Mains Paper 2 : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Prelims level: INSTC; Chabahar Port
- Chabahar Port, with first phase inaugurated on Sunday, has been jointly developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.
- India, Iran and Afghanistan are committed to developing the port to handle a cargo of 80 million tonnes, present capacity is just 2.5 million tonnes.
- India sent its first consignment of 1.1 lakh tonnes of wheat for Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port on October 29 this year.
- Chabahar, which is located 72 kilometres west of Pakistan’s Gwadar port, holds immense strategic and economic significance for India.
- To make Chabahar a commercially and strategically viable option, Chabahar project needs to be integrated with INSTC.
- India has constructed a 218 km-long (140 mile-long) road from Delaram in western Afghanistan to Zaranj on the Iran-Afghan border.
- Viable gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
- Routes beyond the existing ones would provide a major impetus to Afghanistan’s economic reconstruction efforts.
- Many in Delhi view this as one of India’s projects to counter China’s BRI.
- The Chabahar route plus INSTC could boost trade to a total of US$ 170 billion from India to Eurasia
- The new US administration’s attitude towards Iran has complicated the matters.
- New Delhi has been cautious.