India sends vessel to Sittwe Port in Myanmar
Dibrugarh: Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal will receive the first Indian cargo ship at Sittwe Port in Myanmar on May 9, 2023. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today hailed the inaugural run of the vessel to Sittwe Port in Myanmar, developed under the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project.
The ceremony is likely to inaugurate regular transit of cargo ships between Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata, India to Sittwe Port in Rakhine state of Myanmar, heralding a new age of transportation between the two countries. The route is likely to unlock “tremendous” economic potential for the entire Bay of Bengal peninsula, allowing a bridge between South Asia and South East Asia regions, Sonowal said, while addressing media persons here today.
Sittwe Port development is part of the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP). Once operationalised, the Sittwe port will enable multi-modal transit connectivity with South East Asia. Sittwe Port has been developed under a framework agreement between India and Myanmar for the construction and operation of a Multimodal Transit Transport Facility on the Kaladan River connecting the Sittwe Port in Myanmar with the state of Mizoram in India.
The Sittwe port connects to Paletwa in Myanmar through an inland waterway and from Paletwa to Zorinpui in Mizoram through a road component. Goods from Kolkata to Sittwe Port can be shipped to Teknaf Port, Bangladesh which is just 60 nautical miles from Sittwe. From Teknaf Port goods can be transported by road to Sabroom which is 300 km away. Sabroom has an Integrated customs border between Bangladesh and Tripura. Sittwe Port and Kaladan Project are expected to immensely benefit Tripura by way of a significant reduction in transportation time and logistics costs.
Sonowal said, once fully operationalised, Kaladaan Multi-Modal Transport Project will provide alternate connectivity from the East Coast of India to the northeastern states through the Sittwe port. According to the Minister, this is a “far more feasible” route for the trade and commerce of Northeast India, than the existing route via Siliguri to Kolkata, saving time, and money and excelling efficiency.
The cost of transportation of goods from Kolkata to Aizwal is expected to see a drop of more than 50% in cost and time when the cargo is sent from Kolkata to Sittwe onto Palletwa and after that via road to Aizwal and the whole of Northeast India, the Minister said. Similarly, goods from Kolkata to Agartala will incur much lesser cost and time via this route. While the length of the road from Kolkata to Agartala is around 1600 km and takes 4 days via roadways, the Sittwe to Chittagong to Sarboom to Agartala will be done in 2 days, saving cost and time. In addition to a reduction of traffic on the road, the use of marine transport will considerably bring down the environmental cost of transport with a drop in fossil fuel carbon emission”.
Major cargo for export for Sittwe Port from Myanmar includes rice, timber, fish and seafood, Petroleum products and Garments and textiles. The major cargo for import for Sittwe Port; i.e. imports by Myanmar include construction materials such as cement, steel and bricks among others.
Sittwe Port has been developed under a framework agreement between India and Myanmar for the construction and operation of a Multimodal Transit Transport Facility on the Kaladan River connecting the Sittwe Port in Myanmar with the state of Mizoram in India. The Port will open up new opportunities for India’s Northeast as it will be able to use an alternate and more feasible route for trade and transit and also, for Myanmar, particularly the Rakhine State, will further enhance trade and commerce between the two countries and the wider region, the Minister said.
– global bihari bureau