Chaba­har-za­hedan rail­way project on track: IRIR of­fi­cial

Iran Daily - - Domestic Economy -

Nearly 40 per­cent of the ma­jor rail­way project con­nect­ing south­east­ern port city of Chaba­har to Za­hedan, the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal of Sis­tan-baluches­tan, has been com­pleted, said an of­fi­cial at the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran Rail­ways.

“The project has moved ahead with sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment,” Ab­bas Khat­ibi said, adding that Iran places key im­por­tance for the rail­way as it would open up a new trade route be­tween Cen­tral Asia and In­dia, ISNA re­ported. The project is mu­tu­ally fi­nanced by Iran and In­dia. Tehran, New Delhi and Kabul signed a tri­lat­eral agree­ment to de­velop Chaba­har in Tehran in May 2016, when In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and Afghan Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani paid a state visit to Iran.

The deal stip­u­lates the de­vel­op­ment and oper­a­tion of two ter­mi­nals and three berths at the port with cargo han­dling ca­pac­i­ties for 10 years.

Based on the agree­ment, Iran is to pro­vide land in Chaba­har Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone to In­dian com­pa­nies for set­ting up petro­chem­i­cal, fer­til­izer and other gas-based in­dus­tries.

Khat­ibi said part of the project is lo­cated in moun­tain­ous area, but added that the project has not been de­layed so far.

In­dia has also agreed to build a 500-km rail­road from Chaba­har to Za­hedan, close to the Afghan bor­der. In­dia’s state-owned IRCON has agreed to build a rail route at a cost of $1.6 bil­lion as part of the tran­sit cor­ri­dor to Afghanistan.

Af­ter con­nect­ing Chaba­har to Za­hedan, the rail­road will be linked to Zaranj in Afghanistan. Hence, when the Afghan cargo ar­rives in Za­hedan, it can be trans­ported by a 1,380-km rail­road to Chaba­har and then shipped to In­dia.

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