Places in News 2017

Places in news and current affairs for preparation of the Geography papers and map locations for UPSC Civil Services and State related examinations of 2017

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IOC to build new oil terminal at Motihari to supply fuel to Nepal

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has planned to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar to supply fuel to Nepal via the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. The old terminal functioning at Raxaul in Bihar will be shut down as it does not conform to the current OISD (Oil Industry Safety Directorate) guidelines. The decision to shift the terminal from Raxaul to Motihari has been taken keeping in mind the current safety guidelines.

Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) is a technical directorate that formulates the regulatory measures to enhance safety of the Indian oil and gas industry. It functions under the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

The 69-km Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline will be built at a cost of Rs.325 crore. Nepal is giving at most importance to the project by giving it a national priority status. Also, as per the initial agreement, a new 200 km pipeline would be laid between Patna and Motihari and will be utilised if there is a delay in operation of the new terminal at Motihari. Already a pipeline between Barauni (where a refinery exists) and Patna exists. IOC expects to operationalise the Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline after 30 months of receiving statutory clearances. Nepal wants the pipeline to be extended up to Chitwan for which the IOC has been asked to prepare a detailed feasibility report (DFR).

Background

In August 2015, the India and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a product pipeline. As a follow-up, IOC and Nepal Oil Corporation entered into a MoU for laying down of the pipeline. At the beginning, it was decided that the pipeline would be laid from Raxaul to Amlekganj, but later it was decided to extend it till Motihari. Recently, the fuel supply agreements between India and Nepal have been extended to five years. Nepal receives around 2 lakh kilolitres of fuel from IOC every month.

 

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Belgium opens honorary consulate in GIFT City

Belgium has become the first country to open an honorary consulate office in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Belgium already has two Consulates-General in Mumbai and Chennai, and an honorary consulate in Kolkata. The consulate was inaugurated by Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem.

Hari Sankaran, Vice-Chairman and MD, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), has been nominated as Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium to the state of Gujarat. Gujarat and Belgium have strong historic ties surrounding the diamond industry.

GIFT City

GIFT is a central business district (CBD) located between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in the state of Gujarat. GIFT will be built on 886 acres of land to provide high-quality physical infrastructure with facilities like electricity, water, gas, district cooling, roads, telecoms and broadband services to woo finance and tech firms to relocate their operations from Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon etc. GIFT will include a special economic zone (SEZ), international education zone, integrated townships, an entertainment zone, hotels, a convention center, an international techno park, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) units, shopping malls, stock exchanges and other service units. The likely cost of the GIFT City project is Rs 70,000 crore.

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Limited (GIFTCL) is responsible for developing and implementing the project. GIFTCL is a joint venture of Gujarat Urban Development Company Limited (GUDCOL) and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS).

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RGIA gets carbon neutrality status

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Shamshabad has been given the carbon neutrality status by Airports Council International (ACI) under its Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. The airport’s operator GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), a GMR Group-led consortium, has stated that it was conferred with the carbon neutrality (level 3: neutrality) by the ACI at a ceremony held in Doha, Qatar.

The ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation programme was initiated in June 2009 and consists of four levels: ‘mapping’ (level 1), ‘reduction’ (level 2), ‘optimisation’ (level 3) and ‘neutrality’ (level 3+). RGIA achieved levels one and two in 2012. It achieved level 3 status in 2013. The level 3+ status which it has achieved now is the fourth and highest accreditation under ACI’s Carbon Accreditation programme.

RGIA adopted many sustainable measures like proactive energy conservation, generation of renewable energy, carbon sinking through extensive greenbelt and various other environment protection initiatives to achieve this status.

ACI

Airports Council International (ACI) is the only global trade representative representing the world’s airport authorities. It is a member of Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). It was established in 1991 and develops standards, policies and recommended practices for airports. The global body represents the interests of airports with governments and international organisations.

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