In the past two decades, as the world has become ever more globalised and the international middle class has gotten richer, casino tourism has become increasingly popular. Casino tourism is a form of high-end tourism whereby people travel far and wide to visit casinos all over the world.
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that the state will write to Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to start semi high-speed Vande Bharat trains between Mangaluru to Mumbai via Goa to boost tourism.He said there is a need to start flights between Manohar International Airport at Mopa and Mangaluru.“I have travelled to Mangaluru and back by train. I will write to the Union railway minister to start Wi-Fi-equipped trains running along the Goa route and to start a Vande Bharat train from Mangaluru to Mumbai via Goa to boost tourism,” Sawant said.Sawant said that there is a need to start air connectivity between Mangaluru and Goa. “I have discussed various issues with the chamber of commerce of Mangaluru. They have shown interest in commencing various trades with Goa. I think there is a need for air connectivity between Mopa airport and Mangaluru which will benefit both the states,” he said.Sawant said that both Goa and Mangaluru have ports and airports which will help increase the trade that will benefit both sides.On Wednesday, Vaishnaw assured to make halts of two long-distance trains at Canacona KRC Railway Station, while the halt for the third train will soon be considered.Sawant said that the last Akhil Vishwa Konkani Sammelan was held in 1996. “If they want to host the next Akhil Vishwa Konkani Sammelan in Goa then the state government will support the initiative as Goa is the only state with the official language as Konkani, and we are ready to host it. They have to finalise the dates for the same,” Sawant said.
PANAJI: Irked with private contractors repeatedly delaying various contracts such as for public toilets, parking spaces and tourism services, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s (GTDC) board met on Friday and served an ultimatum to the agencies.From the delay in commissioning a new river cruise vessel to excuses about managing pay-parking facilities at GTDC properties, tourism minister Rohan Khaunte demanded that all works be executed in a time-bound manner. Khaunte said that some contractors have been “dilly-dallying for the last six to nine months” without executing the contracts.“We have serious concerns about the contractors, like those given the contract for a toilet facility,” said Khaunte after the board meeting. “Such issues are there at Anjuna, Mayem and many other places where the contractors for parking have not done anything. We have given them a strict deadline and told them to start.”TOI on Friday had reported how the parking contractor at Baga has converted part of the public toilet into a clothing store.“Yesterday they started selling some clothes where toilets are supposed to be. So on Friday, we went and took action, but the important thing is to look at the O&M (operations and maintenance) partners who have come in and to look at what they (contractors) have committed to and ensure they do not deviate from the agreement. These issues were discussed by the board,” said Khaunte.Khaunte and GTDC chairman Ganesh Gaonkar have asked department officials to issue strict directions to contractors and agencies appointed through the public-private-partnership (PPP) route to abide by the stipulated norms of the contract, including the deadlines.“In the coming days, a new passenger boat will start operations. It was supposed to start after Covid, but it keeps getting delayed, so we have asked them to give us a final date,” said Khaunte.The GTDC board deliberated and screened presentations for various projects, including the proposal for a digital museum at Aguada Jail.“The facilities that are created need to be used and operations need to start. the O&M partners have been told to start working fast so that the GTDC and the government can start getting revenue,” said Khaunte.
PANAJI: Aiming to boost hinterland tourism and the rural economy, the state government is planning to connect all five of the state’s border checkposts with a ‘circle road’. The project is expected to ease the traffic congestion created by heavy vehicles passing through the state.“We have received a letter from Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on the circle road, and soon, he will appoint a consultant to prepare a detailed project report,” chief minister Pramod Sawant said.He said that the state will ensure that the project is put on the fast track to boost the rural economy. “Half the land for the circle road is with the government, and in case it passes through forests, an elevated road will be constructed,” Sawant said. Sawant told TOI that the circle road will connect the Patradevi, Dodamarg, Keri, Mollem and Collem checkposts. “If a vehicle enters from Maharashtra and wants to go to Karnataka, it can avoid the national highway passing through the cities and villages of the state, and take the circle road. This will not put additional burden on existing traffic, and also save fuel.” Sawant said.Sawant said that the circle road will also help in achieving the state government’s plans to turn Manohar International Airport, Mopa, into a logistics hub. “Goods can be transported to Mopa airport from other states without entering the state’s towns and cities, and goods can also leave the state without putting pressure on the existing national highways in the state,” Sawant said.
