India looking to access Russian market through road route via Iran

December 24, 2013

Alexander Korablinov, RIR


Indian officials ask Freight Forwarders’ Association of India to conduct a dry run to study the feasibility of using a road route between Iran and Azerbaijan, according a report on Mint.

India is trying to get easier access the markets of Russia and former Soviet republics. Source: RIA Novosti






India, which is exploring a free trade agreement with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, is pondering over using a road link between Iran and Azerbaijan, to get easier access the markets of Russia and former Soviet republics, Mint said on its website.on Monday. India’s commerce ministry has asked the Freight Forwarders’ Association of India (FFAI) to conduct a dry run to study the feasibility of using the road route between Rasht in Iran and Astara in Azerbaijan, the paper said.“We are trying to completely explore the route through a cost benefit analysis,” the paper cited an anonymous Indian commerce ministry official as saying. “The idea is to use the infrastructure as it is present today. The plan to build the rail is going on separately.”  The official told the paper that FFAI would submit a report on the feasibility of the route by February or March.

For the last six months, India has been trying to persuade Iran to build the 165-kilometre missing rail link between Rasht and Astara, but no concrete agreement has been reached.

“It is very important to keep India economically engaged in the region because there is a lot of untapped potential,” Ram Upendra Das, a senior fellow at Research and Information System for Developing Countries told the paper. “Irrespective of our economic relationship with other countries, this would be a new region to expand our trade.”

The paper added that India faces a growing imbalance in its trade with Russia, with the latter maintaining a $2.2 billion trade surplus as for 2012. That figure is unlikely to come down in 2013, although it is widely believed that Russian exports to India have fallen this year.




Nuvem meet discusses construction of bypass

December 23, 2013


MARGAO: A special meeting at Nuvem was held to discuss the construction of the Nuvem bypass road which was attended by Nuvem MLA Francisco ‘Mickky’ Pacheco who assured the residents that he would take up the matter and work towards finding a solution to the issues raised.

Around 450 residents were signatories to a representation drafted by local resident Jose Roque Andrade and the same was discussed at the Sunday meeting and resolution was passed in its favour. The villagers have demanded that a flyover be built along the Nuvem Majorda road.Andrade explained that the residents feared that after the completion of the Nuvem bypass (part of NH-17) and when it becomes operational, the villagers residing on the eastern and western side of this road will have difficulties to cross the said road due to heavy vehicular traffic.

“Therefore, a flyover is required along Nuvem-Majorda road. Moreover, we have the school and Church closeby, and we will be putting little children into a lot of inconvenience,” said Andrade.

The representation further observed that there are no proper ways for water to flow from higher level eastern side of the road to River Sal.

Another bone of contention with the villagers is the use of industrial waste ie steel slag as construction material, which has been objected to by the villagers and Pacheco in the past.

“The industrial waste/slag should be tested if it is suitable for road filling. Even if it is found suitable, the proper procedures have to be followed, now it will affect the surrounding environment,” said  Andrade.

The villagers further demanded an environment impact assessment report as the road is made in wet land and agriculture land where both paddy crops, kharif and rabi are cultivated and that biodiversity in that area had to be protected. Villagers further demanded that preventive actions are taken to avoid man made disasters. The villagers further plan to submit the representation to all government departments concerned including the chief minister and district collector while Pacheco promised to follow up on the matter.