PM Narendra Modi will visit Russia and Kazakhstan in the beginning of next month. He will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit and some other key meetings. It is believed that this initiative of India will accelerate the efforts of introducing the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and other connectivity mediums. India has a glance on these projects related to regional connectivity. One of the reasons for this is China’s efforts to make its ambitious project, One Belt One Road (OBOR). China is in an effort to ensure smooth connectivity with Europe through its initiative. At the same time, India has now begun to ensure better access to remote Central Asia and Eurasian areas.
Tell that Modi will participate in the annual summit in Russia and also become chief guest of St. Petersburg’s International Economic Forum. On June 1, Modi and Russian President Putin will flag off a motor rally in St. Petersburg. Its purpose is to demonstrate the connectivity of India and Russia under the INSTC route. Once the full start of the INSTC will be able to ensure better road connectivity between Mumbai and St. Petersburg via Iran. Apart from this, the untimely economic potential of this region will also emerge. In addition to accelerating the INSTC project, India has more comprehensive plans for connectivity to Eurasian (Europe and Asia) and Central Asian regions. The importance of this strategy of India increases substantially among China’s efforts towards OBOR.
According to a study, INSTC can be connected to the Bank Bar via Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port. India is also helping to develop Iran’s Bank of Port. India wants to connect INSTC with Connectivity Projects of five Central Asian and Eurasian countries. P. Stobadan, India’s ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, said, “INSTC is now being transformed into reality. The project will be launched in 2016 by the INSTC. India is exploring the possibility of linking Connectivity Corridor to INSTC or Iran Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan Rail Line, Iran-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan Link and Trans-Afghan Rail Line connecting Central Asia. India can also fund a 700-km rail link between Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat in Afghanistan. Its purpose is to connect Central Asia with the will. According to Stobden, its cost will be less than $ 2 billion. The Uzbekistan Railway has the ability to develop this link.
The serious impact of the lack of a better road transport connectivity is on the prospects of business from the Eurasian region. At present, transportation of goods between India and Russia is mostly via the sea route from Rotterdam to St. Petersburg. As far as the trade is concerned from the Central Asian region, the road to the movement of goods passes through China, Europe and Iran. The route that runs through China and Europe is very long and costly. Therefore the need for a way to transport goods was realized, which is small, cheap and fast.
India, Iran and Russia had signed the INSTC Agreement in 2000. The purpose of this agreement was to trade with Iran, Caspian Sea and Astrakhan, along with Russia and neighboring countries of Eurasia. Indian traders will benefit from low cost and delivery time in this route of transport. Studies show that due to this route, the time and cost of delivering containers will be reduced by thirty to forty percent.