Myanmar’s military junta is currently facing strong opposition from pro-democratic groups in the country to establish the democratic institutions in the country. India has continuously showed greater concerns over the ongoing incidents in the neighboring countries. Despite the political uproar in Myanmar, India and Myanmar have given their approval to the $100-million Kaladan multi-modal link project that may get a kick start from next year.
The Kaladan multi-modal link project would provide the transit access between the northeastern states and the rest of the country. According to the report, all the required agreements, including the financial approval for the project have been signed between both the countries. The Union cabinet is yet to approve the agreements to start the work on the project by next year.
The beginning of the construction on the Kaladan project would have begun earlier delayed because of the pro-democratic movements started in Myanmar. According to the report, the project had been signed when petroleum minister Murli Deora had gone to Myanmar some two weeks ago. Later, the stand-off between pro-democracy supporters and the military junta indirectly forced both the countries to put the project in cold storage for the time being.
Despite the rising international pressure to influence the Myanmar military junta to accept the demands of democratic activists, India exceptionally made a balance between safeguarding strategic ties with Myanmar and its credentials as a champion of democracy as well. India has its greater interest in Myanmar, while other countries such as the US has little stakes in the country so, India opted to go smooth on the ongoing scuffle in neighboring country.
Because of the developments of new circumstances at international level, India just wants to keep the project in cold storage for a while. The ambitious project deals with the building of a waterway, roads and to re-build the Sitwe port for establishing links from Myanmar to Mizoram through the Kaladan Rriver.
The bilateral agreement have been negotiated on the different points including the construction and operation of a multi-modal transit transport facility, on financial arrangements and on joint administration or management of the project. The project is aimed to open an alternative route for transporting goods to and from the North-east.
India has asked the government of Bangladesh to open a similar transit links from Bangladesh but the Bangladeshi government halted the discussion on the project every time by expressing fears that it would affect its own exports to the India’s north-east regions.