River Ganga Current Affairs - 2019

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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.

Environment Flows and Assessment Workshop

Union Minister for Jal Shakti inaugurated the International Workshop on Environment Flows.

Highlights

  • The Minister released the Guidance Document on Environment Flow Assessment. It is the first of its kind.
  • The workshop aims at answering the following questions
    • What is the overall aim for environment flows assessment in India?
    • What are the long term and short-term goals to implement environment flows according to overall aims and targets?
  • The workshop brings together the Indian and European experiences.
  • National and International experts from Germany, UK, Africa, Bhutan, Poland, Netherlands and South Africa are participating in the workshop

Significance

According to the IUCN,

  • Environmental flow is the water provided within the river, wetland or coastal zone to maintain ecosystems and their benefits.
  • It is a tool for allocating water among multiple, competing uses in a river basin or watershed.
  • The Environmental Flows provide the means for integrated management of river flows to meet the needs of the people, industry, agriculture, energy and ecosystems.

For instance, River Ganga

  • Supports 400 million people
  • It provides unique ecosystem to the India’s National Aquatic animal Gangetic Dolphins, turtles and gharials