Krishna to promote Look East Policy

NEW DELHI, June 21 – With an eye on promoting Look East Policy and the construction of Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Project well under way, India is likely to undertake new projects in neighbouring Myanmar.

Minister for External Affairs, S M Krishna hinted at it much ahead of his departure for Yangon. “This will be our first high level engagement with the newly established civilian government in Myanmar after its assumption of office on March, 30,” he said.

“We have made considerable progress in implementing decisions and agreements emanating from that visit. Construction had commenced on Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Project. We also propose to initiate a few new projects,” Krishna told newsmen.

A new project being proposed included construction of a new road in the neighbouring country. The Ministry of External Affairs has already appointed Ircon Infrastructure and Services Limited, consultant for preparation of the Detailed Project Report for new road section in Myanmar. The DPR is in final stages. Work on the new project is expected to start by end of the year, said sources.

On the other hand, construction of the port and inland water terminal of Kaladan project started at Sittwe in Myanmar last December. The Project estimated to cost Rs 342 crore is being executed by Essar Projects. The project is scheduled for completion by June 2013.

Meanwhile, the External Affairs Minister is scheduled to inaugurate three of the ten rice silos (Warehouses) being set up in Myanmar and with India’s assistance following the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis.

India is also likely to sign a number of MoUs of cooperation to further strengthen bilateral cooperation. “I will be travelling both to Yangon and Nay Phi Taw, the capital of Myanmar,” said Krishna.

“The visit will give us an opportunity to further vitalise our multi-faceted relationship in the new political environment. We will have an exchange of views on enhancing security cooperation as well as our collaboration in the fields of connectivity, IT, energy, agriculture, power, telecommunications and infrastructure.”

There has been a series of exchanges at the top level between India and Myanmar. Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) was in New Delhi in July 2010.

According to Mizzima news portal, which quoted National Coalition Government of Union of Burma (NCGUB) Information Minister Dr Tint Swe, the visit may be to prepare the ground for President, Thein Sein’s visit to India soon.

Krishna’s visit comes at a time when Inland Water Authority of India has commissioned a study on the navigability of river Tizu on the Indo-Myanmar border. Preliminary results have been received and the report is under examination. IWAI would firm up its views on the technical feasibility of inland navigation in the river Tizu for trade between Nagaland and Myanmar by July.