March 4, 2020
KUMBH 2021 HARIDWAR: SHAHI SNAN DATES ANNOUNCED
Other important baths will take place on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on January 14, February 11 (Mauni Amavasya), February 16 (Basant Panchami), February 27 (Magh Purnima), April 13 (Nav Samvatsar) and April 21 (Ram Navami).
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has announced the dates for the ‘shahi snan’ during the 2021 Kumbh in Haridwar. The first ‘shahi snan’ (holy bath) will be taken on March 11, 2021 (Mahashivratri), the second on April 12 (Somwati Amavasya), the third on April 14 (Baisakhi Kumbh snan) and the fourth on April 27 (Chaitra Purnima), he said after holding discussions with saints and seers of Akhada Parishad.
February 14, 2020
HUGE RELIEF FOR DELHI AIR PASSENGERS WITH EXCESS BAGGAGE! AIRPORT LAUNCHES DOOR TO DOOR BAGGAGE PICK UP, DROP FACILITY
The service provider has also provided tracking facility on phones and tablets to the passengers who have booked their baggage for pick-up or drop service. The passengers who are willing to avail this facility will have to provide the date of service for pick-up or delivery as well as the details of the flight they have to board or deboard at the IGI airport and the delivery location where the passengers want their baggage to be delivered by the logistic agents.
In order to make the air travel convenient for the passengers, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has launched a doorstep baggage transfer facility for the passengers flying to and from the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The facility has been officially launched only after a successful trial at the Terminal 3 of the International Airport in the capital. A Bengaluru-based logistics company ‘Çarter X’ has teamed up with the Delhi Airport to bring about this world-class experience to passengers.
Passengers have been given the option to book their baggage via CarterX’s website or app or via their counters at Delhi Airport. Subsequently, their baggage are picked up from their home in Delhi or from the neighbouring NCR region. The Delhi Airport authority is also planning to enable baggage booking via the airport website
January 26, 2020
GUJARAT’S STATUE OF UNITY INCLUDED IN ‘8 WONDERS OF SCO’ LIST
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar informed that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has listed the 182-metre tall Statue of Unity as one of the ‘Eight Wonders of SCO’.
The SCO is an eight-member alliance from Eurasia, which includes India, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar appreciated the SCO’s efforts towards promoting tourism among member nations and asserted that the statue’s inclusion in the list will “surely serve as an inspiration”.
January 25, 2020
VISTARA ADDS KATHMANDU TO NETWORK WITH FLIGHTS STARTING FEBRUARY 11
Vistara recently announced the addition of Kathmandu, Nepal, as the fifth international destination to its fast-growing network. Vistara will operate daily flights between Delhi and Kathmandu starting February 11, 2020, the bookings for which open now, progressively on all channels including Vistara’s website (www.airvistara.com), Vistara’s iOS and Android mobile apps and through travel agents. The flight from Delhi to Kathmandu will depart at 1400 hours and arrive at 1615 hours while the flight from Kathmandu will depart at 1715 hours and reach Delhi at 1845 hours.
With a vast domestic route network in India, Vistara customers can take convenient one-stop connections to/from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune among other cities.
January 20, 2020
INDIGO LAUNCHES DIRECT FLIGHTS CONNECTING KOLKATA WITH DOHA AND DUBAI
In a bid to create corridors of connectivity from the country, IndiGo announced daily direct flights connecting Kolkata with Dubai and Doha, effective February 16 and March 1, 2020 respectively. Kolkata has witnessed the highest growth of 13.3% in foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) between April-December 2019, among all the metro cities in the country. These flights will further strengthen connectivity from the city to the Middle East and cater to the growing international traffic to and from Kolkata.
December 13, 2019
KERALA LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2020 ALL SET TO BE HELD AT CALICUT
The fifth edition of the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF 2020) in association with Kerala Tourism is set to be held from January 16 to 19, 2020 at Calicut. With over four lakh attendees, KLF 2020 will be the largest cultural gathering in South India and the fastest-growing literature festival on the continent. Set along the shores of the Arabian Sea by the beaches of Calicut, the festival will bring readers and writers together for inspiration, entertainment and discussion.
“Kerala Literary Festival is different from every other literary festival in the world as this is entirely a people’s festival. The focus theme for KLF 2020 will be environment and climate change. The Guest Country this time is going to be Spain represented by a team of twenty artists, writers and journalists. The Indian language in focus is Tamil with 10 writers. We have five participants from China and many from Great Britain, Slovenia, Egypt, Ireland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and of course India,” said Ravi Deecee, Chief Facilitator.
June 3, 2019
BUILDING AN INCREDIBLE INFRASTRUCTURE | TOURISM
One of the recurring themes of the Lok Sabha election was the government’s failure to create employment opportunities. In that context, tourism is a significant sector as it has an instant and tangible impact on job creation. According to government sources, the tourism sector has created 13 million jobs in the past four years. A 2017 report of the World Travel and Tourism Council says that tourism contributed a 9 per cent to India’s GDP and 8 per cent to its total employment. However, less than five per cent of foreign tourists who visit the Asia-Pacific region come to India. The Union government needs to spend much more on this sector than what it is doing now. The 2019 budget allocated just Rs 2,189 crore-0.08 per cent-of the total budgetary spend of Rs 27,84,200 crore for the development of the tourism sector.
The 100-day plan
- While in the past couple of years, the sector has seen several major pushes in terms of policies and schemes to turn India into a global tourist destination, infrastructure, connectivity and safety remain concerns for tourists. The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report ranks India 104 and 114 out of 136 countries on hygiene and safety parameters, respectively.
