Commercial operations at the Chabahar port are expected to start in the 18-24 months, which will provide India increased connectivity to Russia and North Baltic countries, among others, Parliament was informed today.\u00a0"Overall, it is expected that it will take 18-24 months for commercial operations to commence at Chabahar Port," Minister of State for Shipping P Radhakrishnan said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.\u00a0In May, India signed a milestone agreement with Iran to invest USD 500 million to develop the strategic Chabahar Port in Southern Iran, which will give India access to Afghanistan and Europe bypassing Pakistan. On access through Chabahar port, the minister said: "India will get access to Eastern Transit Corridor to eastern part of Iran, Afghanistan (landlocked), CIS countries like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, etc and alternative to North South Corridor (access to Russia and North Baltic countries)."\u00a0The West Coast of India with ports like Kandla (550 Nautical Miles) and Mumbai\/JNPT (786 Nautical Miles) will get the maximum benefit, he added. On funds that India will provide to Iran, Radhakrishnan said: "Making credit of USD 150 million available for development of phase 1 of the port, within 4 months of receiving their application through Central Bank of Iran. Equipping both terminals with equipment worth USD 85 million within 18 months above funding."