The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multimodal network connecting India to Central Asia through Iran, is expected to reduce cargo transit time between some points by as much as one month, according to government sources.

They are enthused by the progress made at a meeting of experts that ended here on Wednesday and feel it has gone according to the script.

In order to get acquainted with the corridor and its missing links, the experts wanted a dry run — proposed for next year — conducted from Mumbai to Russia via Bandar Abbas and the Caspian Sea. It should include despatch of test cargo and coordination among countries, the sources suggested.

The experts also wanted an INSTC Operational Authority set up to resolve operational issues.

Their recommendations will be taken up at the Coordination Council meeting to be held in Azerbaijan.

The experts also discussed the Chabahar-Zahedan-Mashhad route in which India will play a major role. About 1,300 km of rail line is to be laid in conjunction with India but Tehran is yet to provide New Delhi technical details.

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