In order to finalize the outstanding technical and financial issues that are related to the venture which was still awaited, India asserted that the Iranian side was to nominate an authorized entity.
Chabahar-Zahedan rail project: India has recently termed the media reports as “speculative” on its involvement in the Chabahar-Zahedan railway project. In order to finalize the outstanding technical and financial issues that are related to the venture which was still awaited, India asserted that the Iranian side was to nominate an authorized entity. Anurag Srivastava, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson was quoted in a PTI report saying that since the year 2016, there has been significant progress on the Chabahar port project despite the difficulties posed by the sanctions situation. His statement came after some media reports claimed that India has been left out of the project in Iran.
According to Srivastava, since the year 2018, the port has been operated by an Indian company and the company has steadily scaled up the traffic there. He further said that since December 2018, as many as 82 vessels have been handled there including 52 number of vessels in the last one year alone. A total of 12 lakh tonnes of bulk cargo and 8,200 containers have been handled by the port, Srivastava said. Currently, in order to increase the usage of Chabahar port, both for Central Asia and Afghanistan, proactive measures are underway, he said.
Srivastava said that for the proposed railway line, the Indian government appointed IRCON to assess the project’s feasibility. IRCON was working with an Iranian company- CDTIC, which is under their Railway Ministry, in that regard. The site inspection and the review of the feasibility report have been completed by IRCON, he said. Thereafter, discussions were held on the project’s other relevant aspects. This had to be taken into account, the financial challenges faced by Iran. These issues were reviewed in December 2019, at the 19th India-Iran Joint Commission Meeting, which was held in Tehran, he said.
The Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson said an authorized entity was to be nominated by the Iranian side to finalize outstanding technical as well as financial issues. However, this is still awaited, Srivastava added.