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CURRENT AFFAIRS 13-08-2018

Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET)

 

Relevancy

  • G.S. Paper 2

 

Why in news?

  • Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET) begins operation, connecting northeast to the West Coast

 

Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET):

  • Northeast Frontier Railway has started operating one lease Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET) on fortnightly basis.
  • It connects Northeastern part of the country to the West Coast.
  • The route of this Parcel Cargo Express Train lease is : New Guwahati in Assam to Kalyan in Maharashtra with stoppages at New Jalpaiguri, Kalumna Goods Shed.
  • This move would enable farmers to market their products like tea, betal nuts, pineapple, jute, horticulture products, cane furniture etc. at the retail markets in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Pune etc.
  • This initiative will not only promote industries of the region particularly but will also provide sustainable job opportunity to the local youths including unskilled labour.
  • Parcel Cargo Express Train has emerged as a business tool and this has been done without any additional strain on the resources of the railways.
  • These leased PCETs will also generate substantial revenue to the Indian Railways in their contractual periods of 6 years each.
  • The Unit transportation cost through PCET will be relatively less than the cost of road transportation.
  • So, the transporters as well as ultimate consumers will be benefited on account of less transportation cost.
  • A single PCET can carry consignment equivalent to 52 nos. of trucks.
  • This will ensure less Carbon Emission which will contribute for Green India & saving of foreign exchange on account of purchasing of fuel.
  • Several other zonal Railways have also taken initiatives to lease out Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCETs) on round trip.

 

Ganga praharis

 

Relevancy

  • G.S. Paper 2, 3

 

Why in news?

  • Union Government has launched database for Ganga Praharis for conservation of biodiversity near Ganga.

 

Ganga praharis:

  • The biodiversity of the Ganga River is under stress due to reduced water availability, habitat degradation, pollution, and unsustainable resource extraction.
  • To conserve the ecological integrity of the Ganga River and reduce the direct dependency of the local communities on the river, the National Mission for Clean Ganga-Wildlife Institute of India has stated this project.
  • It is involving members of the local community in the five Ganga states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) as guardians of the river who will henceforth be known as Ganga Praharis.
  • The aim of this initiative is to establish a motivated cadre of “Ganga Prahari” to support the local level institutions.
  • They will also monitor the quality of the natural resources of the river by mobilizing local communities at the grassroots level.
  • Their ultimate objective is to restore the Nirmal and Aviral Dhara.
  • This can be achieved by:
    • Creating awareness about the benefits of a clean Ganga and create a sense of belongingness among people towards the Ganga River.
    • Linking local communities and their livelihoods with the overall efforts of various agencies working for a clean Ganga.
    • To create a convergence point at grass roots level for such efforts.
  • The Ganga Praharis have been identified through a series of site level consultative meetings and workshops held in select villages, located on the bank of the Ganga River.
  • Focus has been made to identify self-motivated individuals who can mobilize others in Ganga conservation efforts.
  • Additionally, the local communities, have been approached through other agencies like State Forest Departments, Educational Institutes, National Cadet Corps (NCC), etc.
  • These ‘Praharis’ have to be above 18 years of age on the date of joining the project, preferably from the Ganga River side villages.
  • The younger school students, too, have been recruited for Bal Ganga Praharis which will be launched soon.

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