Kolkata: A friendship rally covering four countries and spanning more than 20,000 kilometres will be conducted in September in a bid to revive the International North-South Transport Corridor.
Supported by the Embassy of Russian Federation and Government of India, the rally will be flagged off in New Delhi and will traverse through Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.
About 80 participants in each of the three phases will criss-cross the continents in 22 Mahindra SUVs, Praveen Chandra Bhanjdeo, president of the Kalinga Motor Sports the organisers of the rally told PTI.
This is being organised to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relationship between India and Russia and the 70th year of Indian Independence and is an outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Russia in June where there was a major push for the much-delayed INSTC and other connectivity channels.
"The event will trail the International North South Transport Corridor between India and Russia and will significantly revive the trade opportunities," Bhanjdeo, the founder of the Kalinga Motor Sports said.
A former sports minister of Odisha government and a sitting Biju Janata Dal MLA, Bhanjdeo said present crisis in the wake of Tehran attacks last month had delayed the rally which was originally planned to be flagged off by the Prime Minister on 15 August.
"But we are almost done with the recce and after it's over in a few days we will finalise the dates," he said.
In phase I, the rally will travel till Kandla by road from where the vehicles will be shipped to Bandar Abbas, Iran by sea.
"The participants will fly to Bandar Abbas where they resume the rally and drive till Moscow covering a distance of 6120 kilometres and 980 nautical miles. There will be cultural exchanges along the route," he said
In phase II, the rallyists will return by a shorter route to Kandla port and the final phase will begin from Jamnagar and travel across the length and breadth of the country in its 8159-km journey before being flagged down in New Delhi.
"We have in the past conducted rally across the South Asian countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal but this will be an all new challenge and something that will open up opportunities," he signed off.
Updated Date: Jul 03, 2017 18:54 PM