We're Live Bangla Monday, May 16, 2022


Indian involvement in Chabahar dates back to a 2003 agreement between India and Iran to construct a port. File

A direct container shipping route has been established between Iran’s southeastern port of Chabahar and two Western Indian ports of Nhava Sheva and Kandla. The first container service from this route will enter Iran’s Shahid Beheshti port on February 16, Deputy Head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation (PMO) Jalil Eslami has said.

Regular container service with a traffic schedule of 10 to 15 days is performed by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL). The PMO will offer the necessary tariff incentives and facilities on tolls and transportation costs to support the traders that use the lines, said a PMO statement.

India had previously launched shipping lines between Chabahar and the Indian ports of Mumbai and Mundra in 2017. In January 2019, the second direct shipping route was launched. It passes through Mumbai, Mundra, Kandla, Chabahar and finally Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. India is using these shipping routes to transit goods to Afghanistan and Persian Gulf nations as well as the countries in Central Asia, the Iranian media reported. Through Chabahar port, India can bypass Pakistan and transport goods to Afghanistan and Central Asia, while Afghanistan can get linked to India via sea.

Iran has awarded India the project for installing and operating modern loading and unloading equipment, including mobile harbour cranes in Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar.

The first-ever India-Iran-Uzbekistan trilateral was held last month to develop communication routes with Central Asian countries.

Pakistan’s denial of transit for India to Afghanistan and Central Asia has severely hobbled its drive to transform the age-old ties of commerce and blood into an enduring post-modern relationship between nation states of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.