Times of India | 4 weeks ago | 10-11-2022 | 11:53 am
PANAJI: In the last two days, 27 hotels and guesthouses in South Goa and 11 in North Goa were issued showcause notices by the tourism department for operating illegally. “We have decided to name and shame illegal operators because, despite simplifying registration procedures and giving ample time to register, many have continued to operate, albeit illegally. We will deal with them strictly,” a senior tourism official said. The names of illegal hotels and other properties are made public so that tourists are not affected and they are aware before booking a room in any hotel about its legal status, the official said. It is mandatory for hotels, guesthouses, flats, bungalows and flats that are used as accommodations for tourists to register with the tourism department, a requirement under the Goa Registration of Tourist Trade Act. The legislation also empowers the tourism department to impose a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh on an erring entity, disconnect supplies of water and electricity, and seal it, if management still fails to comply with the law. “Those who intervene or oppose the process or break a seal, will be dealt with separately under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” he said. Tourism department, he said, has a special team to gather intelligence and track illegal hotels. Besides, deputy directors have been instructed to conduct inspections and take note of such properties and initiate action against them. “They (designated officers) can walk into a property and ask to see a registration certificate and issue a showcause notice to those not having it,” the officer said. A team of the Goa Electronics Ltd (GEL) has been helping the department to monitor social media to map illegal accommodations, he said. The officer warned that none will be spared, including high-profile people who offer a stay in their plush homes at a premium rate without registering it with the tourism department. Over the last few months, 700 to 800 hotels and other types of accommodations have registered with the department, who previously conducted business without registering. Over the years, while the hotel lobby bitterly complained about growing unregistered room inventory in the state, especially in the state’s coastal belts, the tourism department could not do much without strong legislation. The law was strengthened in July giving the department more powers to act against illegal operators.
PANAJI: Ahead of the inauguration of the new Goa International Airport at Mopa low cost airline IndiGo announced that it would start 12 daily flights from the new airport from January 5. IndiGo will operate 168 weekly flights connecting all the major metros along with Pune, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. The private airline said the Mopa will be the "largest ever new station launch" in the country with direct flights to eight airports. At the same time, IndiGo said that it will continue with the existing flights from Goa International Airport at Dabolim. "We are very excited to announce our largest ever new station launch with new direct connections from the New Goa International Airport in Mopa," said IndiGo chief executive officer Pieter Elbers. IndiGo said that the new flights are designed to cater to travelers who are "constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options" to fly to Goa whether for business or for tourism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Goa’s second international airport at Mopa on December 11 but the airport will begin operations from January 5. IndiGo said that it is introducing new flights to cater to the “increasing demand” from tourists who want to travel to north Goa. “Residents of Goa will also be able to utilize these new services to fly directly to many large cities across India and utilize IndiGo’s comprehensive network at its hubs to connect onward to its entire network spanning more than 100 destinations,” said the airline in a statement.
PANAJI: In what is becoming a trend among tourists, yet another individual drove a car onto a beach, this time onto the Morjim beach. With images of the vehicle being circulated on social media, the tourism department directed the Pernem Police Station to file an FIR against the unidentified individuals. According to deputy director for Tourism Dhiraj Vagle, the incident occurred on Thursday noon time. The vehicle, a Toyota Innova Crysta, appears stuck in the sand at Morjim. Photographs of the car, which has Goa registration, showed three individuals besides the car which is close to the high tide line. Morjim is a known Olive Ridley turtle nesting site and the government has banned all forms of activity that can disturb the turtles. The tourism department has also declared driving on Goa's beaches as a nuisance as such activities can damage the tourism potential of Goa’s beaches. Incidents where tourists violate rules and drive in a reckless manner have become common in Goa. “One unauthorized vehicle bearing registration No GA 03 Z 8474 was found to be recklessly and illegally driving at Morjim beach stretch,” said Vagle. Vagle asked the police to file an FIR against the driver and owner of the vehicle under section 188 of IPC. Along with criminal proceedings, the guilty will also have to pay a fine of Rs 5000 extendible up to Rs 50000. Under the Goa Tourist Places Protection and Maintenance Act, the tourism department has prohibited several activities including cooking of food in open spaces, begging, driving on beaches, drinking in public, massages, unauthorized hawkers and selling of cruise tickets. In this case, the owner of the car is liable for fines to the tune of Rs 5000 extendible upto Rs 50000. Goa has witnessed several instances of tourists taking their personal vehicles and rented vehicles for a drive on the beach, often even driving into the water. In the past, several vehicles got bogged down in the sand and were even partially submerged in water.
