By Gaurav Sharma
Beijing, April 24 (IANS) India on Tuesday stayed clear of the joint communique by the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO) supporting China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project.
This comes ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's crucial informal meet on Friday-Saturday.
India was not mentioned in the paragraph of the joint communique by the SCO member countries expressing support for Beijing's Belt and Road initiative.
"The foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reiterated their support for the 'Belt and Road Initiative' proposed by China.
"All parties support the use of the potential of the countries, international organizations and multilateral institutions in the region to establish a broad, open, mutually beneficial and equal partnership in the SCO region," the statement issued by the SCO foreign ministers said.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects China's Kashgar in Xinjiang with Gwadar port in Pakistan's Balochistan, is a key artery of the OBOR project and is progressing at a fast pace.
India firmly opposes the over $50 billion economic corridor of the Belt and Road project which cuts through the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. New Delhi lays claim to the region.
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bhubaneswar, April 24 (IANS) Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday requested Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to set up an airport in Odisha's industrial town Paradip.
In a letter, Pradhan sought the personal attention of Prabhu to examine the techno-economic feasibility for setting an airport at Paradip as soon as possible.
"The grand vision of development of Paradip would remain incomplete without an airport providing air connectivity, as the nearest Biju Patnaik International Airport at Bhubaneswar is 135 kms away and takes more than three hours by road," he said , adding that the Paradip Port Trust has already requested the Airport Authority of India to set up an airport there.
Paradip is one of the major ports in eastern India and last year became one of the three ports in India to have handled a total cargo of over 100 million tons.
The port is being further expanded and modernized and it is expected that by 2020 it would be able to handle 332 million tons of cargo per annum thereby making it the largest port in India, said Pradhan.
He said the Union government has declared Paradip Port as a Smart Port Industrial City, which is fast emerging as a major industrial hub in Odisha and Eastern India.
Besides having the port, Paradip already has an oil refinery of 15 MMTPA capacity, a 12 MMTPA pellet plant, two fertilizer plants together of 4 MMTPA capacity and a edible oil refinery, he said.
In addition, Pradhan said that his Ministry is implementing several big ticket industrial projects, including expansion of refinery to 21 MMTPA from 15 MMTPA, a 700 TMT Poly Propylene plant by 2018 and a 355 TMT Mono Ethyl Glycol unit by 2023-24 which will feed various downstream industries including plastics, paints, rubber and synthetic yarn industries, and all these initiatives "require seamless connectivity".