First Tribal Circuit Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme inaugurated in Chhattisgarh

Union Ministry of Tourism has inaugurated India’s first tribal circuit project connecting 13 tourism sites in Chhattisgarh under Swadesh Darshan Scheme. The circuit connects Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurdar, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathiya Nawagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot, and Tirthgarh in Chhattisgarh.

Tribal circuit project

Major components sanctioned under tribal circuit project in Chhattisgarh includes developing eco log huts, craft haats, souvenir shops, open amphitheatre, tribal interpretation centres, workshop centres, tourist amenities centres, viewpoints, nature trails, solar illuminations etc. These components will improve the existing tourist facilities, enhance the overall tourist experience and help in getting more visitors which in return will increase job opportunities in the area.

Background

Development of tribes and tribal culture is one of the prime area of focus for the Tourism Ministry. It is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the tribal region.  Under tribal circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan Scheme, TourismMinistry has sanctioned four projects to Nagaland, Telangana and Chhattisgarh for Rs. 381.37 crore.

Chhattisgarh was considered for the first tribal circuit theme for acknowledging sovereignty of tribes and to promote rich and diverse primitive assets in the state. Chhattisgarh is known for its exceptional scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage. Tribes make up over one-third of state population whohave retained their culture and traditions for centuries.

Swadesh Darshan scheme

The scheme was launched by Union Tourism Ministry with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.

Under this scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development. They are Buddhist Circuit, North-East India Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.

It is 100% centrally funded scheme for the project components undertaken for public funding. It also has provision for leveraging voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.

The funding of projects under this scheme varies from state to state. It is finalised on basis of detailed project reports prepared by Programme Management Consultant (PMC) which is national level consultant for implementing the scheme. So far, Tourism Ministry has sanctioned 74 projects worth Rs. 5997.47 crore to 31 states and Union Territories under this scheme.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018

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CCEA approves 100% Electrification of Railways by 2021-22

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved 100% electrification broad gauge routes of Indian Railways (IR) by 2021-22. The 100% electrification will reduce use of imported fossil fuels thereby improve energy security. Reduction in consumption of high speed diesel oil will also result in reduction of GHG emissions, thus, reduce environmental impact of Railways.

Key Facts

CCEA’s decision covers only electrifying remaining 13,675 kilometers (16,540 track kilometers). Currently, around 48% of the country’s 61,680 km broad gauge railway network is electrified. However, this approval does not cover 3,479 km of metre gauge and 2,209 of broad gauge network.

After complete electrification, India will be having second largest electrified railway networks in the world after China, which has 87,000 km electrified network (around 68% of its network)  and only large railway with 100 % electrification. The proposed electrification is mainly for missing links and last mile connectivity will increase the operational efficiency, enhance line capacity and improve average speed of trains

Benefits of 100% electrification

Capacity & Speed: It will provide seamless train operation by eliminating detention of trains due to change in traction from diesel to electric and vice versa. It will help Railways in enhancing line capacity due to higher speed & higher haulage capacity of electric locomotives

Safety: It will result in improved signalling system which will lead to enhanced safety in train operation.
Energy Security and Energy bill savings: It will reduce fossil fuel consumption of about 2.83 billion liters per annum. Thus, reduce dependence on imported petroleum based fuels will ensure energy security to the nation. It will help Indian Railways to save Rs 13,500 crore annually on fuel bill. Moreover, maintenance of electric locomotive is less compared to diesel locomotive maintenance cost.

Sustainability: It is considered as environmentally friendly option as it will reduce carbon footprint of Indian Railways as environmental cost per tonne Km for electric traction is less as compared to diesel traction. Total shift to electric traction will reduce CO2 emission of Railways by 24% till 2027-28. It is also in line with India’s commitment in COP21.

Employment Generation: It will generate direct employment of about 20.4 crore man days during the period of construction.

What about existing diesel engines?

Indian Railways has fleet of 5,526 diesel engines. With change traction policy, operational diesel engines will be converted into electric ones during periodic overhaul, so that the diesel fleet gradually turns electric. Domestically manufactured new diesel locomotives will be exported. Even after 100% electrification, diesel engines will be used in emergencies and for strategic use such as in the border areas.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018

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