Minister Suren Papikyan, Iran's Minister of Roads Mohammad Eslami, Russia's Deputy Minister of Industry Oleg N Ryazantsev and Uzbekistan's Deputy Minister of Transport Choriyev Jasurbek Ergashevich were present at the day-long virtual meet. 

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