Dhubri Current Affairs - 2019

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Iwai Ship Carrying Bhutanese Cargo flagged off from Assam to Bangladesh

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.

Key Highlights

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.

Benefits

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).

 

India-Bangladesh border along Dhubri comes under BOLD-QIT Surveillance

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the BOLD-QIT Surveillance along Dhubri district in Assam on the India Bangladesh border.

BOLD-QIT Surveillance

  • BOLD-QIT stands for Border electronically dominated quick response team interception technique.
  • BOLD-QIT Surveillance is part of the Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS).
  • BOLD-QIT together with help the Border Security Force (BSF) in curbing all types of cross border crimes it will also provide respite to the troops from round the clock human surveillance.
  • BOLD-QIT project involves the data network generated by microwave communication along with other paraphernalia, day and night surveillance cameras, and intrusion detection system.
  • These modern gadgets under BOLD-QIT provide feeds to the BSF control rooms on the border and enable BSF Quick Reaction Teams to thwart any possibility of illegal cross border crossing and crimes.

Why the Dhubri Sector along the India-Bangladesh border is critical?

It is in the region of the Dhubri Sector the river Brahmaputra enters into Bangladesh. This region comprises of vast char lands and innumerable river channels. This geography of the region makes the border guarding in the area a daunting task, especially during the rainy season.

Hence the technological intervention along with the physical presence of BSF was envisaged to thwart any possibility of illegal cross border crossing and crimes. BOLD-QIT Surveillance makes the border management system more robust.