Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

India secures Rights to operate Sittwe Port in Myanmar


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Sittwe Port , Kaladan Project

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • After Chabahar, India has gained the rights to operate a second overseas port, Sittwe, in Myanmar.
  • This development is part of the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport project, which aims to provide alternate connectivity from the eastern coast of India to the northeastern states through the Sittwe port.

About India Ports Global (IPGL)

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has approved a proposal for India Ports Global (IPGL) to take over the operations of the entire port located on the Kaladan River.
  • IPGL is a company 100% owned by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
  • It is a joint venture between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Deendayal Port Trust (Erstwhile Kandla Port Trust).
  • It was created and incorporated in January 2015 under the Companies Act, 2013, as per directions of Ministry of Shipping (MoS), for development of ports overseas.
  • The MoS has presently assigned IPGL the task of equipping and operation of container/multi-purpose terminals at Chabahar Port in Iran.


About Sittwe Port

  • The Sittwe Port, located in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, is a crucial component of the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project.
  • It has been developed under a framework agreement between India and Myanmar for the construction and operation of a multimodal transit transport facility on the Kaladan River.
  • It is a deep-water port serving as a maritime gateway, enhancing trade and connectivity between India and Myanmar.

Significance of Sittwe Port

  • The Sittwe Port is part of the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project.
  • The project aims to connect the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Myanmar by sea.
  • It further link Sittwe Port to Paletwa in Myanmar via Kaladan river waterway, and connect Paletwa to Zorinpui in Mizoram through a road component.
  • This link will not only offer an alternative route for shipping goods to the northeastern states, but will significantly reduce the cost and distance from Kolkata to Mizoram and beyond.
  • It will also reduce dependency on the Siliguri Corridor, known as the chicken’s neck, which is squeezed between Bhutan and Bangladesh.

Also read about China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC)

Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project

  • It connects the seaport of Kolkata in India to Sittwe seaport in Rakhine State, Myanmar, by sea.
  • In Myanmar, the project links Sittwe seaport to Paletwa in Chin State via the Kaladan river boat route and then from Paletwa by road to Mizoram state in Northeast India.
  • The project is being funded by the Indian government and is aimed at reducing the distance from Kolkata to Sittwe by approximately 1,328 km.
  • It was initially scheduled to be completed by 2014.
  • The project is affected by Chin conflict, Rohingya conflict, and militant groups such as Arakan Army and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
  • There are different sections of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, which combines multi-modes of transport, including sea, river, and road routes.
  1. Sea Route: It includes- Kolkata-Sittwe shipping route, Sittwe seaport to Paletwa inland jetty river boat route, Sittwe Special Economic Zone at Ponnagyun town, Paletwa inland jetty to Zorinpui road route in Myanmar, and the Zorinpui to Aizawl road route in India.
  2. Road: This project will complement the river-road route of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar-Mizoram.
  3. Railway: It has the Sittwe-Kyaukhtu railway in Myanmar, Kyaukhtu-Zorinpui in Myanmar, and the Zochawchhuah (Zorinpui)-Sairang railway in India.



[2015] In the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, an initiative of six countries, which of the following is/are not a participant/ participants?

1.    Bangladesh

2.    Cambodia

3.    China

4.    Myanmar

5.    Thailand

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 1, 2 and 5

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