Report by: 
Port Blair
4 Mar 2018

City geared up for multinational exercise, Milan 2018
Countdown has begun for the much-awaited multinational naval exercise, MILAN 2018, scheduled to be held here from March 6 to 13. With the underlying theme of "friendship across the seas", the biennial event this year will be participated by naval forces from a number of littoral countries. While defence areas in the city and suburbs have been decked up to make the stay of visiting navy delegations a memorable one,  preparations are in final stages at Marine Park, where the main event, International City Parade, is scheduled to be held involving marching contingents from all participating foreign navies as well as the Indian armed forces on March 9. The parade will include flypast, aerobatic display by military aircraft, demonstrations of military operations etc. Milan-2018 will culminate with passage exercise at sea by all the participating naval ships.
The theme of this year's Milan International Maritime Seminar is "In Pursuit of Maritime Good Order — Need for Comprehensive Information Sharing Apparatus". Milan made modest beginnings more than two decades ago when it was first held in 1995. The event achieved strident success during the ensuing years owing to high standards of professional content of the event. The growing participation over the years bears testimony to the success of this multilateral initiative. From an event of sub- regional context, Milan has now grown into a prestigious international event and encompasses participation by maritime forces from not just the Bay of Bengal and South East Asia but the larger Indian Ocean Region (lOR).

NH-4 construction on Beodnabad-F/Gunj section gains steam
Keeping up with its commitment to complete the national highway project within set deadlines, the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has accelerated pace of works on the Beodnabad-Ferrargunj section of NH-4. After shifting of utilities and subsequent Bhumi puja performed in December last year, the agency is currently carrying out  tree felling and earth excavation works on the stretch after securing necessary permissions from concerned authorities. After completion of the task, bitumen laying and other allied works will be undertaken for expansion of the road stretch to two-lane with hard shoulder.
The 25.931 km stretch of the national highway stretch in the Beodnabad-Ferrargunj section is estimated to be completed at a cost of Rs 124 crores. Besides, earth excavation and tree felling, casting of culverts and preparation of subgrades for the new construction is also in progress at different parts of the stretch. The agency has also placed sign posts and temporary barricades at vulnerable areas in the stretch to prevent any untoward incident due to the ongoing construction.