Brahmaputra Current Affairs - 2020

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India-World Bank sign 88 million USD to implement Assam Inland Water Transport Project

On January 16, 2020, the Government of Assam, Government of India and World Bank signed 88 million USD agreement. The agreement aims to modernize Assam’s Ferry transport service on the Brahmaputra river.

Highlights

There are over 361 ferry routes across Brahmaputra river in Assam. These routes act as a crucial means of transport to 1000s of commuters in both rural and urban areas of the valley.

The aim of Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP) is to help Assam improve its ferry infrastructure and strengthen institutions operating inland water transport. It also aims at introducing new and energy efficient vessels with least disturbance to nature. The project also includes cargo transport vessels in the route.

The inland water transport is the most sustainable water transport for Assam. This is mainly because it provides low-cost and low-carbon options.

The project will adopt “Working with Nature” principles to design new infrastructure.

Inland Waterways

Around 15 waterways are operating in Assam. They operate on rivers such as Barak, Beki, Lohit, Doyang, Kopili, Subansiri, Aai, Dihing, Dikihow, Puthimari, Gangadhar, Jinjiram and Tiwang. It is important to develop these water ways as they are connected to Bay of Bengal through the Brahmaputra and will help increase exports of locally produced goods of north east. The IBP (India-Bangladesh Protocol), National Waterway-2 that was recently launched in November 2019 makes this possible. Assam Inland Water Transport Development is the implementing authority of these routes.

 

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Destination North East Festival held in Varanasi

The Ministry of Development of North East Region conducted a four day long North East festival in Varanasi. The festival is to be conducted between November 23, 2019 and November 26, 2019. It aims to fuse the cultures of Ganga and Brahmaputra.

Highlights

A theme song of the festival was launched earlier. The previous editions of the event were held in Chandigarh and Delhi. All the eight states are participating in the event with their exhibitions of handloom, handicrafts, cultural troupes and organic products.

A business-to-business session is also planned under the event. This will act as a platform for the young entrepreneurs looking for startup opportunities in the states.

Central Government Agencies like North East Regional Agricultural Marketing Cooperation Limited (NERAMAC), North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP), International Centre for Cultural Relations are participating in the event.

Significance

The event is being organized for three years now (2019). It helps to familiarize people of other parts of the country with the rich unexplored potential of the North East. The event will also promote the tourism potential of the North East region.

With Ganga and Brahmaputra basins offering similarities in terms of silk products, diverse handlooms and ancient culture, Varanasi is a natural choice for the event.

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