Chabahar port - Advantages, Obstacles and Projects with India's support

Chabahar port - Advantages, Obstacles and Projects with India's support

– The Port of Chabahar is a seaport in Chah Bahar in southeastern Iran located along the Makran coast in the Gulf of Oman.

– In 2003, Afghanistan, India and Iran signed an agreement to develop the Chabahar-Zaranj-Delaram route connecting southern Afghanistan to Iran.

Advantages of Chabahar Port

1. It will provide an access route to land-locked Afghanistan, that would be free of Pakistan’s control.

2. Close proximity to the Strait of Hormuz which facilitates about 40 per cent of the world’s oil trade

3. It would give India access to markets and mineral resources in Afghanistan and central Asia

4. Provide access to Hajigak iron ore mine developed by Steel Authority of India.

5. It will undermine importance of Gwadar port in Pakistan developed by China.

6. India can use the facility to monitor Pakistani & Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean Region as well as Gulf. It could be convenient location for India to monitor activities of Pakistani Navy.

7. It will provide boost to the development of International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC)

8. Delaram access will provide India with a base to position itself after international troops withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.

9. It will provide Market for farm products from Afghanistan

10. It will help in combating drug trafficking.

Obstacles in development of port

1. Disputes over tariffs and transit regulations

2. Pressure from US on India which is seeking isolation of Iran after involvment of Iran in development of nuclear bomb

3. Chinese competition for port development offering an $75 million credit line for ongoing work on the port.

Projects with Indian assistance

Zaranj-Delaram highway: Indian-built road, completed in 2009, connects Iran via the highway to the main Kandahar-Herat highway. Businesses complain it has become dangerous because of Islamist gangs and criminals

Chabahar-Zaranj-Delaram-Hajigak rail: Indian-Iranian project, would link future Indian iron-ore mining operations at Hajigak to Chabahar, 900 kilometres away.
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