International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ejazr, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India initiates rail route plan through Central Asia - Indian Express

    India has taken the lead in what it calls “kickstarting” an “international north-south corridor” from Iran to Russia via Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to ensure a seamless connectivity to Central Asia. New Delhi wants this corridor to be operational by 2013.

    Government sources said here on Wednesday that New Delhi met interlocutors from these partner countries in January to initiate the process. The plan, kept under the wraps so far, is in keeping with the the country’s “Look Central Asia policy”.

    In this context, experts have identified the “missing links” in rail connectivity. “There is road connectivity, but what we want is a seamless rail connectivity. This will ensure a faster, a more hassle-free and less expensive way to transport goods through Iran to the Central Asian countries and further north to Russia,” a government source said.

    What has not deterred India is additional sanctions on Iran by the US and EU, and Washington’s calls for snapping ties with Tehran.

    Sources said that Iran and this corridor — which will be essentially rail-based — is India’s gateway to the Central Asian countries. “They are vital to our interests, since they border with either Afghanistan or China,” the source said. Three of the Central Asian countries share border with Afghanistan, while three others with China. India wants to build economic linkages with the markets in these countries. “We also need to engage them since there are no direct links with any of the Central Asian countries,” said official sources.

    New Delhi is talking to all these countries to work on the feasibility of the corridor, and they are looking at operationalising the link at the earliest.
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    This is great news.

    All right, I will come back and discuss more on this. I need to do some research on this. This is interesting!
     
  4. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Good move..but what is more important is these plans are taken to logical conclusion.

    Chabahar port was another excellent development initially...but I could not find any new news on it, and what is India's role in it. Not have I been able to read more on the Zaranj-Dilaram road.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ejazr likes this.
  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Telegraph reporting on the same story

    India nudges Iran on route

    New Delhi, Feb. 29: Away from the nuclear heat and dust, New Delhi has been quietly pushing Tehran to fill a 200-km railway “cavity” to the Caspian Sea to ensure faster and cheaper movement of goods between India and Central Asia, Russia and Europe.

    Highly placed government sources today disclosed that Indian officials had held a meeting with Iranian and Russian officials in mid-January to improve connectivity of the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC).

    The revelation came less than 24 hours after US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said America was having “very intense and very blunt” conversations with India, China and Turkey on relations with Iran, particularly on crude supplies.

    India, Iran and Russia are the three founding members of the International North- South Transport Corridor Agreement, signed in September 2000 in St. Petersburg. The agreement now includes more countries, such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazhakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman and Bulgaria.

    The route facilitates trade among India, Central Asia, Russia and Europe and bypasses Pakistan and Afghanistan. Besides, costs can be cut by as much as 30 per cent and travel time by nearly 40 per cent, compared with the traditional India-Europe route via the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal where the West has a say.

    However, 200km of rail track has been missing between Iran’s southern ports and the Caspian Sea. This gap has to be bridged for the transport corridor to take off.

    Then, goods moving between Indian ports and Iran’s southern ports like Bandar Abbas and Chahbahar can be ferried in containers to Iranian ports on the Caspian Sea and further shipped to any of the Central Asian countries, Russia and forward to north Europe.

    At the January meeting, the Indian officials requested their Iranian counterparts to make efforts to “fill the gaps to improve connectivity”, a source said. He added that missing links in Azerbaijan also needed to be plugged.

    The race for Central Asian energy deposits is the “new great game” between the big powers. India needs Iran to gain trouble-free surface access to the resource-rich region.
     
  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    And The Hindu's version of the same

    The Hindu : News / National : Undeterred India for moving ahead with Iran

    Country is pushing hard to put the missing rail links in place

    Notwithstanding the U.S. pressure to scale down its engagement with Iran, official sources here said the country not only remains an important source of oil for India, but is crucial to opening up routes to Central Asian and Caucasian countries, where New Delhi's quest for hydrocarbons and minerals is gathering critical mass.

    “We recognise that Iran is the key to connecting with Central Asia,” said the sources while referring to a major meeting last month on a proposed Russia-Iran-India promoted North-South corridor that would originate from Bandar Abbas leading to Russia and other countries via the Caspian Sea.

    India has “taken the lead” and is “pushing hard” to put the missing rail links in place so that a seamless route from Bandar Abbas port to Russia and Central Asia opens up by next year by when the customs union of Russia-Kazakhstan-Byelorussia would have expanded to include other Eurasian countries.

    Customs procedures

    Besides the three original signatories, over 15 countries have joined the north-south project. In addition to putting in place missing railways links of about 200 km, all the sides will have to harmonise their customs procedures to make the endeavour workable. Currently Indian goods enter Russia through the Baltic ports of St. Petersburg and Kotka, the European port of Rotterdam and the Ukrainian ports of Illychevsk and Odessa.

    Iran, said the sources, was also critical to stabilising Afghanistan as part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) grouping after the NATO forces scale down their operations in 2014. Nearly all the countries surrounding Afghanistan are either members or observers to the SCO and they said, “we take it [the SCO] as an important platform to discuss the post-2014 situation in Afghanistan.”

    India is also closely following the development of another route into Central Asia via Iran and Afghanistan into Uzbekistan. Currently a portion of the route (part of the the Northern Distribution Network) — from Termez in Uzbekistan to Mazar-e-Sharif — is used by the NATO to transfer non-lethal supplies for its forces to Afghanistan.

    Alternative route

    A western spur from Mazar to Herat would go to Delaram, follow an India-built road till the Iran border and, if the missing rail link is constructed, will connect to the Iranian port of Chabar. India is also interested in another alternative route that would go from Mazar to Iran's Sangan and Kerman cities and ending at Bandar Abbas port.

