Brahmaputra River Current Affairs - 2020
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A Memorandum of Understanding has been drafted by India, Nepal and Bhutan to create a trans-boundary wildlife conservation park. The park will include bio-diversity rich landscapes
Unlike other parks that are species oriented, this peace park will be landscape oriented. Such a kind already exists in Manas park region. However, only a part of the trans-boundary protected area in India and Bhutan is being conserved based on the landscape. In the new peace park, the entire park will have its conservation protocols completely based on landscape.
About the park
- The park will be an extension of the Manas park
- The initiative was started by India keeping in view the migratory wildlife species in the region, especially elephants.
Manas National Park
- Manas National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, Project tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve.
- The park is contiguous with the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan.
- It is home to many endangered species like Assam roofed turtle, golden Langur, hispid hare, pygmy hog.
- The park is famous for its wild water buffaloes
- It is located on the Manas river, a major tributary of Brahmaputra
Tags: Brahmaputra River • Conservation • endangered wildlife species • India-Bhutan • India-Nepal
In a first ever movement of its kind, IWAI (Inland Waterways Authority of India) ship carrying Bhutanese cargo was flagged off from Dhubri in Assam to Narayanganj in Bangladesh over Brahmaputra River and the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route.
The cargo carrying stone from Bhutan to be delivered in Bangladesh was digitally flagged-off by Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) and Chemical & Fertilizers.
Background: Until now, Bhutan has been exporting significant quantity of stone aggregates to Bangladesh via land route by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan which is 160 KMs from IWAI’s Dhubri jetty in Assam. This new route development is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of promoting cargo transportation via inland waterways.
Iwai Ship carries 1000 MT of stones aggregates i.e. about 70 trucks would be required to transport the same cargo by road. In return journey of the vessel Bangladesh will send jute and rice to Bhutan in same vessel.
This move will strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries thus will be beneficial to all countries involved i.e. India, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The transport of cargo via this route will reduce travel time by 8 to 10 days, and will cut down transportation cost by 30%, bringing down logistics costs.
It will also be more environment friendly mode of transport.
Other than strengthening India’s ties with its neighbouring countries, this new development will also open up an alternate route to country’s North Eastern states, making it easier and cheaper to reach goods to these places from other parts of the country.
Dredging undertaken along Ship route:
Capital dredging was carried out to maintain an assured draft in navigation channel
Maintenance dredging will be carried out as and when required
Importance: This is for the 1st time ever, an Indian waterway is being used for transport of cargo between two countries, using India for transit.
Steps Taken by Government for promoting Inland Waterways
Currently, at least 10 other National Waterways are under development.
Centre government is also undertaking many initiatives to increase use of Inland Waterways and Coastal Shipping for greater cargo shipment such as providing assured depth of water in channels, terminals at regular intervals, navigation aids (ex- GPS and River Information System), facilities for mechanized handling of cargo handling etc.
At major ports of country a minimum 40 % discount and priority in berthing is being given to coastal vessels.
Central Government has also provided Licensing relaxations under section 406 and 407 of Merchant Shipping Act 1958 for fisheries/animal husbandry products/fertilizers/horticultural/agricultural products/empty containers as well as containers being transshipped from another Indian port, special vessels such as Ro-Ro (Roll-on/roll-off), Ro-Pax (roll-on/roll-off passenger), Project cargo/ Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC).
Tags: Bhutan-Bangladesh • Brahmaputra River • Dhubri • India-Bangladesh • India-Bhutan