Once operational, Chabahar port will be gateway to golden opportunities: Gadkari

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Gadkari, who is the Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister, was in Tehran today and he will be representing India at the oath taking ceremony of President Hassan Rouhani.

India and Iran have expressed commitment to operationalise the strategic Chabahar Port at the earliest, with the aim of boosting bilateral trade and ties, said a report. "We are keen on developing Chabahar Port and are hopeful of starting operations in 12 to 18 months". He said he was hopeful that the Iran Government would accord certain necessary approvals for expediting the work.

Iran's Chabahar port is located on the Gulf of Oman and is the only oceanic port of the country.

During the meeting, Mr. Gadkari also handed over an invitation to the Iranian President to visit India.

The pact envisages establishment of Transit and Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan using Chabahar Port as one of the regional hubs for sea transportation in Iran besides multi-modal transport of goods and passengers across the three nations.

A government official said Afghanistan has also ratified it but Iran is yet to complete the internal processes of the ratification. Shri Gadkari said the Chabahar Port will boost trade and business between the two countries and in the region.

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The Government of India had allocated Rs 6 billion for the development of the port. We can export goods till Russian Federation.

India has already built the Zaranj-Delaram Road in Afghanistan where the cargo reaching Zehedan can connect to.

"Civil construction work has started there".

In the meetings, both sides reviewed and positively assessed the progress in implementation of the decisions taken during Prime Minster's visit to Iran a year ago, including the progress in the development of Chabahar Port.

In May 2016, Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister in 15 years to visit Iran, and during his visit, he pledged up to $500 million to develop and operate Iran's Chabahar port as part of a trilateral engagement between India, Iran and Afghanistan.

With Chabahar port being developed and operated by India, Iran also becomes a military ally to India.

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