New Delhi: – Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Mansukh Madaviya, informed that the Sittwe Port, a part of the Kaladan Multi-modal Project implemented by India in Myanmar, is ready for commissioning. Known as the ‘Eastern Chabahar’ of India, this port is crucial from a strategic perspective. This port will end the Indian dependence on the Siliguri Corridor and make one more avenue available to connect with the northeastern states. Against this background, the announcement of the Union Minister of State, Mandaviya, becomes significant.
Union Minister of State Mandaviya clarified this during an interview. The construction work of the port is complete. Currently, the search is on for a private company to operate the port. Mandaviya said that the Sittwe Port would be operational in the next few days. The Sittwe Port is a part of the ambitious Indian Kaladan Multi-Modal Project. The work on the port was supposed to be completed in 2014. But there was an inordinate delay in the construction. India expedited the port construction in the last 4 years. Some terrorist organisations attempted to target the Sittwe Port and the other ventures in the Kaladan Multi-Modal Project. It has also been exposed that China was supporting these organisations in Myanmar. This underlines the importance of the project.
This will end the Indian dependency on the narrow Siliguri corridor for connecting to the northeastern states. Therefore, even if the Siliguri corridor is blocked in a war scenario, India will have an alternate route to connect to its northeastern states. The goods can move from Kolkata to Sittwe port and then via the Kaladan river to Paletwa in Myanmar, and thereafter, within minutes, one can reach Mizoram via the highway. This will reduce the time and distance by half.
Against this background, the importance of the announcement that the Sittwe Port is completed and will be operational in the next few days increases further. Meanwhile, Union Minister of State, Mandaviya, informed that work has also started on the development of infrastructure at the Kochi port on India’s west coast. The Tuticorin port on the east coast also is being developed. Mandaviya said that this would reduce the dependency on a foreign port like Colombo.