Panaji: Goa Tourism’s dedicated helpline for tourists had chief minister Pramod Sawant entangled in a gaffe with the opening call, as the customer care executive was unable to tell him the starting point of the Carnival.The helpline, 1364, was launched on Friday. To demonstrate its functioning, the chief minister called and asked for the details of the upcoming Carnival.The customer care executive told Sawant that Carnival will be celebrated from February 18 to 21, prompting him to follow up with a question about the venue for the first day of the festival. The executive’s response left Sawant and the entire team red-faced. “The location given is Panaji, Mapusa, Margao, and Vasco, but the first place is not yet finalised,” said the executive. Sawant expressed surprise and the crowd laughed. Going with the flow, Sawant told the executive that he would take up the issue with the tourism minister.
Panaji: In its third attempt, the Goa government has launched a helicopter service for high net worth individuals and luxury tourists. The helicopter service, which is priced at Rs 8,000 per head for a 10-minute trip, is part of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s attempt to woo high-end tourists.The heli service will offer connecting flights between Goa International Airport, Dabolim, and Manohar International Airport, Mopa. Apart from joyrides, the operator is offering trips to Kolhapur, Shirdi, Hampi, and other places, along with rides to select beaches in Goa. “The Goa government has started an attempt to offer services to high-end tourists. We are focusing on ease of doing business and high-end services for tourists,” said chief minister Pramod Sawant at the launch event at the Old Goa helipad.Soaring Aerospace, headed by Anubhav Sharma, will operate the helicopter service, which is being promoted in Goa as part of the Union tourism ministry’s swadesh darshan scheme. The helipad at Dauji-Ella, Old Goa, has been constructed under the scheme.In 2016, GTDC had partnered with Pawan Hans Helicopter Limited (PHHL) to start joyrides from the Aguada helipad. In May 2022, the Goa government took yet another shot at a helicopter service, joining hands with Blade India.Blade India had announced three rides — connecting the airport to South and North Goa, charter service from Maharashtra and within Goa, and 10-minute experiential flights giving a bird’s eye view of the state’s coastline.“The heli service will start offering new perspectives for tourists. Helicopter services give you a joyride, give you a connection with neighbouring states, and the opportunity to explore Goa in different ways like heritage, eco-tourism,” said tourism minister Rohan Khaunte. “There are many people in the state who would like to go to these places who find the drive quite cumbersome.”Sawants said that the state government has decided to focus on improving amenities for tourists and high net worth individuals.“We welcome anyone who is ready to invest in tourism services, and we will also announce schemes to encourage public-private partnership in Goa, because only when this happens can we provide the services that are required in Goa,” said Sawant.Sawant also announced that Goa is taking strides towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals. He said that efforts are being taken to improve Goa’s score from fourth in the national rankings on sustainable development goals to the first or second position.The chief minister also announced that the state is trying to expedite the construction of the convention centre at Patto so that it can be ready in time for the eight G20 meetings that are scheduled to be held in Goa.
Calangute: On a day TOI highlighted the misuse of Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s (GTDC) pay parking facility in Baga, authorities acted swiftly and removed the tattoo parlour, clothes shop and coconut water stall from the premises. “The GTDC has taken cognisance of the misuse of the parking space at the public convenience and tourist information centre at Baga, and issued a show cause notice to the appointed operator in charge — Akatva Speciality Services Pvt Ltd,” the corporation said, referring to the TOI report. “The operator has been pulled up and strictly warned against misconduct,” it said. “The public’s safety and convenience are of paramount importance to the GTDC, and anyone practising unlawful behaviour and/or defaulters will be dealt with in the strictest manner possible,” GTDC warned in a statement. The GTDC action came after TOI reported that tourism stakeholders at Baga expressed surprise after the parking contractor at Baga converted part of the pay toilet into a clothes shop and tattoo parlour, while the security booth outside the ‘tourist information centre’ (TIC) had been turned into a tender coconut stall.
PANAJI: Nearly 45 percent of Goa’s population linked to the restaurant industry with nearly 50 percent of the money spent by tourists being spent on food and drink, said Prahlad Sukhtankar, the head of the National Restaurant Association of India’s (NRAI) newly launched Goa chapter.Sukhtankar said that the data is from a recent study that underlines the significance of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs to the Goan economy."So for every rupee spent in Goa, 50 paise is directly spent on food and beverage, because that’s the main activity here. People either go to restaurants and bars, or will go to nightclubs and there again they will eat and drink,” said Sukhtankar.Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte launched NRAI’s Goa chapter at a Dona Paula based resort on Thursday.Khaunte welcomed the setting up of the Goa chapter of the NRAI and said that the association would serve as a platform for restaurateurs to voice their legitimate grievances with the government for faster redressal.Though chief minister Dr. Pramod Sawant did not attend the event, in a video message he urged the food and beverage sector to come together, share ideas and best practices.
