India plans to upgrade roads within Myanmar: Mathai
Imphal (Manipur), Aug.19 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai has revealed that the government is planning to upgrade roads within Myanmar, so that in next four to five years, the connectivity between India through Myanmar to the rest of Southeast Asia can be developed.
Mathai, who attended a regional cooperation seminar in Imphal city on Saturday, said the Ministry of External Affairs would soon be working on the plan to bring out a new connection with the region.
"We have a plan to upgrade the roads within Myanmar from the Ministry of External Affairs, and, we know that the Myanmar authorities will be extending it, so that within the next four or five years, we should develop a connectivity between India through Myanmar to the rest of Southeast Asia," said Mathai.
There have long been talks of introducing a bus service between Imphal and Mandalay, one of the biggest cities in Myanmar, which will open up new vistas for trade and bilateral relations between the two countries.
Mathai also assured that roads between India and Myanmar, which are in a state of disrepair, would also be improved.
"There are parts of the roads which during the monsoon season, the road just seems to break down. So, we have agreed that we will upgrade that part of the road also. That will take a few years," said Mathai.
"Secondly, the border infrastructure has to be developed for having a system by which people can be checked and they can have their immigration, custom and so on. hat we will work out together with the Myanmar authorities.," he added.
"The third and final problem is that you have to deal with the issue that here we follow one side of the road, and in Myanmar, they follow another. That may require transhipment, that issue we will have to talk about," he said.
India-Myanmar relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties. As the land of Lord Buddha, India is a country of pilgrimage for the people of Myanmar.
India and Myanmar relations have stood the test of time.
The geographical proximity of the two countries has helped develop and sustain cordial relations and facilitated people-to-people contact.
India and Myanmar share a long land border of over 1600 km and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal.
India and Myanmar signed a border trade agreement in 1994 and have two operational border trade points (Moreh-Tamu and Zowkhatar -Rhi on the 1643 km long border.
A third border trade point is proposed to be opened at Avakhung Pansat/Somrai.(ANI)
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