NEW DELHI, Oct 14 - The Union Cabinet today sanctioned the Revised Cost Estimate of Rs 2,904.04 crore for the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar.
The project was envisaged to provide an alternate access route to the northeastern States and contribute towards the region�s economic development. Being a key connectivity project, it will promote economic, commercial and strategic links between India and Myanmar, Union Telecommunication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told newsmen.
The Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project was jointly identified by India and Myanmar to create a multi-modal mode of transport for shipment of cargo from the eastern ports of India to Myanmar, as well as to the NE region through Myanmar.
The project, which will connect Sittwe Port in Myanmar to the India-Myanmar border, is expected to contribute to the economic development of the NE States by opening up the sea route for the products. It also provides a strategic link to the Northeast, thereby reducing the pressure on the Siliguri Corridor, he said.
In the absence of an alternate route, the development of this project not only serves the economic, commercial and strategic interests of India, but also contributes to the development of Myanmar, and its economic integration with India. Since the project has political and strategic significance, it was decided to execute it through India�s grant assistance to Myanmar.
Following preparation of the detailed project reports for the waterways component comprising Port and Inland Waterways Terminal in April 2003 and the road component in March 2005, M/S RITES Limited suggested a waterway route from Sittwe Port to Kaletwa (225 km) along the Kaladan River and thereafter a roadway from Kaletwa to the India-Myanmar border (62 km). The Union Cabinet had initially sanctioned Rs 535.91 crore in March 2008.
The construction activities at Sittwe in Myanmar started in December 2010. Till last year, 79 per cent of the construction work was completed at an estimated expenditure of Rs 224 crore. The original time schedule for completion was June 2013, which was extended till June 2014 due to delay in handing over of land at Sittwe and Paletwa, custom clearances and other approvals by the Government of Myanmar. This deadline too was missed.