Connectivity Current Affairs

India, Japan ink MoU set up India-Japan Act East Forum

India and Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up India Japan Act East Forum to enhance connectivity and promote developmental projects in Northeast India.

It was one of the 15 major agreements signed between both countries during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India for the 12th Indo-Japan annual summit.

Key Facts

The purpose of forum is to converge India’s Act East Policy with Japan’s Free and Open Asia-Pacific strategy in the backdrop of China’s One Belt One Road initiative. It will enhance connectivity and promote developmental projects in India’s Northeast region in an efficient and effective manner. It can complement India’s connectivity initiatives in Bangladesh, Myanmar and beyond, besides BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) and BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Motor Vehicle Agreements.

Background

Japan has historic connection with India’s northeast and is among few countries that India has allowed a presence in eight landlocked northeastern states which are India’s gateway to ASEAN members countries. Japan has cooperated with variety of development projects in Northeast, ranging from connectivity infrastructure such as roads and electricity, water supply and sewage and environmental conservation such as forest resource management and biodiversity.

Japanese Contribution to North East

India and Japan have signed document on Japanese loan and aid for highway development in Northeast which can complement India’s connectivity initiatives in Bangladesh, Myanmar and beyond. Japan is also extending loan of Rs.2,239 crore to India for ‘North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project’ to improve National Highway 40 (NH-40) and construct a bypass on NH-54 in Northeast. These projects are expected to improve intra-regional and international connectivity through regional economic development.

Chinese Opposition

China has expressed dissatisfaction over proposed Japanese investments in India’s North-East states. China warned that third-party should not meddle in border disputes between India and China. It held that negotiations are still on to settle eastern section of China-India border, so it is oppoing involvement of any third party in region in whatsoever form.

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Cheneni-Nashiri: India’s Longest Road Tunnel completes trial run

India’s longest surface tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district is complete. It will be open to traffic soon, following successful completion of trial runs for peak and off-peak hours. 

The 9-km-long tunnel at Chenani passes through the lower Himalayan mountain range on Jammu- Srinagar National Highway.

Key Facts
  • Work on Cheneni-Nashiri Road Tunnel was started in May 2011. It took nearly six years for completion of the project at a cost of over Rs. 3,720 crore.
  • The 9-km-long twin-tube tunnel located at an elevation of 1,200 metres. It is an important part of a 286-km-long four-lane project on the highway.
  • It is India’s first tunnel equipped with world class integrated tunnel control system through which ventilation, signals, fire control, communication and electrical systems are automatically actuated.
  • It reduces travel distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 30 kilometres and save time by three to four hours. The road distance from Chenani and Nashri will now be 10.9 km, instead of present 41 km.
  • The tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to the Valley and avoid landslide-prone stretch. It will help to boost the trade and commerce and tourism in the valley.

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