Throught the Kaladan Multi Modal Project transport link, the cargo can be transported from Kolkata Port or other ports of India to Sittwe Port by sea and from Sittwe port to Mizoram state by IWT/Highway and vice-versa. The proposed transport system can also be used for border trade between India and Myanmar.
Distance: Kolkata to Sittwe by Road now : Approx 2,154 kms
North Eastern region is now connected by land with the rest of India through West Bengal. Most of the cargo originates from Kolkata and terminates at Guwahati and vice-versa. From Guwahati, the cargo gets distributed to various destinations of northeastern states. The transport links to states particularly Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland are affected many a time by floods, land slides, blockages of roads and local agitations.
Some Information on the Kaladan Multimodal Project:
What is Kaladan Multi Modal Project?
Indian government signed an agreement with the Burmese government on April 2nd 2008 for the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project. The project will connect the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe port in Myanmar by sea; it will then link Sittwe to Mizoram via river and road transport. This project would reduce distance from Kolkata to Sittwe by approximately 1328 kms saving a lot of money, time and energy and also providing Northeast india a route to import and export goods out of northeast India.
The project involves development of a trade route between the two countries along the river Kaladan. The river Kaladan is navigable from its confluence point with the Bay of Bengal near Sittwe up to Setpyitpyin (Kaletwa), Myanmar, on its North. Beyond this the river is not navigable owing to shallow water depth and frequent rapids. Therefore, transportation by road is proposed for this stretch. From Sittwe Port to Kaletwa, transportation will be by waterway and from Kaletwa to India-Myanmar border transportation will be by road.
What will be the cost involved and who will be handling the contracts?
I. Implementing Authority – Ministry of External Affairs (for the
portion in Myanmar) Implementing Agency – RITES Ltd. (under Ministry of Railways)
Estimated Cost – Rs. 545.85 crore (at the exchange rate on 31st August, 2006, 1 US$ = INR 46.50)
II. Implementing Authority – Department of Road Transport and
Highways (for the portion in Mizoram) Implementing Agency–Public Works Department, Govt.of Mizoram
Estimated Cost – Rs. 550 crore (at the exchange rate on 31st August, 2006, 1 US$ = INR 46.50)
What about the route, What will be the distance?
a) Kolkata to Sittwe: Sea 539 km.
b) Sittwe to Setpyitpyin: Inland Water 225 km.
(Kaletwa) Transport on river Kaladan
c) Setpyitpyin to India border by Road 62 km.
What will be the ports involved?
Handling Point in India : Hmawngbu (Mobu) in Mizoram.
Handling Point in Myanmar : Myeikwa.
Why has the Government of India initiated the Kaladan Multi Modal Project?
The Government of India has not initiated the Kaldan Multi Modal project just because of sudden fondness for the wellbeing of the people of Mizoram or Northeast for better connectivity out of the Siliguri chicken neck but also because of strategic reasons. The basic reason being to counter the Chinese influence in Myanmar because if India does not develop a strategic economic relation with Myanmar, it could affect the stability of Northeastern India as some of the underground outfits use Myanmar as a base, India has a 1,600 km long porous border with Myanmar. A strong Chinese influence in Myanmar would also not be in the interest of Indian Government.
How will the Kaladan Multi Modal Project benefit Northeast India?
The Kaldan Multi Modal project will not only reduce the distance between Northeast and Mainland India, but it will also reduce it’s reliance on the Siliguri chicken neck, it would also provide a boon in terms of providing local youth employment to insurgency affected states of Northeast India and help reduce price of goods as well as time for transportation of goods, it could open a window for the Northeastern states to export goods in an easier way throughout the world.
What about Mizoram ?
Northeast which was mainly connected through Guwahati would also now be connected through Mizoram, it would be more cheap to transport cargo eg –cars from Chennai to Aizawl Via Sittwe port rather than Siliguri West Bengal Corridor. In order to be a trading centre, the Indian government would have to invest in more airports in south of Mizoram (Lunglei), a railway line upto Lawngtlai and an alternative commercial centre other than downtown Aizawl which is too clogged up for any further Commercial development. Nn order to prepare for this, the Mizoram government could also go ahead in training the human resource it has in terms of training them for commercial activities like Accounting, Trade, Finance, Hospitality, Retail, F&B training for the commercial activities that are to happen. Mizoram could become more cosmopolitian, more people would migrate to the state, but if the local people do not get a share of the development in terms of employment & trading opportunities, resentment could build up amon the local people. It would also be important for people of Mizoram to retain its unique culture and heritage amidst greater economic activities that will happen.
Road to North-East via Burma
Devangshu Datta / New Delhi June 5, 2010, 0:31 IST
Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project