CALANGUTE: Tourism stakeholders at Baga are taken aback to learn that the parking contractor of the GTDC pay-and-park facility has allegedly converted a part of the pay toilet into a garment shop and a tattoo parlour. Moreover, the security booth outside the tourist information centre (TIC) has been turned into a stall selling tender coconuts. The TIC itself will shortly have an ice-cream parlour, with a signboard already in place.The parking facility has been contracted to a Karnataka company. The contractor had recently landed a helicopter carrying his family members at the parking lot.In 2021, following objections from stakeholders, a fast-food restaurant which had been opened at the Candolim TIC was shut down.Calangute MLA Michael Lobo had in the past opposed attempts by the tourism minister at the time, Manohar Azjaonkar, to convert TICs into commercial outlets. “International tourist destinations such as Bali and Sri Lanka have information centres on prominent beaches where tourists can get information about the places to visit,” Lobo had said.“We want such facilities here in Candolim and Calangute and on all other beaches in Goa.”According to GTDC, it has appointed a contractor to manage the TICs.The development of the sprawling GTDC property at Baga including the paid-parking lot, toilets and the tourist information centre had been carried out by the state government under the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme of the central government about six years ago.The Centre had sanctioned Rs 100 crore to the state government for developing various facilities for tourists in the ‘coastal tourism circuit’. Parking lots, toilets and TICs were part of the plan.The foundation stones for the development of facilities at Baga, Calangute and Candolim were laid in 2014 by the CM at the time, Manohar Parrikar. Baga and Calangute facilities were inaugurated in 2016, and Candolim facilities two years ago.
PANAJI: A day after the Union Budget was presented, CM Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that the state government may get over Rs 7,000 crore under various Centre-sponsored schemes. “By March 31, we will get over Rs 5,000 crore,” Sawant said. He said that the state will get more benefits this year compared to the previous years.Sawant said Goa will set aside Rs 2,000 crore from the fund for a circle road connecting all border points of the state. He said that urban development funds have been announced in the Union Budget and the state will seek funds for all 13 municipalities. He said that the state is aiming to get additional Rs 500 crore for developing rural infra.The CM said the state will take the Centre’s help to open an artificial intelligence (AI) centre of excellence and a Skill India centre. He said the Centre’s assistance will also be sought to launch a national hydrogen mission, set up two cities to be developed as tourism centres and establish organic farming centres in both districts. Sawant said that the state will try to implement the Unity Mall concept in Goa. As for the circle road, he said it will be a part of the national highways initiative. “We want to develop a circle road which will connect all the boundaries from Dodamarg, Patradevi, and Mollem to Pollem.” All state roads will be linked to the circle road, he said.Sawant said that the state government received Rs 3,865 crore in 2020-21 from the central government under various schemes. He said that in 2021-22 the state received Rs 4,304 crore.Sawant said the Union Budget presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday will boost the state government’s initiative of Swayampurna Goa.With the fresh outlays, the state government will also establish the Eklavya residential school, Sawant said. He said that the Budget is a vision document for the next 25 years for the country. He said that the Budget has covered the interests of villages, the poor, farmers, persons with disabilities, and the middle class among others. “The focus of the budget is on infrastructure development, human development and the creation of digital infrastructure,” Sawant said.Goa transport minister Mauvin Godinho said that interest-free loans have been proposed in the Budget for states to develop infrastructure.
Marianne Borgo said that she was leaving the bungalow in Calangute.Panaji: A 75-year-old French actor, who had alleged she was held hostage in her own home in North Goa over a property dispute, said she has left the premises and that she is disappointed despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to create a tourism-friendly image of India.Marianne Borgo said on Thursday night that she was leaving the bungalow in Calangute, a beach town near Panaji which is popular with tourists, after an 11-day-long blockade of her gate allegedly by the widow of the previous owner.She had alleged last week that she was being held hostage in her own house and that the people staking claim to her property had cut its electricity and water connections, forcing her to live in dark.Ms Borgo said she could not remain any longer without a proper bath and her health was deteriorating due to the current circumstances.“This is not Modi's Idea of India. He has been working all over the world to create a positive tourism-friendly image but the recent events have left me disappointed as I feel the achievements are not able to reach the state level here in Goa,” she said in a statement.The local police had claimed that they could not intervene in the matter as the dispute has reached court.Borgo (Chicherio) said she bought the spacious house in 2008 from a lawyer named Francisco Sousa but things went awry for her after Souza died during the COVID pandemic.Trained at the Paris-based Centre d'Arte Dramatique and Conservatoire National d'Arte Dramatique (National Academy of Dramatic Arts), Borgo has worked extensively in films, television and theatre across Europe and India.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHer credits include the original “The Bourne Identity”, “A Little Princess”, and Franco-American rom-com/drama “Le Divorce” alongside Kate Hudson, Glenn Close and Stephen Fry.She was a recurring character in the French thriller series “Profilage”, and most recently led in the Indian production “Danny Goes Aum”. PTI RPS NR NR NRFeatured Video Of The DaySiddique Kappan: A Case Of Systematic Injustice?
