Kochi Current Affairs - 2019

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MoU between India and Maldives for Shipping approved by Cabinet

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Maldives for establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea, which was signed on 8 June 8 2019 during the visit of Indian Prime Minister to Maldives.

Key Highlights of MoU

Objective: This MoU with Maldives has been signed with a view towards harnessing potential opportunity that lies in passenger and cargo transportation by sea between two countries.

It will pave way for ferry services between Maldives and Kerala by Connecting Kochi with Male & Kulhudhuffushi in Maldives by Sea route.

Male is Maldive’s capital and most populous city of country. It is situated at a distance of 708 Kms from Kochi.

Kulhudhuffushi is 3rd most populous city of Maldives. It is 509 Kms away.

Significance:

Current connectivity between India and Maldives involves flights to Male and sea planes to resorts, which is majorly an expensive option.  Thus, connectivity with Kochi via sea could promote inbound tourism, mainly health and wellness tourism for India.

Also a large number of Maldivians also travel to Kerala as well as other South Indian cities for educational purposes.

This proposed ferry service would contribute in a big way in promoting people to people contact and to boost bilateral trade between two nations.

India-Maldives

India is a leading development partner of Maldives.

Till now India has established many of the leading institutions of Maldives.

At present, India has provided US $100 Million Stand-by Credit facility (SCF) to island nation of Maldives, including long-term loans and revolving credit for trade.

Decolourisation of River Periyar

The River Periyar in Kerala is again witnessing the decolourisation. The decolourisation of River Periyar which provides drinking water to Kochi city and adjoining areas has become the cause of worry for the people and government of Kerala. The water turned pitch black in one stream, it was milky near the Pathalam regulator-cum-bridge.

Eutrophication

The pollution control Board (PCB) has attributed the change in colour to the poor quality of water as a result of eutrophication. PCB has stated that huge quantities of organic load in the form of sewage from nearby townships are regularly reaching the river system. This is contributing to the eutrophication resulting in the change of colour.

River Periyar

River Periyar flows in the state of Kerala. It originates in the Western Ghats and flows north for a short distance to Periyar Lake. Periyar Lake. is an artificial reservoir created by Mullaperiyar Dam across the river. From the Periyar Lake, tunnel carries water through mountains to the Vaigai River in Tamil Nadu, where it is used for irrigation.

Further downstream Idukki dam is constructed across the river. The river descending out of the mountains into the coastal plain and empties into the Arabian Sea.