India may consider Iran’s plan to develop Chabahar airport

September 30, 2016 11:16 pm | Updated November 01, 2016 10:02 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

India may examine a proposal from Iran to develop the airport at its strategic Chabahar port as part of comprehensive infrastructure development that includes rail-road connectivity to the port.

The Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich nation’s southern coast lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s western coast bypassing Pakistan.

“There is already an operational airport at Chabahar. The Iranian delegation to India has asked us whether India would be willing to develop and modernise it during the review on the latest development and situation on the bilateral pact...on the Chabahar port,” an official told PTI.

Apart from discussions on expanding scope of cooperation to cover development of the entire Chabahar port, it was discussed that air transport could be of much significance, the official said.

The high-level Iranian delegation led by Minister of Roads and Urban Development Dr Abbas Akhoundi and comprising Ambassador Gholamreza Ansari and Deputy Minister and MD for PMO Mohammad Saeid Nejad, among others, held a meeting with Indian authorities led by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari here.

The official said Chabahar has an operational airport and the Iranian minister enquired whether India would be willing to modernise it.

After meeting the Iranian team and a delegation from Afghanistan, Mr. Gadkari hoped that Chabahar project will open a new gateway for development of India, Iran and Afghanistan by boosting connectivity and trade.

A “milestone” pact on the strategic Chabahar port in southern Iran that will provide India access to Afghanistan and Europe by passing Pakistan was signed by India and Iran in May this year.

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