Chabahar, on Iran’s southeastern coast, is being developed by India as a counter to China’s involvement in Pakistan’s Gwadar Port.
India has allocated more than $90 million for the development of the port. Of this, tenders worth $60 million for equipment have already been finalized. India’s Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari recently said he was hopeful Chabahar will become operational in 2018.
Sakineh Ashrafi, an official at Sistan-Baluchestan Governorate, said last week, India is to start shipping 35,000 containers of wheat to Afghanistan via the Iranian port of Chabahar in southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province within two weeks.
“In the first phase, 7,500 containers will be shipped,” she was quoted as saying by IRNA on Tuesday.
“From Chabahar, the shipments will be transported via road to Milak, a border city on the Afghan border.”
Gadkari said he was hopeful that the Iranian government would accord the necessary approvals for expediting the work, adding that Chabahar would boost trade and business between the two countries and in the region.
The port, located in Sistan-Baluchistan Province, is of great strategic utility for India. It lies outside the Persian Gulf and is accessed from India’s western coast.
India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port’s Phase I with a capital investment of about $85 million and annual revenue expenditure of $23 million on a 10-year lease.