AIZAWL, March 3 (PTI): Union Minister R K Ranjan Singh has said that the ambitious Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project got delayed due to the political situation in Myanmar.
The Centre gives a priority to the bilateral cross-border project and also the waterway projects with Bangladesh under the Act East Policy, he said.
“Because of the unpredictable atmosphere occurring in Myanmar, our progress in view of the Kaladan project is derailing a bit,” Singh, the minister of state for external affairs, told reporters here.
Notably, thousands of people from Myanmar have crossed the international border and taken refuge in Mizoram after the neighbouring country’s military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi there in February 2021.
The Kaladan project was strategically planned by the Centre to connect the northeastern part of the country with Indo-Pacific nations, the minister said.
The project, which will connect Sittwe Port in Myanmar, is expected to contribute to the economic development of the northeastern states of India by opening up the sea route for various products. It also provides a strategic link to the northeast region, thereby reducing pressure on the Siliguri corridor.
“The Kaladan project is strategically planned by the Centre with the full cooperation of the Mizoram government. The project, if it is through, will link us with all Indo-pacific countries,” Singh, who hails from the northeast region, said.
The Centre is also looking for waterways to connect with Bangladesh, the minister said.
During the day, Singh also attended the G20 business meeting held in Aizawl.
Addressing the meeting at Mizoram University (MZU), he said the northeastern region has a significant youth population, who are “agile in skilling and have good experience in communicating in English fluently with clients”.
“This must be leveraged by our business community in employing skilled individuals across sectors. The NE region has the diverse potential to propel ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’,” he added.