India eyes launch of Chabahar-Zahedan, Khaf-Herat railroads

TEHRAN, Oct. 23 (MNA) – India’s Secretary of Economic Relations in the Ministry of External Affairs T. S. Tirumurti expressed New Delhi’s keenness on launching Chabahar-Zahedan, Khaf-Herat railroads as golden opportunities for trade between India, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.

During a trilateral meeting between senior officials from Iran, India and Afghanistan, which was held in Tehran on Tuesday, Tirumurti said New Delhi is looking forward to the inauguration of the rail roads, which create a great corridor between the Central Asian states and Iran’s southeastern borders and as well as the strategic Chabahar Port.

Khaf-Herat Railroad is part of Iran-Afghanistan rail corridor. It aims to create a reliable transport corridor for the smooth transport and transit of goods and services through Chabahar Port between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of India, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Chabahar-Zahedan Railroad is another project, which is envisaged to facilitate the transport of goods from India to the landlocked countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The official pointed to the implementation of Chabahar Port, saying the port creates a good corridor between India and Central Asia, and we can turn the Chabahar into a good trade hub.

Should the sides reach consensus over the drafts of Chabahar agreement, they will finalized the deal later tonight.

Chabahar Port, which lies on the Sea of Oman, provides the closest and safest transit channel to Afghanistan as so far India has sent three cargo ships of wheat and grains to the port to be trucked to Afghanistan.

The port is easily accessible from India’s western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port.

Under an agreement signed between India and Iran in May 2016, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with a capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a 10-year lease.

MR/4438674

News Code 138972

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