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Talks underway for the construction of railway from Chabahar to Herat

Railway-Chabahar-to-AfghanistanNegotiations are underway between the Afghan, Iranian and Indian officials for the construction of railway from the strategic Chabahar port to the western Herat province of Afghanistan.

According to the officials in the Ministry of Public Works of Afghanistan, the government of India is mulling the support the construction of the railway from Chabahar to Herat.

The officials further added that the railway will help Afghanistan connect with the Chabahar port, a move that has been welcomed by the officials in Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).

Chabahar transit corridor is defined as ambitious for India as the port will facilitate direct access to to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan besides providing investment opportunities for the Afghan businessmen and being a critical alternative trade route for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is expected to have sea-land access through the strategic Chabahar port in Iran by the end of next year as the work on the port has already begun by a joint venture of Kandla Port Trust (KPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).

The port will enable access to Afghanistan through Garland highway using the existing Iranian road network and the Zaranj-Delaram road, constructed by India in 2009.

As a result a direct road access will be established to four of the major cities of Afghanistan – Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, and Mazar-e-Sharif.

The port will be also used to ship crude oil and urea, saving India transportation costs. It will also cut transport costs and freight time for India to Central Asia and the Gulf by about a third. -KP


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