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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Cyclone Gaja Impacts salt production

The cyclone Gaja had hit the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh with a speed of about 184 kmph. The cyclone had also deposited a huge amount of sludges in the coastal areas.

Salt Production at Vedaranyam takes a hit

The town of Vedaranyam, in southern Tamil Nadu, is famous for two things salt pans and the bird sanctuary. Due to its location with Palk Strait in the South and Bay of Bengal in the East, Vedaranyam received double blow because of back to back cyclones.

As a result of back to back cyclones, seawater from both sides with slush entered the salt pans up to eight Kms from the shoreline. As the water receded it left behind the slush in salt pans including bunds, brine pits, bore wells and roads. Nearly 3,500 acres of salt pans are buried under the slush of one-foot height.

The salt production at Vedaranyam cannot be revived unless the sludge is removed.  It is estimated that the cost of clearing sludge comes to around one lakh per acre. The responsibility of the clearing of salt pans is vested with the Centre as salt is placed in the central list. A central team had recently visited the Vedaranyam to access the damage.

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UP cabinet approves renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya, Allahabad as Prayagraj

Uttar Pradesh Government has approved renaming of Faizabad and Allahabad divisions as Ayodhya and Prayagraj respectively. The decision was taken at meeting of state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in state capital Lucknow. Now, the proposal will now go to Central before the city is officially renamed. Prayagraj division will comprise Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh districts. Ayodhya division will include Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur, Amethi and Barabanki districts, Khanna said.

Background

Government has justified the name changes across Uttar Pradesh, saying they are merely restoring older names and correcting historical distortions. Allahabad’s ancient name was ‘Prayag’, but was changed after 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar built fort near ‘Sangam’, the holy confluence of three rivers viz. Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Akbar named the fort and its neighbourhood ‘Ilahabad’. Later, Akbar’s grandson Shah Jahan renamed the entire city as ‘Allahabad’. But the area near the ‘Sangam’, the site of the Kumbh Mela, continues to be known as ‘Prayag’. The reason cited for renaming Faizabad is that Ayodhya was the capital of ‘Ikshvaku dynasty’, to which the Hindu god Ram belonged, and that it is popular known as his birthplace. Ayodhya is has been capital of many estates and dynasties in different time periods.

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