In news : Recently, India proposed inclusion of Chabahar port in the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) route
- It was proposed during the ‘Chabahar Day’ at the Maritime India Summit
- It reflects India’s strong commitment to enhancing regional connectivity.
- During the event, External Affairs Minister said that the Chabahar port has not only emerged as a commercial transit hub for the region but also facilitated delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) route
- The INSTC is a key trade corridor project, wherein India is partnering with 12 countries to establish an economic corridor
- The Corridor is a 7,200-km multi-mode transport project to move freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.
- The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road
- The primary objective of the NSTC project is to reduce costs in terms of time and money over the traditional route currently being used
- The corridor also aims to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan, Bandar Anzali, etc
- It is a seaport in Chabahar located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman.
- It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port, and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti,
- The location of the Chabahar port has strategic advantage and high potential to provide connectivity among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and other Commonwealth of Independent States countries, and boost trade.
- Chabahar Port also provides direct access to India’s Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan. Chabahar route will result in 60% reduction in shipment costs and 50% reduction in shipment time from India to Central Asia.
- In 2016, India signed a deal with Iran entailing $8 billion investment in Chabahar port and industries in Chabar Special Economic Zone, including an aluminium smelter and a urea making facility, at Chabahar port is being developed was a transit route to Afghanistan and central Asia