Margao: National Green Tribunal (NGT) has admitted a petition which challenges CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) notification, 2019, while stating that the matter requires “in-depth consideration” to determine how far the notification is “likely to damage ecology”.According to the petition filed by Goa Foundation, the CRZ notification of 2019 has taken regressive steps in the protection of ecology and the rights of fishing communities, favouring commercial and intensive organisational activities instead.NGT has directed the Centre and the state government to submit replies within four weeks. “…we have to compare the amendments which have been brought about in CRZ notification, 2019, compared to the earlier notifications and determine how far they are likely to damage the ecology,” the NGT Western Zone Bench said. “Therefore, we admit this application.”Counsel Norma Alvares with advocate Om D’Costa stated that the new notification has abandoned turtle nesting beaches by dropping their names and has jettisoned the khazan system which is a unique ecological feature of Goa, linked to tidal action.In addition, the new notification has reduced the NDZ (No Development Zone) along seacoast to 50 metres from the earlier 200 metres “which is unacceptable in view of sea level rise and ingress of sea water into coastal areas,” the petition said.“The NDZ in the impugned notification is now a nomenclature without any meaning,” stated the submission by Goa Foundation.Temporary tourism facilities are permitted on beaches in both CRZ-II and CRZ-III at a distance of merely 10 metres from the HTL (High Tide Line), which would include shacks, toilets, washrooms, walkways, and seating arrangements.“Eco-tourism activities have been permitted, which would permit setting up of tree huts for tourists,” Goa Foundation stated.Sand dunes were given full protection under CRZ notifications 1991 and 2011 but now the new notification protects only ‘active’ sand dunes but ‘active’ has not been defined.“Tourists are permitted to reside in tents on sand dunes or tree huts in the NDZ, which is sure to lead to the destruction of the dunes/ESAs (Ecologically Sensitive Areas)”.Goa Foundation added, “The notification will bring a large population closer to the sea and would expose it to its impending dangers with NDZ of 50 metres only regarding which there is no rationale.” According to the petition, the CRZ notification of 2019 has taken regressive steps in the protection of ecology and the rights of fishing communities, favouring commercial activities instead
Panaji: AAP’s Goa youth wing has appealed to the government for relaxation on sound restrictions to celebrate Shigmo. National youth wing president Siddesh Bhagat hit out at the tourism department for stating that Shigmo celebrations cannot continue beyond 10pm. “Environment minister Nilesh Cabral had said that the sound rules won’t come in the way of religion and culture. Shigmo is our tradition and culture. Why hold the festival just for the sake of doing it? The programme starts at 9pm and cannot be completed within an hour,” Bhagat said. “People are spending money and the government cannot impose restrictions,” he said.
VASCO/MARGAO: Citizens protested outside the Mormugao Port Authority (MPA) on Monday demanding that the MPA stop coal operations and immediately shift to green cargo and cruise tourism. They said that a large number of steel and power plants, which are water-guzzling industries, have been proposed near the Malaprabha river basin, and that coal handling in Goa and the diversion of the Mhadei are linked.The protesters said that the Mhadei is being diverted only to benefit these steel plants and not for the farmers or drinking water purposes for locals, as is being falsely portrayed. The coal used by these steel plants is being transported from MPA to Karnataka via the rail network, they alleged.“If coal handling is stopped in Goa, the water consumed by steel plants, which is much more than the diversion proposed, will be available for farmers in Karnataka. If coal handling is allowed in Goa, the diversion of the Mhadei at Kalsa and Bandura and, subsequently, the diversion of other rivers flowing across state borders is inevitable,” the protesters stated in a memorandum to the MPA chairperson. A large number of citizens held a peaceful rally under the banner of United Vascokars and Goans. “The coal transportation is purely for the steel plants and the profit of private corporations. There is no benefit for Goa,” the citizens stated in their memorandum to the MPA. “The Mhadei water crises will be resolved only when coal handling and transportation are stopped at MPA,” said green activist Abhijit Prabhudesai. The protesters condemned the state government for its failure to protect the state’s interests.
