Places in News Current Affairs - 2019

Places in news and current affairs for preparation of the Geography papers and map locations for UPSC Civil Services and State related examinations of 2019.

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Sri Lanka unveils South Asia’s tallest tower in Colombo

Sri Lanka unveiled a 350-metre-tall Lotus Tower which is now being dubbed as South Asia’s tallest tower in Colombo city. Though the tower is still under construction President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena decided to open the tower to public. As per the President, Lotus Tower is foreseen to be one of the significant landmarks and an epitome of island country’s culture, economy and development.

About ‘Lotus Tower’

It is the tallest tower in South Asia in the shape of a 356-meter lotus.

The tower costs more than $100 million. The 80% of costs incurred has been funded by China under the controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The 350-metre tall Lotus Tower has 17-storey and is located in Colombo. It comprises a hotel, a TV tower, restaurants, a mall, a telecommunications museum, and auditorium.

Sri Lanka and China signed the Lotus Tower agreement in 2012 to build the tower. As per the agreement China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC) was the general contractor.

PM inaugurates Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal at Sahibganj

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s second Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal (built at Sahibganj) online from Ranchi, Jharkhand. He also laid the foundation of a secretariat building in the state capital (Ranchi) which will come up at an estimated cost of Rs.1238.92 crore.

About Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal at Sahibganj

This is the 2nd of three Multi Modal Terminals (MMTs) being constructed on river Ganga under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP). In November 2018, PM Modi inaugurated first MMT at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The Rs.290 crore multi-modal cargo terminal has been built by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on River Ganga at Sahibganj.

It will have a cargo storing capacity of 3 million tonne (MT) per year, a stockyard and parking and berthing space for two vessels.

Government has also planned an investment of Rs.376 crores for capacity enhancement in Phase-II to 54.8 lakh tonnes per annum. The development in Phase II will be entirely made by private concessionaire, under public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

Importance:

It will open up industries of Jharkhand and Bihar to global market and provide Indo-Nepal cargo connectivity through waterways route.

It will play an important role in transportation of domestic coal from local mines located in Rajmahal area (in Sahibganj district) to other thermal power plants located along National Waterway-1 (NW-1).

Cargo to be transported from terminal includes coal, stone chips, fertilisers, cement and sugar.

The convergence of Road-Rail-River Transport at Sahibganj through the new Multi Modal Terminals will connect this part of hinterland to Haldia (in Kolkata), to North-East states via Bangladesh by river-sea route and further to Bay of Bengal.