Projects in Rakhine on track to bring development to state: Indian ambassador

4-story-1_6 Rakhine State chief minister Nyi Pu (L) and Indian Ambassador to Myanmar, Saurabh Kumar (R) talk prior to the ceremony for the handover of relief materials to the government of Rakhine State, in Sittwe. Photo - EPA

22 Jan 20 - Source: Myanmar Times - India's ambassador to Myanmar emphasised on Monday that all projects being undertaken by India in Rakhine State are aid projects for the welfare of the people of the state.

Ambassador Shri Saurabh Kumar said this during a ceremony in Sittwe, Rakhine, to handed over 20,000 kits containing food and tarpaulins worth US$235,000 (K341 million) for people displaced by conflict.

India is currently involved in the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP ) in Rakhine.

The ambassador said the strategic project to link the port of Kolkata in India with Sittwe is important for Myanmar and India.

Once completed, the project will link Sittwe and Paletwa in Rakhine to Mizoram in India. The project comprises three stretches that include shipping, inland waterways and road transportion.

The longest among these stretches is the shipping segment from Kolkata to Sittwe. The project is expected to boost connectivity, contribute to job creation and development in the whole region including in Rakhine and Chin State.

India has already completed the development of Sittwe Port and inland water transport terminals at Sittwe and Paletwa. According to an Indian Embassy official, the operator and maintenance contractor has been selected and port operations will start soon.

"The Sittwe area of Rakhine State is peaceful and there are no problems so the Sittwe Port and inland waterway terminal is on track," said Rakhine Minister of Finance, Revenue, Planning and Economy U Kyaw Aye Thein.

"The road portion of the project from Paletwa to Zorinpui in Mizoram, India, is also an important part of the larger project and is presently under construction.

Once completed, connectivity between Sittwe port in Myanmar and Mizoram State, India will be established contributing to trade, commerce between Rakhine State and northeast India.

This will boost job creation and business opportunities in both countries," U Kyaw Aye Thein added.

Ambassador Shri Saurabh Kumar said that India is looking forward to the early completion of the road and is confident that all concerned will provide assistance towards this objective as the

KMMTTP has a huge potential to impact the economy of Rakhine and provide livelihoods to local people.

The total cost of the KMMTTP is estimated to US$484 million making it India's largest grant in aid project abroad.

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