PANAJI: Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), the hospitality arm of the Tata Group, has prepared a robust expansion roadmap for Goa, and intends to invest around Rs 300 crore in new properties in the state. The company is looking to add to its existing portfolio of 23 hotels in Goa by opening up several new resorts over the next two to three years.Among the new projects IHCL intends to set up is a “super luxury dream project” at the Fort Aguada and Taj Holiday Village, Sinquerim.“There are a lot of projects in the pipeline that we want to showcase in the next few years. One of our dream projects is going to come up at the Fort Aguada and Taj Holiday Village. We want to pump in a lot of money into the state,” senior vice-president, IHCL-Goa, Vincent Ramos, told TOI in an exclusive interview.Currently, IHCL operates 23 resorts and homestays in the state, and has emerged as the largest hospitality chain in Goa’s tourism sector. IHCL operates resorts under a group of brands, which includes Taj, SeleQtions, Vivanta, Ginger, and homestays under the ama Stays & Trails brand.Led by IHCL’s chief executive officer and managing director Puneet Chhatwal, IHCL aims to have around 1,700 rooms in Goa under its portfolio by December 31.“Goa has been the largest market. Goa’s expansion has been the largest in our portfolio, and it has been the fastest. We are growing in other states, but not as aggressively as the way we are growing in Goa, and that is why you can see the huge profits,” said Ramos.In 2021-22, amidst the pandemic, IHCL raked in a profit of Rs 160 crore just from Goa. The state contributed 45% to IHCL’s topline in 2021-22, but going forward, this is expected to settle at around 40%.Despite Covid-19 acting as a dampener on tourism and travel, IHCL saw sustained demand from domestic and international travellers for Goa. The opening of Goa’s second international airport at Mopa has also prompted the Tata Group to place large bets on North Goa.“We are expanding exponentially in Goa. SeleQtions, Ginger, and ama Stay & Trails will witness new additions. Right now, our investment in the hotels that are in the pipeline and the ones that have been recently opened up would be around Rs 300 crore,” said Ramos.Asked if IHCL has identified plans to set up a resort next to the greenfield airport, Ramos said that the company would certainly like to be the first mover. “We are looking at potential opportunities around the new airport, however, nothing has been confirmed yet,” he said.Ramos said that the company is in close discussions with the government and local partners to set up the new resorts. He said that over the next 24 months, IHCL will focus on the Ginger brand, which has proved to be a success for the company. “Ginger is our success story in Goa because we make 60% of our profit there,” he said.Given the rapid expansion plans for the state, IHCL is well en route to strengthen its position as the largest hospitality chain in Goa.
Panaji: Tourism minister Rohan Khaunte told the House on Thursday that 70 touts who were operating on beaches were booked. However, St Andre MLA Viresh Borkar questioned why action is not being taken against others as almost all beaches have vendors operating illegally. Raising the issue during Question Hour, Borkar said, “Several touts operate on beach belts, but only 70 have been booked. The tourism industry is getting affected,” said Borkar.The tourism minister said they have 43 beach wardens throughout the coast, who report illegalities to the police. Police who are deployed are short-staffed, but CM Pramod Sawant has been apprised of the issue, and he had agreed to deploy more personnel, he said. tnn
Margao: A number of tourism development projects are in the works in Quepem constituency.Development of Datta temple at Quepem and the promenade by the Kushawati river is among the major projects that are planned by the tourism department. This was stated in a written reply tabled in the House by tourism minister Rohan Khaunte to a legislative assembly question by Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa. The project is estimated to cost Rs 61 lakh.Beautification and Illumination of Holy Cross and viewpoint at hill top at Quepem costing an estimated Rs 1.2 crore is also among the works planned, the reply added. The proposal for beautification of Canaguinim beach with benches and toilet block is also being processed, the reply further stated. As the access road passes through a private property, the NOC from the stakeholder concerned is being obtained, Khaunte further said in the reply.Besides, infrastructure development works estimated at over Rs 4 crore are under way in Balli, Morpirla and Barcem villages of Quepem constituency, which are in various stages of completion, the reply added.
