India,Myanmar to finalise Kaladan deal within few weeks

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New Delhi, Oct 09 (UNI) Ignoring global opposition to the military regime in Yangon, India and Myanmar will ink the final agreement of the 100 million US Dollar Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project within the next few weeks.

Official sources said today that of the three components of the project, two--road and water--were easy while the third of the ports was difficult.

''We hope to do the final agreement to the whole project within the next few weeks,'' they said.

The Project that will link Sittwe port in Myanmar to Mizoram by road and inland water, is expected to provide an alternative route for transport of goods to the Northeast.

India will bear the cost of the project.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 860.95 crore.

Myanmar had to provide 10 million US dollars as its share. Since Myanmar did not invest the money, India agreed to provide Yangon a soft loan of about 10 million US Dollars.

While calling for peace and stability in Myanmar, the sources said India had permanent interests in the neighbouring country including energy, transit and security.

Many Northeast insurgents operate from Myanmar which could be controlled by government there. Besides the Kaladan project, India had energy interests in that country.

''It is a sensitive part of the Indian periphery which is complicated by the presence of insurgent groups. We have some interests in energy also...We have an interest in Myanmar as a transit route to Southeast Asia,'' the sources said stressing the need for a peaceful and stable Myanmar.

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