India-Nepal Current Affairs - 2019

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World Bank’s 300 million USD plan to Develop Kolkata

The World Bank has submitted a master plan to develop logistics infrastructure of Kolkata metropolitan area. The bank is to invest 300 million USD in the project. The Government entities participating in the deal includes CII and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

The focus of the project is to be on construction of rail, road, industrial parks. The aim of the project is to improve competitiveness, increase employment.

Recent Infrastructural Developments in the region

  • The West Bengal Government has increased its infrastructure spending by five times in 2019 as compared to 2011.
  • The warehousing in the state has increased by 191%
  • The Inland Water Transport World Bank Project, Asian High way project, Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor are the current prominent infrastructural developments in the region

Significance

  • Kolkata and West Bengal are strategically placed. It connects India and South East Asia in terms of infrastructure. This will help to achieve India’s interests in the ASEAN countries and also its Act East Policy.
  • Location of Kolkata also enables trade and commerce to neighboring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh
  • Kolkata has the potential to become the hub of India’s north-eastern region.

India, Bhutan, Nepal: Trans Border Conservation Park

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

Significance

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