Bihar Current Affairs - 2019

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Centre approves Rs 4,900 crore Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project

Union Government has approved Rs 4,900 crore Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project for interlinking of Kosi and Mechi rivers of Bihar. This is the second major river interlinking project in the country to be approved by Central Government after the Ken-Betwa project in Madhya Pradesh. This approval comes after this project secured the last remaining mandatory technical-cum-administrative nod from Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

About Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project

It envisages diversion of part of surplus water of Kosi river through existing Hanuman Nagar barrage to Mechi River of Mahananda basin. Mechi River is important tributary of Mahananda river. Its basin is mostly deficient in providing adequate water for irrigation.

Benefits

It will give relieve large swathes of north Bihar (especially Seemanchal region) from menace of recurring floods. It will channel surplus water from Kosi River into Mahananda, thus optimizing redistribution of the surplus waters   and providing it for irrigation of whooping 2.14 lakh hectares of command areas spread across the districts of Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar in north Bihar.

It has the potential to usher in next green revolution in Seemanchal region. This project involves no displacement of population and there is no diversion of any forest land. Besides, no national park, wildlife sanctuary, eco-sensitive areas, etc. are present within 10 kilometer (km) radius of project.

National Project Status

Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project has not yet received coveted National Project Status. But on the lines of Ken-Betwa project in MP (India’s first Interlinking of rivers project), this project also qualifies for a ‘National Project’ status because of number of reasons, including its huge flood management and irrigation potential.

Moreover, its entire command area is contiguous to international boundary (India-Nepal). National Project status for this project will mean that majority of funding support will be borne by Central Government instead of State Government.

5th Dharma-Dhamma conference being held in Rajgir, Bihar

5th International Dharma-Dhamma conference is being held Rajgir International Convention Centre in Rajgir, Bihar from 27-28 July 2019. The conference was inaugurated Union Minister of State Kiren Rijiju who is also the Chief Guest of Conference. It is being hosted by Rajgir for 2nd time.

About 5th International Dharma-Dhamma conference

Objective: To address people about terror, violence and global warming prevalent in world. The 2-day conference also addresses subjects of Sat-Chit-Ananda and Nirvana Dharma-Dhamma Tradition which are pivotal topics of Buddhism.

Organised by: Nalanda University (NU) in collaboration with New Delhi’s Centre for Study of Religion and Society-India Foundation (CSRS-IF).

Participants: Almost 250 scholars and delegates from over 15 countries are participating in Conference.

Guest of Honour: Sri Lanka’s Home Minister Gamini Jaiwickrama Perera, Bhutan’s Home and Culture Minister Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen and Juna Akhada’s Awadheshananda Giri Ji Maharaj.

Significance:

Dharma-Dhamma conference being hosted by India benefit international community as well and also act as a platform for Hindu and Buddhist thinkers to express their views. It will help strengthen ties with other Asian countries.