General Studies Paper 2

Context: Recently MV-ITT LION (V-273) was flagged off from Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata as the inaugural shipment to operationalize the Sittwe Port in Rakhine State of Myanmar.

  • The Port has been built under grant assistance from the Government of India as part of Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP).

Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP)

  • It is a massive connectivity project to connect the Haldia port (West Bengal) to Mizoram through Myanmar.
  • The route envisages a marine journey from Haldia to Sittwe port in Myanmar. It will then link Sittwe seaport to Paletwa  via the Kaladan river boat route, and then from Paletwa to Zorinpui in Mizoram state in Northeast India by road.

Significance of KMTTP Project

  • This project will reduce distance from Kolkata to Sittwe by approximately 1,328 km and will reduce the need to transport goods through the narrow Siliguri corridor, also known as Chicken’s Neck.
  • This strategic and important route will further enhance trade, commerce and economic ties with Myanmar, our North-Eastern States and South Asian Countries.’
  • The start of operation of Sittwe port will pave a new avenue for Sittwe to become a maritime hub for Myanmar and enhance regional connectivity.
  • It will help in countering Chinese expansion in the region.

Another project – alternate route to northeast India

  • India is also developing railway route from Cox’s Bazar deep water port to South Tripura district by rehabilitating the railway link from Santirbazar in India to Feni in Bangladesh, where a road and rail bridge is being built to connect the “Belonia, India–Parshuram, Bangladesh road and rail crossing checkposts”.

India -Myanmar Relations

  • The two countries share a long land border of over 1,600 km and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal
  • India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway– The project involves the construction of a 1,360 km road from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanma.
  • Operation Sunrise is coordinated efforts between the security forces of India and Myanmar to target insurgent groups operating along the border between the two countries.
  • Indo-Myanmar border is an open border with free movement regime (FMR) within 16 kms on both sides of the border.
  • India has been investing in Myanmar’s energy sector, including the construction of a gas pipeline from Myanmar to India.
  • India has been providing training and equipment to Myanmar’s security forces to enhance their capacity to deal with security threats.
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