The construction site of Sittwe port under Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (Photo-EMG)
The Kaladan Project support committee has announced that they will finish the waterway phase of the multi-transit route between Sittwe and the Indian border by March 2015.
The Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project aims to create a trade route between Sittwe port, in Rakhine State, and the land-locked region of Mizoram, in northeastern India, via river and road transport.
The waterway phase involves constructing an integrated port and inland water transport system, including dredging a navigational channel 158 km along the river Kaladan from Sittwe to Paletwa.
"The waterway project will be completed by the end of March in 2015. The whole project will be completed later than the expected deadline is 2016. A waterway project from Paletwa to Setpyitpyin has been cancelled and it's decided that only a road will be built as a replacement," said a top-ranking official from Myanmar Port Authority.
He added that the Indian company ESSAR which is carrying out several phases of the project will have to request more money from the Indian government to complete the road project.
The expressway which will connect Paletwa to the Indian border will cost an estimated US$ 140 million.
In April 2008 the Indian government signed a deal for the Kaladan Project with the former military junta, aimed at easing commercial access to the remote and landlocked regions of north-eastern India.
Six 300-tonne vessels will also be built under the project but equipment still needs to be imported to Myanmar, according to the support committee.