YANGON, June 30 (Xinhua) -- India handed over six donated cargo vessels to Myanmar to support the joint Myanmar-India Kaladan Multimodal Transportation Project, said a press release from the Inland Water Transport (IWT) late Thursday.
Handed over at the Sittway Port in Myanmar's western Rakhine state, the six cargo vessels, worth 81.29 million U.S. dollars, are in readiness to transport goods and passengers along the river.
Dredging will be underway for the heavy vessels to embark at the port which will accommodate goods from Rakhine and other states at the end of this year, said the statement.
The 45-meter-long and 9.5 meter-wide vessels, each having a cargo capacity of 300 tons, were built at Dala, Dagon Seikkan and Dawbon dockyards in Yangon.
Meanwhile, two industrial zones will be built in Haka and Paletwa in Chin state next year by the Chin state government as part of the Kaladan project, according to a statement by the Information and Public Relations Department.
The Myanmar-India Kaladan multi-model transportation project, which nears completion, will boost trade between the two countries and help Myanmar trade not only with India but also with other foreign countries, officials said.
The 480-million-U.S. dollar Kaladan project is being implemented in three phases with the first phase including construction of Sittway Deep Seaport and Paletwa Jetty, dredging the Kaladan waterway and construction of six vessels, while the second phase covers construction of 109 km-long road to link Paletwa with the border region and the third phase comprises construction of a 60-km highway between Laungtalai, India's Mizoram State and Myanmar's Chin state.
The completion of waterway and highway project passing through Myanmar's Rakhine and Chin states will help support better transport and trade between the regional countries.
Myanmar and India signed the contract on Kaladan transportation project in 2008.