India hopeful Kaladan project will boost NE economy


New Delhi: The Kaladan multi-model project, beining financed by India to link Myanmar with Mizoram through the Sittwe port, will boost economy of northeastern region by facilitating easy and cheap transport of goods to landlocked states, Union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar said here.

The Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), speaking at the India-Bangladesh dialogue, said cost of transportation of goods to the region will come down significantly once the project is completed. India is implementing the Kaladan multi-modal transport project that involves upgrading the Sittwe port and constructing a highway to connect the town of Paletwa in Chin state to Mizoram.

Indian conglomerate Essar Group is building the port on 70,000 square metres of landfill in Sittwe’s centre where the port will accommodate ships from Kolkata, a 539-km journey across Bay of Bengal and handle up to 500,000 tonnes a year.

From Sittwe, ships will sail up the Kaladan River to the town of Paletwa, where Essar will build a second and a smaller port.

A 122-km highway will connect Paletwa to Mizoram. The two countries had agreed on Kaladan project in April 2008 and work began on Sittwe port in September 2010.

The region is India’s gateway to North and Southeast Asia as it has borders with China, Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh, he said. Implementation of the Trilateral Highway connecting North East with Myanmar and Thailand would help economy of the region to a great extent. (PTI)