India is planning an expansion of Iran’s strategically located Chabahar Port through the supply of two more cranes, with an eye on playing a key role in the Afghan peace process and following efforts made to revive the nuclear deal by Tehran and world powers.
Shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya is planning a visit to the Chabahar Port complex in the near future.
India is considering supplying two mobile harbour cranes for the port by the middle of 2021 to handle growing traffic, ET has reliably learnt. These are in addition to two similar cranes New Delhi had supplied earlier this year under a contract valued at more than $25 million.
There are also plans to procure rail-mounted cranes for which bidding is underway, ET has learnt. Until January 31, at least 123 vessels had berthed at the port terminal.
Plans are also afoot to link the port with the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to give an impetus to trade with Russia and Eurasia. Fresh consignments are expected to be traded through the INSTC in near future, ET has learnt. Early operationalisation of the corridor figured prominently during last week’s dialogue between foreign ministers Sergey Lavrov of Russia S Jaishankar of India.
The INSTC is aimed at bringing down time taken for trade between India and Russia and may also enable smoother connectivity with Eurasia and Central Asia. It is one of the key connectivity corridors in the region where Russia has proposed greater Eurasian connectivity.