The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a multimode network of sea and rail routes, will link the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf linking Iran, India, Russia and North Europe.
“The project comes in the backdrop of China’s multi-trillion-dollar One Belt One Road initiative. Within Iran, the two routes overlap in a potential boon to future businesses.
New Delhi has been actively courting Tehran, given the utmost importance it attaches to the route and Iran has been receptive.
Once operational, the corridor will allow India to send its goods to Bandar Abbas in Iran by sea, from where they will be transported to Iran’s Bandar Anzali on the Caspian Sea by road. Next, they will be shipped to Astrakhan in Russia and transported into Europe by rail.
The route will cut the time and cost of delivering goods by about 30 percent to more than 40 percent. Compared with the Suez Canal, the corridor will reduce the transport time between Mumbai and Moscow to about 20 days. The estimated capacity of the corridor is 20 to 30 million tonnes of goods per year,” Press TV reported.
On October 27, India’s Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu met with a Russian business delegation in New Delhi. He said that there are issues that should be resolved “in order to operationalize the [INSTC] route as early as possible.” According to media reports, India, Russia and Iran will hold a trilateral meeting on November 23 to discuss how to make the route operational soon.
“The INSTC is the shortest multimodal transportation route linking the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf via Iran to Russia and North Europe,” India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in the statement.