River Ganga Current Affairs - 2019

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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

PM inaugurates Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal at Sahibganj

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s second Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal (built at Sahibganj) online from Ranchi, Jharkhand. He also laid the foundation of a secretariat building in the state capital (Ranchi) which will come up at an estimated cost of Rs.1238.92 crore.

About Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal at Sahibganj

This is the 2nd of three Multi Modal Terminals (MMTs) being constructed on river Ganga under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP). In November 2018, PM Modi inaugurated first MMT at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The Rs.290 crore multi-modal cargo terminal has been built by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on River Ganga at Sahibganj.

It will have a cargo storing capacity of 3 million tonne (MT) per year, a stockyard and parking and berthing space for two vessels.

Government has also planned an investment of Rs.376 crores for capacity enhancement in Phase-II to 54.8 lakh tonnes per annum. The development in Phase II will be entirely made by private concessionaire, under public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

Importance:

It will open up industries of Jharkhand and Bihar to global market and provide Indo-Nepal cargo connectivity through waterways route.

It will play an important role in transportation of domestic coal from local mines located in Rajmahal area (in Sahibganj district) to other thermal power plants located along National Waterway-1 (NW-1).

Cargo to be transported from terminal includes coal, stone chips, fertilisers, cement and sugar.

The convergence of Road-Rail-River Transport at Sahibganj through the new Multi Modal Terminals will connect this part of hinterland to Haldia (in Kolkata), to North-East states via Bangladesh by river-sea route and further to Bay of Bengal.