Even when tensions between India and Iran have increased in recent times, the Indian government is hopeful that the strategic Chabahar Port will start functioning by 2018. The current status report on Chabahar port was provided by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Gadkari, who is the Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister, was in Tehran today and he will be representing India at the oath taking ceremony of President Hassan Rouhani. It may be recalled that earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had congratulated Rouhani when he was re-elected as the President of Iran. At that time, Modi had talked about the need to strengthen relations between the two countries, which have existed for many decades.
Speaking about the current status of the Chabahar port, Gadkari said, “India and Iran have been historically sharing special ties … We are keen on developing Chabahar Port and are hopeful of starting operations in 12 to 18 months.” The port is strategically very important for India, as it will allow access to the energy-rich Persian Gulf. Indian would be able to access oil and gas resources through its west coast, effectively bypassing Pakistan. Construction work is being conducted at a rapid pace at Chabahar Port to ensure completion by 2018. Gadkari said that tenders worth Rs 380 crore have already been finalized and around Rs 200 crore are in the pipeline. He said that these investments will act as the growth engine when the port is ready and operational.