Sittwe Port Takeover by India Ports Global Limited (IPGL)

Tags: National News

The Ministry of External Affairs of India has given its approval to India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) to assume control of all operations at the Sittwe port situated in Myanmar's Rakhine province.

An Overview of the News

  • This move marks Sittwe port as the second international port under Indian control, following the Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, Iran.

  • Unlike Chabahar, where India controls two terminals, India will have full control over operations at the Sittwe Port.

  • The deal includes a long-term lease arrangement, renewable every three years, and IPGL will mobilize resources to further develop the port.

Sittwe Port Development and Significance:

  • The development of Sittwe port is part of the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project, aimed at enhancing connectivity between Myanmar and India's northeastern states.

  • The project involves connecting Sittwe port in Myanmar with Mizoram state in India through multimodal transit connectivity on the Kaladan River.

  • India provided a $500 million grant to Myanmar for the construction of the port.

  • The port was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal on May 9, 2023, marking a significant milestone in India-Myanmar connectivity.

  • Sittwe port plays a crucial role in the development strategy for India's northeastern states, aiming to reduce transportation and logistic costs.

Connectivity Enhancements

  • The Kaladan Multimodal project includes the development of 158 km of waterways on the Kaladan River from Sittwe Port to Paletwa in Myanmar, along with a road network of 109 km from Paletwa to Zorinpui on the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram.

  • This infrastructure development is expected to significantly enhance connectivity in India's northeastern states, particularly Mizoram and Tripura.

Impact on Tripura and Mizoram Connectivity:

  • The project will facilitate the transportation of goods from Shyam Prasad Mukherjee Port in Kolkata to Sittwe Port, then to Teknaf Port in Bangladesh, and finally to Sabroom in Tripura, reducing transportation time and logistics costs.

  • It is anticipated to benefit Tripura and Mizoram by improving access to goods and services, thereby fostering economic growth in the region.

Threats to Sittwe Port:

  • The Sittwe port's development faces potential threats from ongoing conflicts in Myanmar, particularly the civil war between the military government and insurgent groups like the Arakan Army in the Rakhine state.

  • The instability in the region poses uncertainties regarding the fate of the Sittwe project, especially if the rebels gain control of the Rakhine province, jeopardizing the port's operations and security.

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