CHABAHAR PORT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     17th February 2024        

Context: India has urged Central Asian countries to use the port of Chabahar located on the southeast coast of Iran to enhance connectiv- ity and trade with India and other countries in the world.

Chabahar Port

  • History: Indo-Iranian collaboration on Chabahar port dates back to 2003. It is only during the PM visit in 2016, he pledged up to $500 million to develop and operate Iran's Chabahar port as part of a trilateral engagement between India, Iran and Afghanistan.
  • Location: Chabahar port is located in Iran’s south-eastern Sistan and Baluchestan province. 

oLocated on the edge of the Indian Ocean (located on the Gulf of Oman), it is the only deep-sea port in Iran with direct ocean access. 

  • Consist of two ports: Chabahar Port consists of two separate ports called Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti.

oIts geographic proximity to countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, as well as its status as a key transit centre on the burgeoning International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), gives it the potential to develop into one of the most important commercial hubs in the region. 

Significance Of The Port

  • Bypass Pakistan: India can bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan.
  • Connectivity: Chabahar port will boost India's access to Iran, the key gateway to the INSTC that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
  • Countering China: It will be beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port. Gwadar port is less than 400 km from Chabahar by road and 100 km by sea.
  • Import: There will be a significant boost in the import of iron ore, sugar and rice to India. The import cost of oil to India will also see a considerable decline.
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