Iran and India launched a shipping lane that connects India’s Mumbai to the Iranian southern port cities of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas.
India has formally established shipping lines to Chabahar. The first such ship arrived on Sunday. This was announced in a release from the Iranian Prime Minister’s office.
It has been decided that regular ships from 3 Indian ports –Mumbai, Kandla and Mundra will now regularly go to the Iranian port every 2 weeks.
The director general of Sistan-Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organisation Behrouz Aqayee said in the release, “With the arrival of the first 3700TEU container at Shahid Beheshti Chabahar port, for the first time, the shipping line between the ports of Mumbai-Mundra-Kandla have opened”.
The development comes a month after India took over operations at the port. The Commercial operations at the port began on 30th December with the arrival of a Cyprus registered bulk carrier with 72458 MT of corn cargo. The vessel MV Macheras berthed at the terminal on 30th December 2018. This is the first time India will be operating a port outside its territories.
The port is crucial for India’s connectivity to Afghanistan and to Central Asia and North-South Transport Corridor that connects Mumbai to Moscow.
The port is very important for landlocked Afghanistan which is keen to get connect itself with international markets. It already has an air corridor with India, opened in 2017.
Uzbek ambassador to India, Farhod Arziev speaking to WION has said “Any projects that can help Uzbekistan to reach the international market we see positively. The projects like Chabahar creates an opportunity for central Asia.”
Under a contract with Iran, India has taken over the operations of part of the strategic Chabahar port in southeast Iran.
The takeover of operations was done during the Chabahar Trilateral Agreement meeting between Indian, Iranian and Afghan officials in December 2018.