CHABAHAR PORT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     14th May 2024        

Context: Recently, India and Iran signed a 10-year contract for the operation of the Chabahar port, eight years after finalizing the general cooperation framework.

Chabahar Port

  • Meaning: Chabahar is made of the Persian words Chahar meaning four; and bahar meaning spring.
  • 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. 
  • Consist of two ports: Chabahar Port consists of two separate ports called Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti.

o Its 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.
  • 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.