Kaladan Multimodal Project

The Kaladan multimodal project is a joint project between India and Myanmar. It has made its way back in the news as the project is about to be nearly completed at the Mizoram end. The Kaladan project has been the most ambitious to connect India and Myanmar by sea.

Unfortunately, the project has seen several delays with the completion of the project earlier. This has prompted the Indian Prime Minister to expedite the progress on the project and its completion by the end of 2024. The following article will understand the Kaladan multimodal project, its current status, and its benefits to the country.

The two countries have had deep-rooted relations that have historical, ethnic, cultural, and religious significance. Aspirants preparing for the upcoming civil services examination can learn more about India-Myanmar relations at the linked article.

Information discussed further below in this article can be helpful for UPSC exam aspirants and questions based on the same can be asked in the prelims and mains examination.

What is the Kaladan Multimodal Project?

The Kaladan Multimodal project connects Kolkata port with Myanmar’s Sittwe Port by sea, Sittwe to Paletwa via river Kaladan, Paletwa to the border of India, and Myanmar via road and further ahead to Lawngtlai, Mizoram by road. The project budget was proposed to be Rs 536 crore in 2008 but has currently crossed Rs 3,200 crore owing to the delays and costs involved in land acquisition.

The project was launched under the “Look East Policy” in 1991, and currently, the Modi government undertook this as “Act East” remodelled policy. It is named a multimodal project as it uses a wide range of infrastructures like roads, bridges, and floating barrages.

Why has the project faced several delays in its completion?

The delays in the completion of the project were due to several reasons listed below.

  • Initially, the project faced several logistic challenges. EPIL and C&C constructions initiated the first part of road construction. However, in 2019 the RK-RPP was subcontracted for completing the second stretch between Kaletwa and Zorinpui, replacing the C&C constructions.
  • In 2020, worldwide lockdown events due to the COVID pandemic resulted in the suspension of the construction.
  • Factors like the law and order issues in the region and deterioration of security at the site have also been the reasons for the delay. In 2019, the Indian Army and Myanmar army commenced a two-week-long coordinated operation, wherein they ravaged around 10-12 insurgent group camps set up in the Rakhine area.
  • Apart from these issues, the hard-to-tame terrains and monsoons have also posed a hindrance to the project’s completion.

Given below are the related links in line with the UPSC Syllabus for the reference of candidates:

What is the current status of the project?

The Indian and Myanmar governments signed the Kaladan multimodal project agreement in 2008. The construction started in 2010, with a deadline of 2014. However, coordination issues between the governments on constructing hydroelectric projects on the Kaladan river tributaries resulted in very little progress in that year.

The next deadline was set as 2021 and was further revised to 2023. With the latest information, the construction of the Sittwe seaport is completed and was eligible for operation in the first quarter of 2021. The jetty construction at Paletwa is also complete. In addition, around 80 percent of the road between Zorinpui and Lawngtlai is total.

The first and the last bridge out of the eight located on the way to Zorinpui is at the preliminary stage of construction, while the rest are all complete. The work is back on track.

What is the benefit of the Kaladan Multimodal Project?

Several benefits for the two countries associated with the Kaladan Multimodal Project are listed below.

  • The Northeastern regions of India are rich in natural resources, with one-fifth country’s hydrocarbon reserves.
  • The Kaladan multimodal project between India and Myanmar will open up new business, transport, and shipments from Myanmar’s eastern ports to the northeastern parts of the country.
  • The project will boost the economic development of the northeastern states with the emergence of several industrial clusters in the region.
  • The only route from India to the landlocked northeastern states is through the narrow Siliguri corridor called the “Chicken’s Neck.” India will benefit by attaining access through Bangladesh for shipping goods in the country’s northeastern states.
  • The new route will lower the cost and time of moving to Mizoram from Kolkata.
  • It will help in countering China’s expansion in the region.

The countries are highly optimistic about completing the project without any further delays. If completed, the Kaladan multimodal transit corridor will transform the geo-economic scenario of the two countries and initiate a new corridor that will end the maritime isolation of the region.

UPSC aspirants can also familiarize themselves with the Neighbouring Countries of India, their geographical background and state borders at the linked article.

For any further exam updates, study material and preparation tips, candidates can visit BYJU’S.

Frequently Asked Questions on Kaladan Multimodal Project

What is the Kaladan Multimodal Project?

Kaladan multimodal project is a joint project between India and Myanmar that connects Sittwe Port in Myanmar to the India-Myanmar border.

How will the Kaladan Multimodal project benefit the countries?

The Kaladan Multimodal project will open up a new corridor between India, Myanmar, and the country’s northeastern states. It will boost the economic development of northeastern countries and provide access to India in the region.

When did the two countries sign the Kaladan Multimodal project agreement?

India and Myanmar signed the Kaladan Multimodal Project agreement in 2008.

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