MUMBAI: After bagging the strategically important Chabahar Port in Iran, the government is looking eastwards and is in discussions with Bangladesh to develop a similar facility in Payra.
India Ports Global, the joint venture between state-run JNPT and Kandla Port for overseas ports, is interested in the expressions of interest which have been invited for construction of Payra port in Bangladesh, the Shipping Ministry said in a release today.
“…talks are on between our Foreign Ministry and them (Bangladesh). Dhaka also wants us. We have sent a team there for studies,” Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters, but did not disclose the port’s location.
A media report in February had said China had evinced keen interest in building the Payra port. In what was taken as a reflection of the growing Indo-Bangladeshi ties, Dhaka had cancelled the deal and was about to award it to New Delhi.
The Narendra Modi government has been talking about an ‘Act East’ policy, as against the previous regime’s ‘Look East’ policy, and the moves to build maritime infrastructure in Iran in the West and Bangladesh in the East seem to be part of that approach.
The move can also be construed as a reply to the aggressive play by China, which is developing a port in Colombo and Gwadar in Pakistan.