Chabahar Port is located in Sistan and Baluchestan province in the Southeastern part of Iran, on the Gulf of Oman. In December 2018, India took over the operations of the Port. It is operated by India Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL). India’s first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan was sent through Chabahar Port. India began building a railway line between Chabahar port and Zahedan as part of the North South Transport Corridor. Chabahar port is about 170 km away from Gwadar Port built in Pakistan by China.
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What is the Meaning of Chabahar?
Chabahar is made of Persian words Chahar meaning four; and bahar meaning spring. It translates as a place which has spring in all the four seasons of the year. Chabahar is important for its fishery sector, and will act as an important trade centre connecting South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. India is involved in building railway lines from this place to the mineral rich Hajigak region of Afghanistan.
Why is Chabahar Port Important to India? What is its Geopolitical Significance?
The multiple reasons behind the geopolitical significance of Chabahar port are listed below.
- Boost trade ties, diplomatic ties and military ties with Iran.
- Provides India with better connectivity to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
- It will be the gateway to the International North-South Transport Corridor which is a combination of road, rail and sea routes connecting Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Iran and India.
- India can carry out humanitarian operations from this port if the need arises.
- This port is just 170 km away from Gwadar port operated by China in Pakistan, hence this port would be of strategic importance to Indian Navy and defense establishment.
How Many Major Ports are there in India?
As per data from the Ministry of Shipping, 95% of India’s trade by volume is done through Maritime transport. Currently India has 12 major ports.
- Mumbai Port Trust
- Deendayal Port Trust also called Kandla Port Trust – Located in Gujarat
- Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Navi Mumbai – Largest Container Port in India
- New Mangalore Port Trust – Located in Karnataka
- Kochi Port Trust
- Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port Trust also called as Kolkata Port Trust
- Paradip Port Trust – Located in Orissa
- Visakhapatnam Port Trust
- Mormugao Port Trust – Located in Goa
- Chennai Port
- V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust formerly known as Tuticorin Port Trust – Located in Tamil Nadu
- Kamarajar Port Limited – Earlier known as Ennore Port – Located 18 km north of Chennai.
The Government of India plans to modernise all the ports of India through the Sagarmala Project.
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