River Ganga Current Affairs - 2020

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Turtle Rehab Centre in Bihar-First of its kind

In January 2020, a turtle rehabilitation Centre is to be set up in Bihar’s Bhagalpur forest. The centre will shelter more than 500 turtles and is to be spread over half a hectare.

Highlights

The rehab centre will act as home to sick and severely injured turtles that are being rescued from smugglers. Prior to the rehab, the forest officials were not able to monitor the rescued turtles before releasing them into rivers. The rehab centre will help in solving this problem.

Why Bhagalpur?

The flow of water in River Ganga in Bhagalpur is ample. There are number of sandbanks in the region that act as ideal breeding ground for the turtles. Also, the turtles in the region weigh up to 15 kilograms and are smuggled in large extent.

According to a report by National Mission for Clean Ganga and WII (Wildlife Institute of India), the turtles in the region are under great threat due to habitat fragmentation due to dams and barrages, illegal poaching, pollution, accidental drowning in fishing nets. Therefore, it is essential to save such life threatened turtles and release back to the river in the right season.

Need

According to a study of Traffic India, every year around 11,000 turtles are smuggled from India. They are targeted for their meat as turtle meat gives energy boost and keeps diseases away. The hard-shell turtles are poached for pet trade. They are in high demand in China, Japan and South East Asia.

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Container Cargo Movement first time in River Brahmaputra

A landmark container cargo consignment will sail on inland waterway from the Haldia Dock Complex, Kolkata to the Inland Waterways Authority of India terminal at Pandu in Guwahati. It is to begin on November 4, 2019. The main objective of the waterway is to improve connectivity to the North Eastern Region. The containers will carry edible oil, petrochemicals, beverages, etc.

About the voyage

  • The voyage will sail for a 12 to 15 days. It is 1425 km long.
  • It is expected to establish technical and commercial viability of the IWT (Inland Waterway Transport) route.
  • The water way is to be integrated with National Waterway-1 (river Ganga), NW-97 (Sunderbans), NW-2 (River Brahmaputra), Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route.

India-Bangladesh

  • The Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh will allow mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of waterways for movement of goods between the countries.
  • Two stretches of Bangladesh waterways Sirajganj-Daikawa and Ashuganj-Zakiganj are being developed on the IBP route at a total cost of Rs 305.84 crores. 80% of the project cost is being borne by India. These two routes will provide seamless navigation to and from North East India.

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