- The new government must allocate at least 2 per cent of the total budget to the travel and tourism sector.
- The Union government needs a coordinated plan with states to provide and improve tourism-related infrastructure.
- Land is pivotal to the growth of the tourism industry and it remains in the domain of states. Proactive steps by the states are a must for new tourist infrastructure-from ease of land acquisition to encouraging private players to develop infrastructure. The new government needs to create a cohesive and formal structure for faster and effective coordination among government departments and agencies such as ministries of roads, railways, aviation, forest, urban and rural development; create separate budget in these ministries for tourist infrastructure.
- The inter-connectivity of major tourist attractions and monuments has to be improved.
- India needs to create a comprehensive campaign to improve its image as a global tourist destination.
- The government needs to create PPP models for participation of private players.
Source: India Today
June 18, 2019
KOCHI AIRPORT TO REMAIN SHUT FROM 10AM-6PM FOR 4 MONTHS
Recarpeting/refurbishment of a runway is done every 10 years or even before if required. We experienced the Mumbai airport closing both the runways for six hours for 6 weeks earlier this year. Dubai airport also undertook a refurbishment of the south runway from April 16 to May 30, 2019.
Next in line is Kochi (Cochin) airport. Kochi airport started operations in 1999 and refurbished the runway for the first time in 2009. Kochi airport will refurbish its 3400m long runway starting in November 2019. From November 20, 2019, to March 28, 2020, flight operations at Kochi airport will be halted every day from 10 am to 6 pm to conduct the refurbishment of the runway.
According to Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL),
As the mandatory runway re-carpeting work of Kochi airport is slated in November, CIAL has instructed all the operating airlines to re-schedule their daytime services for four months from November 20. The major re-carpeting work will start on November 20, 2019 and continue till March 28, 2020. There will be no flight operations from 10 AM to 6 PM in that period. The daytime flights will be re-scheduled to the night.
In addition, Kochi airport will upgrade Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) system to CAT III from the existing CAT I. According to CIAL,
This will considerably improve the operational efficiency and aerodrome safety, especially during low visibility and adverse weather conditions. As part of the CAT III lighting system, the spacing of existing runway centreline lights would be reduced from the existing 30 metres to 15 metres and the runway would be provided touch down zone lighting and approach side row lighting.
A lot of domestic flights will be affected by the closure of Kochi airport. International flights operated by IndiGo, Air India Express, SpiceJet, Saudia and Qatar Airways will be affected as they have a scheduled departure post 10 am from Kochi.
According to CIAL,
As a majority of international flights operate from 6 PM to 9 AM, the re-carpeting would not affect international traffic in a big way. But around 35 domestic services have to be re-scheduled.
Since the intimation for runway closure has just come in, airlines haven’t rescheduled all the flights yet. Airlines may take some time to reschedule/cancel the affected flights as they have to maintain their overall schedule.
For those who use the Kochi Airport, get set for a big round of travel disruption coming your way later this year.
March 1, 2019
HELICOPTER SERVICE BETWEEN SHIMLA AND CHANDIGARH TAKES OFF UNDER UDAN-II
The one-way fare between Shimla and Chandigarh is for Rs 2,880. The flight would take off from Chandigarh at 10 am, and would reach Shimla at 10:30 am. The flight would then fly back to Chandigarh by 10:55 am.
Under central government’s UDAN-II scheme, which aims to provide regional connectivity in the country, helicopter service between Shimla and Chandigarh was launched on Thursday by Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu. The helicopter service is scheduled to operate from Jubbarhatti airport, which is 22-kms from Shimla.
A “non-scheduled” helicopter service facilitated by the Himachal Pradesh government was operational between Shimla and Chandigarh since June, last year. However, with the launch of UDAN-II (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, a dedicated helicopter will be provided by the helicopter service provider Pawan Hans will.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the flight under UDAN-II would take off from Chandigarh at 10 am, and would reach Shimla at 10:30 am. The flight would then fly back to Chandigarh by 10:55 am. The one-way fare between Shimla and Chandigarh is for Rs 2,880.
The service would currently operate for three days a week. However, after a fortnight the service would be available for six days a week, the chief minister added.
Prabhu, who launched the scheme through video conferencing from New Delhi, said that other than facilitating better air connectivity to public, UDAN-II would help in providing faster connectivity to the people in times of health-related and other emergencies.
The scheme would also boost tourism in the state by providing air connectivity to the state, which would be availed by domestic and foreign tourists, Prabhu added.
UDAN-I, which provided air connectivity between New Delhi and Shimla, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April, 2017.
A senior official from the Civil Aviation department said that helicopter services between Shimla and Kullu and Shimla and Dharamshala will also begin within a month.
Source: The Indian Express
February 15, 2019
PM NARENDRA MODI TO FLAG OFF INDIA’S FIRST SEMI-HIGH SPEED TRAIN ‘VANDE BHARAT EXPRESS’ TODAY.
The first locomotive-less train in the country is being seen as a successor to the 30-year-old premier Shatabdi Express train.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off India’s first engineless train Vande Bharat Express, earlier known as Train 18, today from the New Delhi railway station.
The Indian Railways recently named the indigenously manufactured Train 18 as Vande Bharat Express in an acknowledgement of its made-in-India status. The semi-high speed train is set to run between New Delhi and Varanasi at a maximum speed of 160 kilometre per hour stopping at Kanpur and Allahabad enroute.
Officials have said the gleaming train comes fitted with amenities at par with the best in the world. It would have onboard WiFi, GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points and a climate control system that adjusts the temperature according to occupancy and weather.
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