New Delhi, Jan 8: Indian government took over the operations of strategically important Chabahar port in Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran. This port situated on Iran’s energy-rich south coast. The official statement about this took over published by the government on Monday.
India is first time operating outside her territory.
According to the statement of shipping ministry of India, the government of India takes control of the operations of part of Shahid Beheshit port, Chabahar in Iran, at Trilateral meeting on December 24, 2018. Heads of Indian, Iranian and Afganistan delegations jointly inaugurated the office. The office is Indian SPV-India Ports Global Chabahar free zone (IPGCFZ) at Chabahar.
According to Ministry of shipping, physical took over of the terminal area, cargo holding equipment, and office building was completed on December 29, 2018.
The statement stated that this step marks the beginning of a long journey. India has written history with its engagement in Chabahar and is now leading the regional cooperation and joint efforts to support landlocked Afghanistan.
India started interacting with Iran on Chabahar Port around 2003 but then a key effort was received in the second half of 2014, consequential in the signing of a MoU between the two countries for the development of Chabahar Port in May 2015. This MoU translated into a formal 10-year contract for Equipping and Operating the Chabahar Port, which came into effect on May 23, 2016, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Tehran.
The Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province in the nation's southern coast is easily accessible from India's western coast and is statically important because Pakistan's Gwadar Port located at distance of around 80 km from Chabahar.
The first phase of the Chabahar port was inaugurated in December 2017 by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, opening a new strategic route connecting Iran, India, and Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
Under the agreement signed between India and Iran earlier, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with the capital investment of USD 85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of USD 22.95 million on a 10-year lease.