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Zahedan-Chabahar railway to be operational next year

Head of the parliament’s Construction Committee said that Zahedan-Chabahar railway, in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, is going to go operational in the next Iranian calendar year (begins in March 2021), IRIB reported on Saturday.

Noting that the necessary funding for the project has been supplied from the country’s National Development Fund (NDF), Mohammad-Reza Rezaei-Kouchi said local contractors like Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters are working on the project and it will be completed and operational soon.

Rezaei-Kouchi underlined the importance of expanding the country’s national railway network, saying: “Investment in railways can be of great benefit to the country in saving fuel consumption and reducing pollution.”

Referring to the country’s Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan and the goals depicted in this plan for the expansion of railways, the official added: "Achieving a 30-percent freight transportation capacity and a 20-percent share of passenger traffic through railways is one of the goals that Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) is pursuing."

He further mentioned the International North-South Transport Corridor and said that the India-Russia section of this route will be completed through Iran, and the railway network has a major share in this section which can play an effective role for the country's economy.

The official emphasized the necessity of joining the country’s production centers through railways and added: "There are many production centers in the country that unfortunately are not connected to the railway network and their cargoes are carried through road."

“Connection of production centers to the railway network can have a significant positive impact on the cost of goods, reducing the time of arrival of goods to the destination, as well as greater reliability and security,” he stressed.

The track-laying operations of Chabahar-Zahedan railroad was started in early July in a ceremony attended by Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami and Deputy Transport Minister Kheirollah Khademi.

As previously reported, the project which is aimed to connect Chabahar to Zahedan (the capital city of southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province) is planned to be completed by the end of the Iranian calendar year of 1400 (March 2022).

Connecting the ports to the railway network is an issue seriously emphasized and followed up by Iran over the recent years, as the country is strongly pursuing the objective of boosting exports and transit via its ports.

Chabahar Port in southeast Iran is the most prioritized one for railway connection as the port’s exemption from the new round of the U.S. sanctions on the country is an opportunity for the development of export, transit, and also transshipment.

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