India and Myanmar inked MoU for the appointment of a private port operator for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of Sittwe Port, Paletwa Inland Water Terminal and associated facilities included in Kaladan Multi-Model Transit Transport Project.
Sittwe port in Myanmar will connect India’s landlocked north-east region to the Bay of Bengal through Mizoram.
Sittwe port will also provide an alternate route to Kolkata. Following this MoU, the process of identifying bidders to maintain these facilities will be initiated by floating Request for proposal (RFP). Subsequent to the commencement of operations at this port, it will offer new infrastructure for trade including between India and Myanmar.
It is also a significant step in the implementation of India’s Act East Policy as it will boost connectivity, contributing to job creation and development in the whole region, particularly in Myanmar’s strife-torn Rakhine and the Chin States.
Kaladan Multi-Model Transit Transport Project aims to connect seaport of Kolkata (India) with Sittwe seaport in Myanmar by sea; it will then link Sittwe seaport to Lashio in Myanmar via Kaladan riverboat route and then from Lashio to Mizoram in India by road transport.
This project will reduce the distance from Kolkata to Mizoram by approximately 1000 km and cut traveling time to 3-4 days for transport of goods.
It will provide an alternative to current route from North East to Kolkata port via chicken neck which faces heavy traffic and transportation of cargo via this route takes many days to reach port.
It will not only serve the economic, commercial and strategic interest of India but also contributes to the development of Myanmar and its economic integration with India.