Reinhard Hohler, Chiang Mai (11.06.2013)
The multi-million dollar Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project - slated for completion in 2015 - will see the construction of a combined inland waterway and highway transportation system connecting Mizoram State in Northeast India with a Bay of Bengal deepsea port at Sittwe, Rakhain State in Western Burma. The Project, classified as development aid to Myanmar, is a cornerstone of India's "Look East Policy" aimed at expanding Indian economic and political influence in Southeast Asia. It is currently being constructed in Rakhain and Chin States - Myanmar's least-developed and most poverty-prone states - where improved infrastructure is badly needed. Yet it remains an open question whether the Kaladan Project will be implemented in a way that ensures the people living along the project route are the principal beneficiaries of this large-scale infrastructure development.