The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 18-01-2023 | 05:40 am
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.”
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.
Margao: Iker Guarrotxena scored a first-half hat-trick inside just 12 minutes to floor East Bengal and take FC Goa to the top three in the Indian Super League (ISL).Guarrotxena’s hat-trick was the third fastest after Ferran Corominas (7 minutes) and Bartholomew Ogbeche (11 minutes) and helped Goa register two wins in four days, results that will give the team much-needed breathing space in the battle for a playoff spot.No wonder coach Carlos Pena announced a three-day holiday for the team before they resume training on Monday.“This week is beautiful, the team effort huge in these two games,” Guarrotxena said after the 4-2 win against East Bengal at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. “The win against Kerala gave us good energy, we worked hard during the week. The atmosphere here is beautiful and I think we deserved a win.”Goa were dominant in the first half, scoring three goals.After the change of ends, it was Brandon Fernandes’ terrific free-kick that had the stadium up on its feet. East Bengal scored two in the second session, both from headers, but Goa were not to be denied points with Guarrotxena the cynosure of all eyes.“Iker has helped the team since the start of the season,” said Pena. “At the start, he didn't score too many goals, but he worked a lot for the team. Now, he is having more accuracy. He’s understanding better what we want from him. I’m very happy for him because he is a hard worker and a nice person.”Guarrotxena is now the leading goal-scorer in the league with 10 strikes, one more than Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jorge Pereyra Diaz (both Mumbai City) and Cleiton Silva (East Bengal).His influence, though, goes beyond the goals.Like Pena explained, Guarrotxena’s commitment to the team’s cause, even when everything seems lost, can never be questioned. When the team is struggling, he tries to lift the mood by setting an example himself, running into the ground. If there’s a bad result, the first encouraging message is almost always from the Spanish forward.“He’s a born leader,” says Ravi Puskur, the club’s director of football. “His influence both on and off the field is very good. He never stops trying.”Guarrotxena is not your classic attacking midfielder who will slice open rival defences and make opponents quiver when he has the ball at his feet. He’s played most of his career as a winger, except in Australia and last season at UD Logrones where he was used as a floating number 10 or second striker.His 14 goals at UD Logrones in Spain last season caught Goa’s attention. After all, Guarrotxena had finished ahead of the first-choice striker in his team, Aridane Santana, a player not alien to Indian football after spells with Odisha FC and Hyderabad.Guarrotxena didn’t set the league on fire in the initial stages but has now scored five goals in the last three games.“It takes time for a new player to adjust to the team and surroundings, but having Iker play higher up the pitch has helped. He is now becoming a poacher, scoring from chances which are not clear cut,” said Puskur.With four games left to be played and Goa still uncertain of qualification, Guarrotxena’s form, and goals, could turn out to be decisive.
Margao/Canacona: Forty years before Goa’s Liberation, a group of young people from Canacona aspired to have the intellectually liberating force of Liceum (higher secondary education) spread to the southern-most taluka.Their mission fructified on December 28, 1922, with the establishment of Centro Promotor de Instrucao de Canacona or Centre for Promotion of Education of Canacona (CPI). On September 3, 1923, the initiative got the stamp of approval from the then governor of Portuguese Goa, Dr Jaime Alberto De Castro Moraes. The CPI’s Institute Liceal Shree Mallikarjun, which later evolved into Shree Mallikarjun High School and Higher Secondary School, is celebrating its centennial year of inception.Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai will inaugurate the year-long celebration of the institution on Saturday.“That was a time when students of Canacona had to travel to Ponda using antiquated transport facilities,” said Vikas Desai, a former president of the institution. “They had to travel by bullock cart to Sanvordem via Quepem. From Sanvordem, they had to board a ‘vapor’ (ferry boat) that would take them across to Durbhat, from where they had to walk a few miles to the school.”In 1918-19, the influenza pandemic broke out which claimed the life of a young lad from Canacona. Struck by fear, the people of Canacona didn’t let their children travel to Ponda to school. “Fortuitously,” added Desai, “that led to the setting up of the institution.” Somnath Komarpant, a writer and former head of the department of Marathi, Goa University, is among the alumni of the school. Reminiscing about the days spent in the school soon after Liberation, Komarpant said that the school functioned from a structure sans walls and covered by tarpaulin sheets. The facilities were rudimentary. “But the dedication of our teachers was legendary,” said Komarpant, who made a special mention of his principal, H R Prabhu and Nayak Sir from Sadolxem, Kanta Bhaireli, Nanda Gaitonde and others. “Nayak Sir had to cross the river on a canoe to come to the school. And often when the only boatman was unavailable, Nayak Sir would himself row the canoe using a bamboo stick as an oar,” Komarpant said. “Such was his humility that he would bow to the students in his peculiar style soon after entering the classroom.” Expressing his gratitude to the school for sowing among the students the seeds of nationalism, Komarpant said he owes it to his teachers for “making a man” out of him.
War hero, Major General Ian Cardozo stressed the need for India to become the happiest country in the world. The war hero, who was under the spotlight for the second, consecutive day of the 11th Goa art and literature festival organised by the International centre of Goa in association with Goa Writers said, “India can easily become the most powerful country in the world. However, it may be a better idea for India to become the most happiest country in the world. This way, India would need to focus on eliminating poverty completely and ensuring that nobody remained poor and starving in our vast country.”The General who recounted multiple anecdotes from his soul-stirring autobiography, “Cartoos Saab” recounted the time when he saved a young soldier in the seas off Kerala, despite possessing only one leg himself. He also recounted the valour of the Gorkha soldiers, whom he considered the bravest in the world, when he cited the real life incident of how a brave Gorkha mother sent her youngest son to join her older son’s army regiment, even as she was told of her older son’s martyrdom. “I do not want our family tradition and line with the Indian army to be broken,” the Gorkha mother is quoted to have said.Earlier in the day, Nobel prize winning economist Abhijit Banerjee and his illustrator colleague Cheyenne Olivier regaled everybody about their cook book: “Cooking to save your life” Banerjee maintained that everyone on this planet could cook and even excel at it, if they applied their minds and learnt the basics properly.Translations to the foreTwo excellent sessions, the first with award winning author, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar in conversation with the festival co-curator, Vivek Menezes and the second featuring Kannada author, Vivek Shanbag in conversation with journalist Vinutha Mallya stood out for their deep insights.Hansda had the audiences in raptures as he read from his forthcoming translation from Hindi to English, where a small boy is witness to the death of an elephant as it is attacked mercilessly by a large pack of wild dogs.While Shanbag, an engineer by training credited his non-literature academic training for teaching him systems and methodology.New era publishingIn another excellent session featuring two, independent publishers Arpita Das Ribeiro and Trisha Niyogi in conversation with Margao based book store owner, Leonard Fernandes, the two lady publishers stressed the need for publishers to combine the latest audio-visual techniques with conventional printing to compete with the likes of popular OTT platforms.