India-Myanmar: Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project

The Union External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar recently said that the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project is in the final stages however, the project was delayed because of various challenges.

Highlights

  • The external affairs minister further said that the Sittwe Port is now operational for some time.
  • He also said, the Paletwa Inland Water Terminal Project has also progressed.
  • The minister also stated that, the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Project was delayed because of road building. He stated that the region faces the challenges of some law and order. However, now the countries will be able to push through the challenges.

Background

The Kaladan project which costs $484 million was supposed to be completed and operation by 2014.

Kaladan Road Project

It is a US$484 million project that connects the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Rakhine State, Myanmar through the sea route. The project will link the Sittwe seaport in Myanmar to Paletwa in Chin State through the Kaladan river boat route. Then the project will connect the Paletwa by road route to the Mizoram in Northeast India. Currently, the Sittwe port, river dredging and Paletwa jetty projects are completed. This project is also seen as an important component of India’s Act East Policy that seeks to link up India with Southeast Asia through Myanmar.

Why this project got delayed?

The route of the project along the Paletwa and Kaladan river is troubled because of the Chin conflict and the Rohingya conflict.  It is also troubled because of militant groups like Arakan Army. Because of these conflicts the project got delayed. Paletwa route accounts for less than 20 km along the Bangladesh border.

Sittwe

It is the capital of Rakhine State, Myanmar. The city is located on an estuarial island. It lies at the confluence of rivers Kaladan, Mayu, and Lay Mro.

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