    Both these routes bypass Pakistan and the insurgency-hit southern Afghanistan, while giving it access to Central Asia. In both cases as well as the North-South route, India will have to ship its goods to the Iranian ports and then transport them by land into Afghanistan and Central Asian countries in the north and the east.

    However, the sources admitted that the intense U.S. pressure has put the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline on the back burner for the moment. While not involving Iran, a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan's South Yolotan gas pipeline to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India is making rapid progress. But Iran remains central in plans to source gas and oil from Central Asia, where political goodwill for India has resulted in allocation of the Satpayev oil block in Kazakhstan despite intense interest shown by China. India is also discussing the sourcing of gas from Uzbekistan's Karakalpakstan region with talks having gathered pace during its President Islam Karimov's visit last year.
     
  8. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    All those countries use different gauges..making sure that the transport passes over smoothly through them will be a formidable logistical challenge. Lots of gauge converters will be required, not to mention the carriages have to be remodelled to accommodate these new devices.
     
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  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Gauge is not a major problem. It used to be. Before I explain why, let me share the gauges involved:
    • Indian and Pakistani Railways: 1,676 mm (5′ 6″). [this one does not count]
    • Iranian Railways: 1,435 mm (4' 8½") with some 1,676 mm (5′ 6″).
    • Ex-Soviet Republics: 1,520 mm (4′ 11⅚″).

    Why is break of gauge (not) a problem? Break of gauge only happens when transitioning from the Iranian Network to the ex-Soviet Network, and vice-versa.


    We either need to have self calibrating bogies, or need to change the bogies. I bet many people abuse the word bogie or don't really know what it is. Below is a clarification:

    [​IMG]

    hj4026.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    A perspective on the Iranian Railways





     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  11. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    North-South Transport Corridor

    [​IMG]
     
  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Thank you Armand2REP.

    I'm sure you heard about Afanasy Nikitin (Афана́сий Ники́тин) of Tver?

    I'd like to commemorate a direct route from Delhi, via Wakhan Corridor, Pamir, former Soviet Central Asia to Moscow, and Tver, and Leningrad, to Afanasy Nikitin, the great traveler.

    Do you like that idea?
     
  13. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    nice thanks for the videos
     
  14. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    How will this be done? Through Pakistan (or PoK)? It would be an engineering feat via Wakhan Corridor
     
  15. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Ever since the birth of Islam and Christianity the ancient silk route has been blocked due to Kafirs and Heathens unable to enter Islamic and Christian Territory without paying poll tax or mindlessly blocked because of hate. Todays Pakistan is the classic example of the blocked trade line through central asia. The brith of European colonialism was due to them trying to circumvent the Islamic Territory and find a way through the cape of Africa to India.

    The blocking of this route is what resulted in all this 300years of European sea travel and their rise inadvertently trying to find the way to India.That is how much important this route still is.
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Maybe u won't like the idea , another south-north route - connect to Kathmandu-Xigaze railway under construction, to access C. Asia via Xinjiang (Kashgar or Alashankou)
    [​IMG]
     
  17. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    @Godless-Kafir

    I'm not sure where you came up with the idea of Muslims blocking trade routes just out of "hatred". Baghdad under the Abassids and Ummayads which was the golden age for Arabs was a centre of innovation where Buddhists monks from India, scholars from China and others from Greek would gather in the Dar ul Hikma or house of wisdom there to collaborate on science maths and translating various texts into Arabic for further research. There existed entire Indian communities with their own temples in Iraq as well.
    The Chinese and Indians had free access to the silk trade routes which also allowed both countries to amass great wealth and one the reasons why both combined captured 50% of the global GDP. The Indians and the Chinese were the main countries that the West Asian countries traded with. While on the other hand European countries and their constant crusades into Arab and later Ottoman controlled lands made the silk routes hostile territory for them. Hence, for Europeans the Ottoman empire blocking access to the profitable silk routes made it necessary for them to search sea based routes. But when they found these routes, they not only traded with the nations like Asian nations had done historically, but also colonized them.

    I suggest you read this history written by a Dalai Lama endorsed author on interaction between Buddhist and Arab Islamic cultures.
    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav/eb_toc.html_2124837990.html
    The Mongol invasions ofcourse cause major strife and their subjugation of the Arabs lasted for 500 years. Ironically, the Mongols were initially followers of Buddhists and Shamanist traditions. After conquering the Arabs, they converted to Islam.

    Afghanistan ofcourse played a central role in this. This link also provides some good info on timeline
    Homeland Afghanistan
    Highlights include the Bamiyan Buddha civilisations, the invasions of Genghis Khan, the golden age of Central Asia in the 1400s, the Durrani kingdoms and the royal kingdom which later was taken over by the Communist parties and ofcourse the more recent history of the rise of the Taliban and post 9/11 Afghanistan
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
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  18. noob101

    noob101 Regular Member

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    Not a bad idea, China is more predictable when money is involved
     
  19. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    are you crazy? Trusting the chinese on something as strategic as this? We might as well hand over all nukes to the porkis. Your idea is not very different from that!:frusty:

    anyway, great news after so long!!
     
  20. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    @ejazr
    GK is actually correct. The europeans started looking for an alternate route to india only after Turks conquered the constantinople and refused trade through that. Atleast thats what History says.

    And of course Porkis are the reason we have to use the Iranian chahabar port instead of a complete land route.

    Anyway thats OT.


    But i think this route will benefit us only on a long run, say after some ten years. I think only then we will be in a position to fully utilize it!
     
  21. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    How will this be done? See the map I have posted. PoK is not Pakistan. PoK is Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. My map shows link through Gilgit.
     
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