Places in News Current Affairs - 2019
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Belgium has become the first country to open an honorary consulate office in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Belgium already has two Consulates-General in Mumbai and Chennai, and an honorary consulate in Kolkata. The consulate was inaugurated by Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem.
Hari Sankaran, Vice-Chairman and MD, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), has been nominated as Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium to the state of Gujarat. Gujarat and Belgium have strong historic ties surrounding the diamond industry.
GIFT is a central business district (CBD) located between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in the state of Gujarat. GIFT will be built on 886 acres of land to provide high-quality physical infrastructure with facilities like electricity, water, gas, district cooling, roads, telecoms and broadband services to woo finance and tech firms to relocate their operations from Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon etc. GIFT will include a special economic zone (SEZ), international education zone, integrated townships, an entertainment zone, hotels, a convention center, an international techno park, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) units, shopping malls, stock exchanges and other service units. The likely cost of the GIFT City project is Rs 70,000 crore.
Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Limited (GIFTCL) is responsible for developing and implementing the project. GIFTCL is a joint venture of Gujarat Urban Development Company Limited (GUDCOL) and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Chenani-Nashri Tunnel, country’s longest road tunnel that links Kashmir Valley with Jammu by an all-weather route.
The 9-km-long tunnel passes through the lower Himalayan mountain range on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway 44. It cuts the distance between Jammu and Srinagar to around 250 km from the current 350 km.
- The 9-km long ‘Chenani-Nashri Tunnel has been built at an altitude of 1,200 meters. It is also Asia’s longest bi-directional highway tunnel. It has been built at the cost of Rs. 2,500 crore.
- It is India’s first tunnel equipped with world class Integrated Traffic Control System (ITCS) through which ventilation, signals, fire control, communication and electrical systems are automatically actuated.
- It reduces travel time by three to four hours. The also reduces road distance between Chenani and Nashri to 10.9 km from earlier long route of 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.
- It also boasts features like Video Surveillance System, FM Rebroadcast System, Entrance Detection Control System and Active Firefighting System.
- It also features a state-of-the-art ABB ventilation system to ensure that users have access to fresh air as they drive through it.
- The tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to the Valley and serve as an alternative to the highway which is closed at the time of snow and rains.
- It will help to boost the trade and commerce and tourism in the valley. It will reduce traffic jams on National Highway-1 A.