West Bengal Current Affairs - 2019

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IAF AN-32 lands in Pakyong Airport of Sikkim

For the first time, Antonov-32 AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a successful landing at Sikkim’s Pakyong, one of the highest airfields in the country.

The successful landing has assumed great importance due to its strategic location of 60 km from the India-China border and it is located 4,500 feet above sea level. The successful landing is a booster for the Indian efforts which is aggressively overhauling the infrastructure, particularly in the North-Eastern region, following the Doklam standoff in 2017.

Pakyong Airport

Pakyong Airport is a Greenfield airport near Gangtok, the capital of the state of Sikkim. It is the first greenfield airport to be constructed in the Northeastern Region of India.

The airport is strategically important and the Indian Air Force is also building on the ability to land certain military aircraft at the Pakyong Airport. Prior to the inauguration of the Pakyong Airport by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24th September 2018, Sikkim was the sole state in India without a functional airport and Sikkim was dependent on the airport at  Bagdogra in the neighbouring state of West Bengal, and Paro Airport in Bhutan.

Union Cabinet approves expansion of Numaligarh refinery in Assam

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the capacity expansion project of Numaligarh Refinery from 3 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonne Per Annum) to 9 MMTPA.

The expansion project involves setting up a crude oil pipeline from Paradip in Odisha to Numaligarh and product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri in West Bengal. The expansion is expected to be completed by within a period of 48 months, after approval and receipt of statutory clearances.

Funding the Project

The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 22,594 crore. The Numaligarh Refinery will raise a debt of Rs.15,102 crore and would contribute Rs.2,307 crore from its internal accrual. The promoters of NRL, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Oil India Ltd & Government of Assam (GoA) will contribute to equity and the government of India would provide a Viability Gap Funding of Rs.1,020 crore.

Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL)

Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) was set up at Numaligarh in the district of Golaghat (Assam) in accordance with the provisions made in the historic Assam Accord. The NRL was conceived as a vehicle for speedy industrial and economic development of the region.

The promoters of the NRL are Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Oil India Ltd & Government of Assam (GoA).

The expansion of the NRL will aid in meeting the deficit of petroleum products in the North East and also sustain the operations of all North East refineries by augmenting their crude availability. Together with generating direct and indirect employment in Assam and it is the driver of Government’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for the North East.