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Kaladan Project UPSC NOTE

 What is Kaladan project

  • The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project is an ongoing infrastructure project aimed at creating a multi-modal transportation route between the eastern Indian port of Kolkata and the northeastern Indian states via Myanmar.

  • Components:

    • Sea route: From Kolkata to Sittwe Port in Myanmar.

    • Inland waterway: From Sittwe Port to Paletwa, Myanmar, along the Kaladan River.

    • Road: From Paletwa to Mizoram, India, via the India-Myanmar border.

  • Objectives:

    • Reduce transportation costs and time for cargo movement between India and its northeastern states.

    • Provide an alternative route to the Siliguri Corridor, a narrow land strip connecting mainland India to the northeast.

    • Boost economic development in the northeastern states and Myanmar.

  • Current status:

    • The project is partially operational.

    • The sea route and part of the inland waterway are functional.

    • The road section in Myanmar is still under construction.

Challenges faced by India in pursuing its strategic interests in Myanmar due to the complex ethnic conflicts and China's growing influence

  • The fall of the town of Paletwa has altered the dynamic between the Chin and the Arakan ethnic groups. 

  • A majority of Paletwa’s residents belong to the Chin ethnic community, and they see their town as an integral part of their homeland

  • On the other hand, some in the Rakhine State, previously known as Arakan, contend that the township was historically part of the Arakan Hill Tracts during colonial rule and should have been part of their province

  • There have been instances, prior to the coup, when Chin ethnic organisations expressed displeasure with the Arakan Army’s operations in Paletwa.

  • In the recent past, ever since the Chin armed groups and the Arakan army have been fighting the Myanmar military, they have refrained from forcefully ascertaining their respective views of provincial borders

  • Nonetheless, to maintain peace and order, it is imperative that the Chin and Arakan groups agree on an inclusive framework for the governance of Paletwa and adjoining areas. 

  • For an effective fight against the military, the EAOs need to improve inter-ethnic solidarity by creatively accommodating each other’s perspectives on ethnic boundaries

  • Finding an inter-ethnic compromise on settlements such as Paletwa can be particularly challenging. 

  • Paletwa’s location on the western border makes it a good launchpad for the Arakan Army to conduct its operations against the military

  • Paletwa is a commercial town on the Kaladan River, and therefore, any armed group with a significant presence in the town would benefit from the economic activity in the region.

  • The Arakan Army, along with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army.

  • It’s a part of the Three Brotherhood alliance, which some claim has China’s support. 

  • The alliance has pledged to protect Chinese investments in Myanmar

  • There are reports which suggest that the Arakan Army receives considerable funding and military equipment from China

  • If such reports are true, there will be concerns in Delhi that Beijing is using armed groups to slow down India’s connectivity projects in Myanmar.

  • Meanwhile, the Chinese economic presence along Myanmar’s Bay of Bengal coast has substantially increased

  • Beijing has operationalised oil and natural gas pipelines from the Shwe gas fields near Kyaukpyu in the Rakhine State to Yunan province in China.

  • Two months ago, China signed supplementary agreements with the Myanmar military to operationalise the deep sea port and a special economic zone near Kyaukpyu

  • Reportedly, there were renewed efforts to construct a railway line from China’s Yunnan to Kyaukpyu via Mandalay as part of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC).

  • Unlike India, China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which prompts many state and non-state actors in need of international support to be relatively more accommodating of China’s concerns.

  • Consequently, China is in a position to extend political and military support to various ethnic armed groups as well as to the Myanmar military to protect its economic interests.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Kaladan Project UPSC NOTE
Kaladan Project UPSC NOTE
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