The Kaladan Multi Model Transport project under the ‘Look East’ policy of the Indian Government envisages construction of the link road to connect Sittwe in Arakan state, Paletwa in southern Chin state to Lawntlai southern Mizoram in order to boost Indo-Myanmar border trade.
The daily newspaper The Aizawl Post reported that the Chief Minister of Mizoram Mr. Lal Thanhawla said that the Indian Government will spend Rs. 660 billion to construct the road. However, he did not mention when the project would get off the ground.
The CM said that once the project is completed most goods will enter from Myanmar go across Mizoram onto central India. Mizoram will benefit from Indo-Myanmar border trade.
Under the ‘Look East’ policy India and Myanmar signed the ‘Kaladan Multi Model Transport Project’ in April 2008 at an estimated cost of USD 120 million.
The project will serve as a link between Kolkata, India and Sittwe seaport in Burma. Trade will begin from Sittwe harbour to Paletwa harbour and then there will be a road of 61 kilometres which will be constructed in order to link Mizoram in India.
Meanwhile, in 2009 the Arakan River Network (ARN) group had said that if the Kaladan Multi Model Transport Project is completed most local farmers and fishermen in Sittwe, Pungna Island, Chauhtaw township and Paletwa township will lose their livelihood.
Besides, local people will be forced to move or their land confiscated to increase border Burmese military personnel to guard the Kaladan River and border areas.
Similarly, the military junta is reconstructing the Indo-Myanmar border trade road no. 2 using 10 bulldozers and other big equipment since end 2009.-