Govt to spend $100 million on linking Mizoram-Myanmar

New Delhi, Feb 4 | Updated: Feb 5 2007, 07:19am hrs
As part of its efforts to form strategic alliances in the subcontinent, the government is planning to undertake a multimodal transport project from Mizoram to Myanmar.
Neighbourly Ties

Apart from spending the amount, the government will spend also be liable for all cost over runs
The Myanmar government will pay $10 million and provide free land for the project
Mizoram will be connected to the Sittwe port in Myanmar by a shipping link; a riverine transport facility from Sittwe to Kaletwa in Myanmar and then to Mizoram by road

Requiring about $1.1 billion in investment, the project would see the government spending about $100 million and would also be liable for all cost over runs. The Myanmar government would pay $10 million as well as provide free land for the project. Soft loans would be given to the Myanmar government to cover its contribution of $10 million.

As part of the project, Mizoram and ports on the eastern side would be connected to Sittwe port in Myanmar by a shipping link. It would then be followed by a riverrine transport facility from Sittwe port to Kaletwa in Myanmar, which would then be connected to Mizoram by road. Arrangements for customs, immigration and other border-crossing services are also likely to be made as part of the project. The government is planning to set up a Land Port Authority, which is likely to be given these responsibilities.

Envisaged by the ministry of external affairs in 2003, the project has also got the Myanmar governments approval. It has already received an in-principle approval from the Planning Commission and is likely to go to the Cabinet for formal approval once certain financial issues regarding its commercial viability and rate of return have been settled.

However, it has been decided that the project should be undertaken at the earliest due to its strategic importance. The project is also high on the governments priority as it would help counter Chinas growing importance in Myanmar.

The Chinese government too is keen on building rail-road connectivity there.