Northeast Current Affairs

2 new ginger species discovered in northeast

Botanical Survey of India (BSI) scientists have discovered two new species of ginger named Hedychium chingmeianum and Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis in easternmost districts of northeast India. Both the plants belong to the family of Zingiberaceae, to which the commonly found ginger (Zingiber officinale) belongs.

Key Facts

Hedychium chingmeianum: It was discovered in Tuensang district in Nagaland, both bordering Myanmar. It is an epiphytic plant and grows on trunks of tall trees. It has reddish stems and creamy white flowers.

Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis: It was found growing in rock crevices, boulders and humus rich soil in the Shirui Hills in Ukhrul in Manipur. It has beautiful oval-shaped pink flowers which appear in June-July. It has been named after Mr. Dinabandhu Sahoo.

Significance

Out of 44 taxa, 31 species and 13 varieties of genus Hedychium found in India, only 5 are reported in south India. The remaining species are all found in northeast. Most of the species under this genus have medicinal properties. However, it is yet to be ascertained whether the newly discovered species Hedychium chingmeianum has medicinal properties or not.

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Government launches scheme for protection of Majuli Island in Assam

The Union Government has launched new scheme for protection of Majuli Island in Assam from flood and erosion. The scheme was sanctioned by Government in March, 2017 and funding for it will be from Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

The scheme has been framed by Brahmaputra Board based on recommendations of the high level Expert Committee of Central Government that visits the world’s largest riverine island at least twice a year to monitor and recommend anti-erosion measures.

The major components of the scheme include

  • Bank revetment with geo bags filled with earth/sand for a reach length of 27 km in 14 locations
  • RCC porcupine works in 41 locations
  • Construction of a sluice and
  • Construction of a Pilot channel of length of 3.50 km.

Majuli Island

Majuli Island is largest river island in world and first island district of the country. It is formed by Brahmaputra River in south and Kherkutia Xuti, another branch of Brahmaputra, joined by Subansiri River in north. The area of Majuli island recordere in 1914 was aroung 734 sq km and in 2004, it was recorded to be 502 sq km.

Geomorphologically, the entire Majuli island is part of alluvial flood plains of the Brahmaputra river. It is formed of soil consisting mainly of silt deposits which is without cohesion and susceptible to erosion. The problem of erosion was exacerbated after 1950 disastrous earthquake and has become severe environment issue as it remains mostly uncontained.

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