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On the first day of his two-day Gujarat visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also inaugurated a pumping station for releasing Narmada waters into Tappar Dam in Bhachau. Photo: PTI
On the first day of his two-day Gujarat visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also inaugurated a pumping station for releasing Narmada waters into Tappar Dam in Bhachau. Photo: PTI

Kandla port to soon be linked with Iran’s Chabahar: Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi lays foundation stone for Rs993 crore projects of Kandla port, Chabahar port will allow India access to landlocked Afghanistan and energy-rich Central Asia

Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said the Kandla port in Gujarat will soon be connected with Iran’s Chabahar port, which will give a boost to India’s international trade and place the Indian port firmly on the global map.

Modi said this on the first of a two-day visit to Gujarat at Kandla in Kutch district where he laid the foundation stone for a dozen projects worth Rs993 crore.

India Ports Global Pvt. Ltd (IPGPL), a joint venture between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Kandla Port Trust (KPT) for development of ports overseas will develop and operate the Chabahar port. IPGPL is in the process of setting up two container berths and three multi-cargo berths.

Chahbahar port, located in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province on Iran’s southern coast is of strategic utility for India. It lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s western coast. It is located on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran’s border with Pakistan.

The Chabahar port will allow India access to landlocked Afghanistan and energy-rich Central Asia through JNPT and KPT-run ports on India’s west coast. India has also built a road link connecting Delaram with Zaranj in Afghanistan, which is adjacent to Iran’s border. Also, the port will promote Indian strategic interests in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

Kandla port, run by KPT, is one of India’s largest major ports (run by the central government) and the second largest among all the commercial ports in the country. Last year, it handled close to 106 million tonnes of cargo.

Kandla port will soon be linked to Chabahar port. “The linking will mean Kandla will cement its feet like Angad did," the prime minister said referring to an episode from Ramayana where the character put his feet down in King Ravana’s court and nobody could move it however hard they tried.

The prime minister said if India wants to make a place for itself in global trade, it should have the best of arrangements in the port sector. The combination of infrastructure and efficiency is vital for the port sector to thrive, he said, adding that the Kandla Port has emerged as one of the finest in Asia and its rapid growth has surprised many economists.

Modi also suggested that the Kandla Port Trust be named after BJP-RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, who he said stood for the uplift of all sections of the society.

Besides developing port facilities, Modi said his government was also working on developing a multi-modal transport system.

The new projects undertaken at Kandla are part of the ambitious Sagarmala project that shipping ministry envisages promoting port-based integrated development around all the major and non-major ports of India. Coastal transportation of goods and trade will be cheaper than by roads, Modi said. Developed ports are necessary for India’s recognition as a global economic power.

As part of Sagarmala, more than 400 projects, at an estimated infrastructure investment of more than Rs8 trillion, have been identified across the areas of port modernization & new port development, port connectivity enhancement, port-linked industrialization and coastal community development.

Union shipping and transport minister Nitin Gadkari said the Sagarmala project of 239 projects worth Rs1.37 trillion was already in progress, of which 40 projects were in Gujarat alone. A smart city project is also proposed for Kandla which will create direct and indirect employment for about 50,000 people, he said.

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