Margao: Minister for tourism Rohan Khaunte in his reply to a legislative assembly question said that the government plans to make select beaches in the state disabled-accessible.“Ramps will be provided for disabled/physically challenged people at select beaches with the belief that beaches are for all,” Khaunte said in his written reply tabled in the House to the question asked by Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco about the government’s plans for providing infrastructural facilities on the beaches. Khaunte said mechanical/semi-mechanised cleaning machines will be deployed to ensure speedy and more efficient cleaning of beaches, while road sweeping machines will be deployed to sweep approach roads.“Surveillance systems, CCTV cameras, etc will be installed on approach roads, beach entries and parking areas in order to assist the law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order and ensure reduction in crime rates,” the reply added. Khaunte said the tourism department has been undertaking comprehensive cleanliness of the beaches since the last couple of decades.
The Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday announced that it signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) worth over Rs 7,000 crore during a roadshow organised in Kolkata ahead of the Global Investors Summit that is slated to be held in Lucknow in February. The domestic roadshow was organised to seek investment for the state and was the fourth such event to be held by the state government in a city. Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh government had organised similar roadshows in Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. The government signed MoUs with Greentech Environment Pvt Ltd (Rs 2,000 crore), Captain Steel (Rs 1,650 crore) Shyam Metallics (Rs 630 crore), Haldiram Bhujiawala (Rs 500 crore ) and Balaji Wafers (Rs 500 crore), Tata Steel DownStream Products Limited (Rs 250 crore), SRMB (Rs 250 crore), Anmol Feeds for fish farming (Rs 50 crore), Allenberry (medical gas) (Rs 200 crore), Eastern Equipment ENT (Rs 25 crore) and Lux Industry Limited (Rs 50 crore), Infinity Infotech Park (Rs 400 crore), SKM Group’s Char Nauk Hospital (Rs 200 crore) and, Meghdootam Travels (Rs 150 crore).The roadshow was led by a delegation comprising Uttar Pradesh Infrastructure and Industrial Development Minister Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’, Cabinet Minister for Labour and Employment Anil Rajbhar, and Ministers of State Dayashankar Singh and Ajit Pal Singh. The delegation apprised the investors about the state’s potential in sectors like defence and aerospace, civil aviation, logistics, electronics, IT, startups, data centre, handloom and textiles, agriculture and allied industries, tourism, films, renewable energy, electric vehicles, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, and education and skill development.A government spokesperson said investors from West Bengal mainly showed interest in transportation within cities, education, conversion of waste into energy, and construction of hospitals as well as the tourism sector.The team pitched the state as “crime-free” and a “transformed” one with an “enormous investment potential”. The delegation also assured investors that they would get a “safe environment” to do business along with quality infrastructural facilities – right from expressways, rail connectivity, Metro rails and upcoming airports.Berger Paints’ Managing Director and CEO, Abhijit Roy, who attended the roadshow in Kolkata, said, “Uttar Pradesh is attractive in terms of market, infrastructure, land, tax, and ease of doing business. The market is extremely important. Modern and progressive investment routes have become the foundation of business.”“When it comes to interest rates, the government has launched attractive profit schemes. Businesses’ desire to provide adequate solutions to all these things motivates every businessman,” said Roy.Ramakant Barman, Managing Director of Green Tech Environment Management Private Limited, whose company expressed interest in establishing around five ‘waste-to-energy’ plants in the state said, “Cities such as Lucknow, Varanasi, and Gorakhpur have a lot of potential. There are many ongoing projects in Varanasi.”
Medical Education and Research Minister Dr Balbir Singh Tuesday emphasised the need to promote the indigenous systems of medicine, naturopathy and yoga in the state.Presiding over his first meeting with principals of 16 Ayurvedic, three Unani and one Homeopathic college of Punjab at Medical Education Bhawan, Mohali, he suggested various measures which can be taken for increasing the number of persons seeking benefits from these systems.A statement quoted Dr Balbir as saying that major ailments like cancer, diabetes, hypertension etc can be prevented in the initial stages by using herbal medicines.“He said that Ayurveda is the oldest method of treatment and its importance has increased in the present time when many people are suffering from various lifestyle diseases,” the statement added. The minister further said that ayurvedic treatment methods can also be beneficial to free the youth from the bad effects of drugs.He encouraged the private college managements of Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy to contribute more for the popularity of these treatment methods at their level too.The Minister further said that people all over the world are aware of the Ayurvedic and natural healing system and want to use it for good health. He directed the Guru Ravidas Ayurved University to explore such possibilities so that more and more foreigners and people from other states can be attracted to Punjab for Ayurvedic medical tourism.
