India: Chabahar Expected to Become Operational in 1.5-2 Yrs.
Commercial operations at Iran's southern Chabahar Port are expected to start in 18-24 months, says India's Minister of State for Shipping P Radhakrishnan.
In May, India signed a milestone agreement with Iran to invest $500 million to develop the strategic port, which will give India access to Afghanistan and Europe bypassing Pakistan, the Indian newspaper Business Standard reported.
On access through Chabahar, the minister said, "India will get access to Eastern Transit Corridor to eastern parts of Iran, Afghanistan, CIS countries like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, etc., and alternative to North South Corridor."
"The West Coast of India, with ports like Kandla and Mumbai/JNPT, will get the maximum benefit," he added.
On funds that India will provide to Iran, Radhakrishnan referred to $150 million for development of Phase 1 of the port within four months of receiving application from the Central Bank of Iran, in addition to outfitting both terminals with equipment worth $85 million within 18 months.