0620 GMT February 18, 2019
“The project has moved ahead with significant improvement,” Abbas Khatibi said, adding that Iran places key importance for the railway as it would open up a new trade route between Central Asia and India, ISNA reported.
The project is mutually financed by Iran and India.
Tehran, New Delhi and Kabul signed a trilateral agreement to develop Chabahar in Tehran in May 2016, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani paid a state visit to Iran.
The deal stipulates the development and operation of two terminals and three berths at the port with cargo handling capacities for 10 years.
Based on the agreement, Iran is to provide land in Chabahar Special Economic Zone to Indian companies for setting up petrochemical, fertilizer and other gas-based industries.
Khatibi said part of the project is located in mountainous area, but added that the project has not been delayed so far.
India has also agreed to build a 500-km railroad from Chabahar to Zahedan, close to the Afghan border. India’s state-owned IRCON has agreed to build a rail route at a cost of $1.6 billion as part of the transit corridor to Afghanistan.
After connecting Chabahar to Zahedan, the railroad will be linked to Zaranj in Afghanistan. Hence, when the Afghan cargo arrives in Zahedan, it can be transported by a 1,380-km railroad to Chabahar and then shipped to India.