PANAJI: CM Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday that the 9th World Ayurveda Congress and Arogya Expo, which starts in Goa on Thursday, will feature free Ayush clinics and OPDs, and appealed to the public to avail of these. Sawant said that 4,500 participants have registered to attend the event; of these, 400 are foreigners, from 53 countries. He also said that Ayush ministers from five states will be present for the opening. The congress aims to popularise ayurveda as an authentic and affordable healing method, and as a prevention-oriented healthcare system. There will be 150 invited keynote speakers from the field of ayurveda, as well as cultural programmes and a documentary film festival on ayurveda. “Union Ayush minister Sarbananda Sonowal will inaugurate the meet, which will also be addressed by Union minister of state for tourism Shripad Naik and Union minister of state for Ayush Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai,” Sawant said. The event on the traditional system will be on for four days, and will conclude on Sunday in the presence of PM Narendra Modi, who will speak at the valedictory session. The PM recently announced Ayush visas to develop tourism, health and wellness centres in the country. With ‘ayurveda for one health’ as the event theme, the expo has been organized by the World Ayurveda Foundation, an initiative of Vijnana Bharati, with the support from the Union Ayush ministry and the Goa government. The conclave is being attended by the World Health Organisation for the first time, and will have six plenary sessions, besides 20 associate events, including a WHO event on traditional medicines. The congress will see around 3,800 abstracts for oral, e-book, and poster presentations. Major topics to be deliberated include expanding the scope of ayurveda — new-age prospects, innovations and entrepreneurship, ayurveda education, ayur informatics, innovation ecosystem, health and environment, and healing in India. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a key topic of discussion will also be ‘facing the pandemic with ayurveda’. Rajesh Kotecha, secretary, ministry of Ayush, and Rajesh Gokhale, secretary, department of biotechnology, will be among the speakers at the plenary sessions.
Ananyaa Bath, a woman lifesaver from Drishti Marine, was involved in a successful rescue operation at Benaulim Beach. The rescued person was a 40-year-old female tourist. Ananyaa Bat is one of five women lifesavers on the lifesaving team that conducts daily rescues and other beach-related tasks. A family on the beach was located close to the shore, when two of the family members who were under the influence of alcohol decided to venture deeper into the sea. While the two sisters were out in the deep waters, a sudden huge wave knocked one of the sisters over. She was temporarily submerged and took in water through her mouth and nose, which led to her suffocation. The other sister with her witnessed her struggle and began shouting for help. On noticing the commotion, Ananya Bhat and two other lifesavers Punu and Subhash, who were stationed at the nearest lifesaver tower, rushed to their rescue using equipment such as a rescue board and rescue tube. The two sisters were safely brought to shore. The person who was knocked over by the wave was having immense difficulty in breathing. Ananyaa, the female lifesaver carried out CPR and cleared her airway, bringing the individual back to a recovery state. The victim was subsequently handed over to the emergency services for further examination.
Panaji: Aside from discussions on the advances in ayurveda, experts and researchers will formulate policies for the development and propagation of ayurveda, including the use of alternative medicine for animal welfare, said the organisers.The deliberations will be held at the 9th World Ayurveda Congress & Arogya Expo which will be attended by 5,000 delegates from India and 60 other countries. The four-day event will also see over 200 industry players showcase their contribution to alternative medicine.“This provides a platform for future development of policies for the propagation of ayurveda for the world,” said secretary general of the World Ayurveda Congress and professor at the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) Anup Thakar. “The best academicians, delegates, ayurveda practitioners and experts will debate during plenary sessions. The demand for ayurveda has increased manifold across the world.”The event aims to prepare a roadmap to promote ayurveda as a reliable, scientific and alternative healthcare system. “Goa has a lot of potential for ayurveda. The way Kerala has used branding and promotion, Goa has a big opportunity to make ayurveda a strong point for wellness tourism and boost its economy,” said Thakar.Director general at the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) Rabinarayan Acharya said that for the first time, a dedicated two-day conclave on veterinary ayurveda will be held on the sidelines of the expo where scientists and professors will share scientific research in the field of animal healthcare.Deputy director of the Ayush export council Ashutosh Shrivastava said that in order to increase export of Ayush and alternative medicines, 50 buyers from foreign nations along with regulators from other nations have been invited for the conference. “We will get them connected with Indian exporters and manufacturers. There will foreign drug regulators who will bring in information about their practices so that India can see how to meet their standards,” said Shrivastava.