Reliance Jio recently announced that it is bringing 5G to 16 more cities across seven states which include Kakinada, Kurnool, Silchar, Davanager, Shivamogga, Hospet, Bidar, Gadag-Betageri, Malappuram, Palakkad, Kannur, Kottayam, Tiruppur, Nizamabad, Bareilly and Khammam, making it the first network provider to roll out 5G in the majority of these cities.Starting today, users in these cities will be invited to the Jio Welcome Offer, which will provide unlimited data with speeds up to 1 Gbps at no additional cost. To sign up for the Welcome offer, install the MyJio application from Play Store or App Store, and once you log in with your Jio number, head over to the main page of the app.Here, you will see a prompt that lets you see details about the Jio True 5G Welcome Offer along with instructions on how to be eligible for the same. Simply follow the on-screen instructions in the app to sign up for the offer. Eligibility will be confirmed via text alert after user has signed up successfully.Please keep in mind that it might take a week for some people to receive the alert and be eligible for the program. Also, you need to have an unlimited calling plan of Rs 239 or above.The recent rollout brings the total number of cities where Jio 5G is available to 134. Commenting on the recent launch, a Jio spokesperson said that the newly launched True 5G cities are popular and important tourism and commerce destinations with some being education hubs. Earlier this month, Jio announced that it was expanding its 5G network to cities like Agra, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Meerut, Tirupati, Nellore, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Nagpur, and Ahmednagar, bringing the total number of cities where the 5G network is available to 85.The network provider also launched its first ever 5G data pack, which costs Rs 61 and offers 6GB of high-speed data, post which speeds will be reduced to 64 kbps. It is applicable on Rs 119, Rs 149, Rs 179, Rs 199 and Rs 209 prepaid plans.Currently, only two out of three telecom operators in India have rolled out 5G. While Airtel’s 5G network makes use of non-standalone 5G which consists of a 4G base station with 5G components on top, Reliance Jio’s 5G network is based on standalone architecture. Compared to Airtel, Jio 5G has higher download speeds and offers lower latency. Jio 5G operates on 700 MHz, 3500 MHz and 26 GHz bands.
PANAJI: A dead Olive Ridley turtle washed ashore at Miramar beach on Monday morning in a decomposed state. The carcass was beyond the stage of post-mortem, making it difficult to determine the cause of the marine animal’s death.Later in the day a Green Sea turtle carcass was also found at Bogmalo beach which had also washed ashore in a severely decomposed state. “Both carcasses were so putrefied and their tissues fragile that it was not possible to ascertain the cause of death,” a forest department official said.The forest department held an urgent meeting along with stakeholders to chalk out long-term strategies and policies for turtle conservation as well as other marine conservation. While it recently notified two marine ranges – North and South Goa; these are still in the nascent stage and lack of resources limits the department from maintaining vigil over the waters. The fisheries department has a coastal vessel and a response team to tackle marine violations which often include illegal fishing. “For habitat maintenance we are in talks with the directorate of fisheries to carry out coastal monitoring. We are also in talks with the tourism department to tie up with them and the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa to sensitise hotel, shack owners along the coast. With a robust network we can have a minimum response time,” the official said.
Days after it was flagged off remotely by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ganga Vilas cruise got stuck on the third day of its 51-day journey due to shallow water in Bihar’s Chhapra, news agency ANI quoted officials as saying on Monday.The flagship cruise, which set sail on January 13, was supposed to dock near Chirand Saran, a historically significant area 11 km southeast of Chhapra. However, ‘shallow water’ near the Doriganj district impeded its journey.After news of the cruise being stuck reached officials, a State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) team arrived and rescued tourists in a small boat to facilitate their journey to Chirand Saran. Satendra Singh, CO in Chhapra, said that adequate arrangements have been provided for the tourists.“SDRF team is stationed at the ghat so that immediate action can be taken on any untoward situation. Due to less water, there is a problem in bringing the cruise to the shore. Therefore, efforts are being made to bring tourists through small boats,” Singh told ANI.Set sail from Varanasi, the cruise ship, MV Ganga Vilas, will cover 3,200 km over 51 days, crossing 27 river systems and several states before ending its journey at Dibrugarh. The voyage is packed with visits to 50 tourist spots, including World Heritage spots, national parks, river ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Guwahati in Assam.It will make pit-stops to cover the famous Ganga Arti in Varanasi, the Buddhist site of Sarnath; and even Majuli, the largest river island in Assam. The travellers will also visit the Bihar School Of Yoga and Vikramshila University. The cruise will traverse through the Sunderbans in the Bay of Bengal delta, as well as the Kaziranga National Park.The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is the coordinator of this ship tourism project. While speaking on the safety of the tourists travelling through the international borders of India and Bangladesh, Union Minister for Tourism, G Kishan Reddy, said, “All the facilities and security protocols have been taken care of for the tourists. The Government of India is taking several steps to promote cruise tourism in the country.”(With ANI inputs)
