India To Commemorate “Chabahar Day” On March 4
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that, India will commemorate the ‘Chabahar Day’ on March 4, 2021 on the margins of the ongoing Maritime India Summit 2021 which is being held in Delhi from March 2 to March 4.
The virtual event will witness the participation of ministers from Afghanistan, Iran, Armenia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. During the event; The ministerial level opening session will be addressed by the external Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar while a keynote address by be given the Minister of State (Independent Charge) Mansukh Mandaviya, for the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways. Ministerial-level opening session would be followed by two webinar sessions namely the ‘Boosting Business through Trade Promotion and Regional Connectivity’ and ‘Development of Port Infrastructure: Unleashing Opportunities’.
It is a seaport in Chabahar which is located in south-eastern Iran in the Gulf of Oman. The port serves as the only oceanic port of Iran. The port comprises of two separate ports namely the Shahid Beheshti and Shahid Kalantari. The port was first proposed by last shah of Iran in the year 1973. The first phase was opened in 1983 during the Iran–Iraq War.
India-Iran deal on port
India and Iran first agreed further develop the Shahid Beheshti port in the year 2003. But this plan did not get success because of several sanctions against Iran. Both the countries signed a bilateral agreement In May 2016 again. Under the agreement, India would refurbish one berth at Shahid Beheshti port, and also reconstruct a 600-meter-long container handling facility at it. The port also seeks to provide an alternative trade route for India in between India and Afghanistan. This is because the port is 800 kilometers closer to border of Afghanistan than the Karachi port. This port has strategic advantage and high potential of providing connectivity between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and other Commonwealth countries.