North South Corridor moves closer to reality - report
The International North South Transportation Corridor is almost ready and a dry run of containers will be conducted in the next fortnight, the Economic Times reported on April 3.
The modalities of making the corridor functional were discussed at a multi-stakeholder meeting, the paper said, citing sources familiar with the developments.
The dry run is being conducted as a part of the events to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and India.
The International North-South Transportation Corridor aims to connect Russia and northern Europe to India and Southeast Asia, and will serve as a bridge to connect the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.
When fully developed, the North-South route will run through the territories of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and India, over a length of more than 7,000 km.
The project was conceived at the turn of the millennium, when Russia, India and Iran proposed a revival of the ancient transport route. The main route begins in Mumbai, passes along the sea to the Iranian ports of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas, and from there by land to Iran’s Caspian Sea coast and beyond – or across the Caspian Sea to Astrakhan, or overland to Central Asia or the Caucasus to Russia and northern Europe.
The agreement establishing the corridor was signed in September 2000, and entered into force on May 16, 2002, following ratification by all three countries. Since then, 11 other countries have joined the project: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria (observer status), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey and Ukraine.