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India awards road contract to complete Kaladan project in Myanmar

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Indian Government has awarded Rs. 1600 crore contract for building 109-km road connecting Paletwa river terminal to Zorinpui in Mizoram border as part of $484-million Kaladan multi-modal transport projects in Myanmar that will offer connectivity to Mizoram in India.

  • The work allocated as per this contract will begin in October 2017.

About Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project:

  • Objective: The project will reduce the distance and time taken for transporting goods from Kolkata to India’s North Eastern states, thereby fostering economic development in the region.
  • Sea Route: Under Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project, Kolkata in West Bengal will be connected to Sittwe seaport in Myanmar by sea route passing through Bay of Bengal.India awards road contract to complete Kaladan project in Myanmar
  • Inland Waterway: The Sittwe seaport is to be connected to Paletwa in Myanmar by inland waterway though Kaladan River.
  • Road Transport: Paletwais to be connected to Mizoram by road transport.
  • This is the first major project taken up by India in Myanmar. The idea of Kaladan Mult-Modal Tranport Project was conceived in year 2003. The framework agreement with Myanmar was signed in 2008 and construction began in 2010.
  • Since the construction work began, the project has repeatedly missed deadlines owing to insufficient funds and improper planning. However in October 2015, the Narendra Modi government revised the budget estimates by nearly six times to Rs.2904 crore and roped in State-owned Ircon Infrastructure and Services Ltd as consultant with an aim to complete the project in 2019.

After the completion of this project, Mizoram will be the ‘gateway to Southeast Asian countries’. Besides, the project will also strengthen bilateral relation with Myanmar.

Current Status of Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project:

On Myanmar side, India has completed the construction of Sittwe port, at the estuary of Kaladan River.

  • Construction of the river terminal, 158 km upstream and dredging of the river to ensure navigability are in the final stages.
  • At the Indian side, extension of the Aizawl-Saiha National Highway by 90 km to the international border at Zorinpui, at the southern tip of Mizoram, is almost over.
  • 6,000-crore project is under way for four-laning of the 300 km Aizawl-Tuipang highway to ensure faster movement of goods between Sittwe and Mizo capital of Aizawl in the North West which is close to the Barak Valley of Assam.

Quick Facts about Myanmar:

  • Capital:  Naypyidaw
  • Currency: Burmese kyat
  • Current President: Htin Kyaw