NEW DELHI: Inching closer to making the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) a reality — connecting India with Russia and Europe via Iran — a dry run of container movement via the green corridor (smooth customs facilitation) will be conducted during the next fortnight, marking the 70th anniversary of Indo-Russian diplomatic ties.
INSTC will substantially reduce time taken and cost for transport of goods between India and Eurasia once fully function functional and increase economic activities between India and resource-rich Russia as well as markets of Europe.
The INSTC has moved closer to implementation after India decided to join international customs convention TIR following cabinet approval. The modalities of making INSTC functional was a discussed at a multi-stakeholder meeting held recently, people familiar with the developments said.
INSTC is one of corridors that Delhi is working on as part of connectivity initiatives parallel to China's One Belt One Road strategy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi might visit Astrakhan entry point of INSTC in Russia during his June trip to St Petersburg for International Economic Forum. India and Russia celebrates 70 years of diplomatic ties on April 13 and a series of events and visits are planned through the year.
INSTC is a land-and sea-based 7,200-km long network comprising rail, road and water routes that are aimed at reducing costs and travel time for freight transport in a bid to boost trade between Russia, Iran, Central Asia, India and Europe. The network is expected to provide faster and more efficient trade connectivity between Europe and Southeast Asia.