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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC

Agreement for Chabahar port operation

Syllabus - International Relations [GS Paper-2]

Context

Recently India and Iran signed a long-term agreement covering Indian operations at the Chabahar port, 8 years after concluding the general framework of cooperation for the port in Iran.

Chabahar port

  • Chabahar is a deep-water port in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province. It is the Iranian port that is the closest to India.
  • It is located in south-eastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman, supplying easy and secure access for massive shipment ships.
  • It is Iran’s first deepwater port puts the country on the global oceanic trade direction map.

Development of port

    • An MoU for the development of Chabahar port via India was signed in May 2015. The agreement was performed in May 2016 at some stage in the visit of PM Modi to Iran.
    • Current fame
      • India has now supplied six mobile harbor cranes (two of 140-tonne and four of 100-tonne capacity) and other equipment worth $25 million.
      • India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL has been running Chabahar port through its wholly owned subsidiary, India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ), since December 24, 2018.
      • The port has dealt with more than 90,000 twenty-foot-equal units (TEUs) of field site visitors and more than 8.4 million metric tonnes (MMT) of bulk and general cargo since then.

Significance of Chabahar Port

    • Strategic importance to both Iran and India
      • It can doubtlessly help Tehran thrust back the effect of Western sanctions.
      • It offers New Delhi an alternative way that bypasses Pakistan so as to ensure access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
      • The port is partially supposed to offer an alternative for trade between India and Afghanistan as it is 800 kilometers toward the border of Afghanistan than Pakistan’s Karachi port.
      • Pakistan does not allow India land access for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia.
    • Humanitarian corridor
      • The port has also facilitated the supply of humanitarian help, mainly in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
      • Till date, a total of 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and a pair of,000 tonnes of pulses have been transshipped from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar port.
      • In 2021, India provided 40,000 litres of the environment friendly pesticide (malathion)through the port to Iran to combat locust attacks.
    • Chabahar and International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)
      • The INSTC, which changed into initiated by way of Russia, India, and Iran, is a multi-modal transportation route envisaged to link the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea through Iran, and onward to northern Europe via St Petersburg in Russia.
      • The INSTC envisages the movement of goods
        • from Mumbai to Bandar Abbas in Iran through sea;
        • from Bandar Abbas to Bandar – e- Anzali, an Iranian port at the Caspian Sea, by road;
        • from Bandar-e-Anzali to Astrakhan, a Caspian port within the Russian Federation with the aid of deliver; and
        • onward to different elements of the Russian Federation and Europe by rail
      • Hence, INSTC and Chabahar Port will supplement every difference for optimising Indian connectivity with Russia and Eurasia.
    • Tool to bolster India’s relation with Iran & Afghanistan
      • This port has potential to herald a brand new age of trade, marine cooperation, and transshipment at the same time as boosting trilateral trade between India, Iran, and Afghanistan.

10-year agreement for Chabahar port operation – key highlights

    • Agreement signed
      • The long-term agreement was signed between Indian Ports Global Ltd. (IPGL) and Port and Maritime Organisation (PMO) of Iran, allowing operation of the Shahid-Behesti terminal.
    • Funding
      • IPGL will make investments about $120 million in equipping the port.
      • India has also supplied a credit window equivalent to $250 million for together diagnosed projects aimed toward enhancing Chabahar-associated infrastructure.
    • Significance
      • This agreement has cleared the way for larger investments to be made inside the port.
      • The signing of a long-term agreement was not on time due to some tricky issues, including arbitration.
      • In the absence of long-term agreement, the two countries had concluded short-term leases.

Source: The Indian Express

UPSC Prelims Practice Question

Q. What is the importance of developing Chabahar Port by India? (2017)

(a) India’s trade with African countries will enormously increase.

(b) India’s relations with oil-producing Arab countries will be strengthened.

(c) India will not depend on Pakistan for access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

(d) Pakistan will facilitate and protect the installation of a gas pipeline between Iraq and India.

Ans:”c”

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