PC : File Photo

New Delhi: Even as India supplied cranes to Iran for the Chabahar project, it termed the project the “anchor” for expansion of “economic and mutual relations” with Tehran. India over the weekend supplied a consignment of 2 140-ton Mobile Harbour Cranes (MGC) for Chabahar that will strengthen the cargo handling capacity of the port. 

Union Minister of Ports and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said, “Chabahar Port is a strategic port with great national importance. The delivery of a consignment of heavy equipment, including cranes, shows India’s commitment to the strategic connectivity of the Chabahar port project that will provide access to markets in Central Asia” which will give the port “further boost to the maritime trade between both the countries.”

WION was first to break the story on Sunday. The consignment of cranes arrived from Marghera port, Italy on and is presently undergoing trials run. India will be supplying 6 mobile harbor cranes, with a total contract value of over $ 25 million.

The Shipping Ministry release said that the delivery of cranes is “a step towards India’s commitment towards infrastructure development of ‎Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar.” India is involved with the development of phase-I of the Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar.

In December 2018, an Indian company, India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) took over the port operations, and as of December 2020, the port has handled 1.75 million tonnes of bulk cargo and more than 13000 TEUs of container cargo.

India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) Mumbai is a Special Purpose Vehicle incorporated under the ambit of India’s Ministry of Ports, ‎Shipping, and Waterways. India used the port to send 75,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan in 2020 as part of the humanitarian aid amidst the covid pandemic.

India also supplied 20,000 litres of the pesticide Malathion 96% ULV to Iran via Chabahar port in 2020 to help Iran curb the menace of desert locusts. Another Malathion consignment from India to Iran is due this year.