India inks contract with Iran for long-term development of Chabahar port : The Tribune India

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India inks contract with Iran for long-term development of Chabahar port

India Ports Global Ltd (IGPL) will invest approximately $120 million in equipping the port, which is a regional connectivity hub connecting India to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eurasia.

India inks contract with Iran for long-term development of Chabahar port

Union MoS for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal and other dignitaries during the signing of a contract between India Ports Global Ltd and Ports and Maritime Organisation of Iran for the operation of Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, Iran. Photo: PTI



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, May 13

India and Iran on Monday signed a 10-year agreement to further develop the Chabahar port a regional connectivity hub connecting India to Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Eurasia.

India Ports Global Ltd (IGPL) will invest approximately $120 million in equipping the port. After witnessing the signing of the contract, Minister for Shipping Sarbananda Sonowal handed over a letter from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Iranian Minister for Roads Mehrdad Bazrpash offering Iran credit of $250 million for development aimed at improving Chabahar-related infrastructure.

“With the signature of this contract, we have laid the foundations of India’s long-term involvement at Chabahar,” said Sonowal.

The political clearance had come after PM Narendra Modi met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit last year and had discussed the pending long-term contract on Chabahar.

Under the contract signed between IPGL and Ports & Maritime Organisation of Iran (PMO), IPGL will further equip and operate the port for the next 10 years after which both sides would further extend their cooperation in Chabahar.

Chabahar is a deep-water port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran. It is the closest Iranian port to India, and is in the open sea, providing easy and secure access for large cargo ships. India has so far supplied six mobile harbour cranes and other equipment worth $25 million.

Along with Iran, India has initiated two trilaterals in order to get other countries interested in the port. The first one was with Afghanistan and the second with Uzbekistan.

Billed as the shortest route from the sea to Afghanistan’s Pashtun areas, the port has come in useful in bypassing Pakistan and sending relief material to both Iran and Afghanistan.

The Iranian media has reported a surge in container activity due to the launch of direct shipping routes to China, India, and the UAE, and the implementation of a transshipment line connecting Chabahar to local ports.

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