India, Myanmar focus on transport projects

13:07, August 20, 2010      

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India is coordinating with Myanmar on some road projects under the two countries' agreements and the coordination was made between Myanmar's Construction Ministry and India's project coordinator, IWAI Co, in Nay Pyi Taw over the last two days.

The meeting focused on construction of the road from Paletwa to Meikwa planning in Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, maintenance of Kyekon-Kalewa road section on Kale-Tamu road and upgrading of Reed-Tiddim road, according to Friday's official report.

Myanmar and India have been cooperating in transport and the upgradation work of a Myanmar-India border road stretching as Kalewa-Kale-Tamu on the Myanmar side is targeted to complete by this year.

The 160-kilometer Myanmar-India Friendship Road, built in 1999 by India's border road task force in cooperation with Myanmar and opened in February 2001, is being upgraded by Myanmar engineers and skilled workers of the two countries as some sections have been damaged.

The border road, which forms an important link from the India- Myanmar border to central Myanmar and the commercial and cultural center of Mandalay, also constitutes part of the Asian highway and plays an important role for Myanmar in trading with India and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN).

During the World War-II, the border road extending from India was part of a highway known as the Burma Road crossing into Myanmar's Tamu from India's Moreh and from Tamu the road leads to Monywa and Mandalay through Kalewa and Kale respectively.

In addition, India is helping Myanmar upgrade the country's western port of Sittway in Rakhine state under a revised system of Build, Transfer, Use (BTU) instead of that of Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) of a multi-modal Kaladan river transport project.

During a visit to New Delhi of Vice-Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Vice Senior-General Maung Aye in April last year, India and Myanmar signed a framework agreement along with two other documents on the construction and operation of a 120-million-USD multi-modal transit and transport facility on the Kaladan River connecting the Sittway Port in Myanmar with the Indian state of Mizoram.

The framework agreement includes upgrading of Sittway Port of Myanmar, improvement tasks for running of vessels along the route of Kaladan from Sittway Port to Sitpyitpyin and construction of roads from Sitpyitpyin to the border region.

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