BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 8. Iran is investigating three ways to finance the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway line in the Gilan Province (northern Iran), which is about 167 km long, an official of Iran’s Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company (CDTIC) Mohammad Monajjemi said, Trend reports citing Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
The official emphasized that a total of 170 trillion rials (about $4 billion) is expected to be spent on the construction of the railway line.
According to him, one of the three ways to finance the construction of the railway line is attracting of Russian investment worth over 120 trillion rials (about $2.85 billion).
Monajjemi also added that the second way to finance the construction of the railway line is to provide it at the expense of local funds.
“Thus, the funds are to be provided in this direction by Iranian banks and reliable financial institutions,” he said.
The official noted that the third method is to provide funds through barter of oil.
“If Rasht-Astara railway line is put into operation, 4.5 million tons of cargo and 250,000 passengers will be transported in the first year, while after 20 years, cargo transportation will reach 11 million tons per year, while passenger transportation 500,000 people year,” Monajjemi said.
The foundation of the ‘International North-South Transport Corridor’ was laid on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia, Iran, and India on September 12, 2000.
In total, 13 countries have ratified the agreement, including Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Russia, Turkey, etc.
The purpose of creating a corridor is to reduce the delivery time of cargo from India to Russia, as well as to North and West Europe. Delivery time on the current route is more than 6 weeks, it is expected to be reduced to 3 weeks via North-South Transport Corridor.
The 175 km long Qazvin-Rasht railway was officially put into operation on March 6, 2019, to connect Azerbaijani railways with the Iranian railway network within the corridor. In addition, the 167 km long Rasht-Astara railway line must be built in Iran.
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