India-funded Sittwe Port in Myanmar, constructed as part of the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport project, was inaugurated on 4th May 2023. As part of a trial run, an Indian cargo ship carrying a consignment of Ramco cement will leave Kolkata’s Shyama Prasad Mookerjee port for the Sittwe Port. The Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Santanu Thakur, will flag off the ship from Kolkata.
Sittwe Port: A Key Alternative Transport Route
The Sittwe Port, located in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, offers an alternate transport route to India’s Siliguri corridor, popularly known as the Chicken’s Neck. The route is crucial for connecting the northeastern states through Myanmar. The development of alternative routes to enhance connectivity and the movement of goods in the region is a key focus from a connectivity standpoint, particularly given the challenges faced by the northeastern states.
Project Cost and Modi Government’s Focus on Connectivity
The Kaladan project’s total cost is estimated to be around $500 million, with the cost of the port estimated at around $120 million. Union MoS Ports, Shipping and Waterways Santanu Thakur has announced that the government, under the leadership of PM Modi, is focusing on improving connectivity and cargo movement in the northeast. The inauguration of the Sittwe Port is a significant step in that direction.
Consignment Arrival and Indian Delegation
The Ramco cement consignment ship from Kolkata’s Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port will arrive at Sittwe on May 9, where it will be received by an Indian delegation led by Union Cabinet Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal.