Connectivity Current Affairs - 2019

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India, Nepal launch Kathmandu-Siliguri bus service

India and Nepal have launched Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and Siliguri in West Bengal. The first bus service on this route was flagged off by Nepal’s Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Raghubir Mahaseth and Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri rom Kathmandu. It is overall 11th route for bus service between Nepal and India, of the total 13 routes that have been approved for operating regular bus services between the two countries.

Kathmandu-Siliguri bus service

It will operate on a daily basis. On this 650 kilometre long route, 44-seater air conditioned deluxe bus will be operating and cover this distance in 18 hours. The bus will leave Kathmandu daily at 3 P.M. and reach Siliguri via Kakarvitta-Panitanki border next day at around 9 A.M.

Significance: The direct bus service will benefit visitors of two countries and also help to expand trade links and connectivity. It will further strengthen people-to-people links between the two countries.

4th BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal in August 2018

The fourth edition of Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will be held in Kathmandu, capital city of from 30 to 31 August, 2018. Nepal is the current chair of BIMSTEC. The main focus of summit will be to increase connectivity between BIMSTEC nations including roads, airways and transmission lines. It will also give top priority connectivity and poverty alleviation.

Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

BIMSTEC is the sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal constituting contiguous regional unity. It was established on 6 June 1997 through Bangkok Declaration. It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Member countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia. They are collectively home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of global population.

BIMESTC’s prime objectives: Technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and south East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. BIMSTEC is sector-driven cooperative organization, starting with six sector including trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries. In 2008, it was expanded to embrace eight more sectors including agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people to people contact and climate change.