MARGAO: Following the successful organisation of the Purple Fest, which celebrated persons with disabilities, the disability rights movement in the state has gained an impetus. With the demonstration of wheelchair accessibility on beaches for persons with disabilities, a demand is now gaining ground for the state government to provide facilities for the physically challenged at the Dudhsagar waterfall.“There are facilities for persons with disabilities at tourist spots across the world. It will do a world of good for such persons if the Dudhsagar falls is made accessible to them too,” a tourist accompanying a specially challenged boy at the waterfall said. There’s also a demand for efficient safety measures to be put in place at the falls, especially in view of an incident that occurred at the beginning of the tourism season in October last year when the temporary footbridge over a stream tilted following a significant rise in the fall’s water levels due to heavy rain, leaving around 40 picnickers caught in the ordeal. The footbridge is installed temporarily every year once the season is officially declared open.To facilitate ease of booking a trip to Dudhsagar, the state government has introduced an online booking system at the waterfall this year.Currently, 431 jeeps attached to the Dudhsagar Tour Operators Association are registered with the State Wildlife Board to ferry passengers to the foot of the Dudhsagar falls. The Goa State Wildlife Board has, however, restricted the number of jeeps that can operate per day to 275, up from 240 earlier. The jeeps ferry visitors to the scenic waterfall through a kutcha road deep into the forest of Bhagwan Mahavir sanctuary in Collem.
PANAJI: The four-day winter session of the state legislative assembly beginning on Monday may see the government in a tight spot over the issue of Mhadei as the opposition is trying to corner it on the issue.The business advisory committee has decided to hold a discussion on Mhadei on Thursday. The opposition is likely to raise issues of unemployment, reduction in the duration of the session and restriction in asking data of more than five years, among others. The state government will answer starred 134 and unstarred 475 questions during the session. The state government will also introduce and pass 13 government bills. Other business of the House, includes calling attention and zero-hour mention, among others.The state government will pass an amendment to the Goa Municipalities Act, 1968, to allow the election of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons by show of hands. The ordinance promulgated by the governor on October 6, 2022, will now be replaced with the new bill.Leader of the opposition Yuri Alemao said basically there are several issues including Mhadei, unemployment, disaster management, bad roads, functioning of the transport department and Mopa and Dabolim airport issues. “Law and order, rape, mining and dance bars are some of the burning issues. We will come up with a strategy to corner the government,” he said.The state government will also introduce a bill to amend the Goa Town and Country Planning Act, 1974, which will allow the government to modify the regional plan to accommodate tourism-related projects and projects based on the state’s economic and environmental policies.The cabinet has granted approval to the TCP bill as it felt that there are inadvertent errors, inconsistencies and incoherent zoning proposals in the Regional Plan which need to be corrected.The government will introduce a bill to amend the Goa Land Revenue Code, 1968, to do away with the need for permission from the revenue department for activities undertaken in pursuance of the permission or licence granted under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957.The government will also introduce a bill to amend the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, “to create a transparent and efficient mechanism to streamline the process of granting permissions, licences, and occupancy certificates”.
Panaji: The state government is set to promote Goa’s heritage drink, feni, at a three-day festival at Colva. The government has invited bidders to organise the festival.The state intends to creatively present and market the drink to tourists and leverage it for tourism due to its geographical indicator (GI) status.“The festival will promote the concept of farm and agro-tourism along with rich Goan heritage, and demonstrate to tourists the potential of Goa’s small-scale industry, which uses waste from the forest to create household ingredients and items for daily use right from crafts, artifacts, musical instruments, and food preparations, especially traditional Goan curries and sweets,” a senior official said.The festival, thus, is aimed at marketing Goa’s distinctive crops to tourists and use the benefits of tourism to enable backend integration with the agrarian economy of the state, with the purpose of enabling trickle-down benefits to farmers.A senior official said that Goa tourism will demonstrate the distillation process then and now, and explain the potency of the drink in various forms through the distillation process. The official said that the festival will present the stomping method used in the olden days to extract juice as also the modern methods. It will also present various ways to consume the beverage.The cashew was introduced to India by the Portuguese between 1563 and 1570, an official said. The Portuguese brought the cashew first to Goa and then spread it across the western region of India, and then southeast Asia.