Air India strengthens its flight operation from Cochin International Airport by gifting five new flights to the Cochin airport. Out of these five new introductions, two daily flights will fly to Mumbai and Delhi, while the other three flights will fly to international destinations. These new flights were introduced under the Air India’s six month summer schedule from Cochin airport. This addition in Air India flights will bring in some relief to the passengers who are looking forward to fly to these destinations.
It is evident that Cochin airport has soon become one of the busiest airports in Kerala and several passengers fly daily in and out from the Cochin airport. And these new flights will help travellers to some extent reducing their hassles. It is also planned to de-link Cochin airport from the Calicut airport for services to Sharjah by introducing new flights by both Cochin and Calicut to Sharjah.
The aircraft to Delhi (IC 446) is said to have a capacity of 145 seats and will depart from Cochin at 7:30am and will reach Delhi at 10:30am. Meanwhile the daily direct flight to Mumbai (IC 162) also boasts a seating capacity of 145 and will help passengers to catch the Mumbai-New York non-stop flights. These flights will benefit passengers a lot by offering an easy access to Delhi and Mumbai daily. The three new flights introduced for international operations are, one to Dubai and rest two to Doha. All these Air India flights are introduced to make sure passengers don’t face any hassles while traveling.
Thiruvananthapuram: Number 13 has always been considered jinxed or unlucky. However, many eye brows were raised when Kerala assembly member Simon Britto fiercely argued that he be allotted Room No. 13 in the old block of the MLA Hostel. Now that he is staying in Room No 13, hopefully others would gather enough guts to follow the suit.
It is interesting to note that Britto who is a nominated member from the Anglo-Indian community, had been hotly pursuing this demand for the last many months as the hostel had only Room Nos. 12, 12 A, 12 B, and then 14, which saw the omission of 13. Probably the number would have purposefully left out when the building was opened in 1959, because of the superstitions that go with this number.
Britto decided to take up this cause of number 13 when he was allotted Room Nos. 12 A and 12B in 2006. When he found that room no. 13 does not exist in the hostel, he immediately wrote letters to the government and to the speaker pointing out this fact. Britto who is a staunch CPI (M) member believes that governments should not be superstitious. It is curious to note that Britto was allotted Room No.13 on his 54th birthday. Since 1988, Britto is confined to a wheel chair when as a Students Federation of India activist; he was stabbed in a political clash.
Scores of men of all castes and creed dress up as women in gorgeous saris or the traditional ‘set mundu’ and offer prayers and participate in colorful processions. It is performed as a thanks giving ritual by the ardent devotees who come from far and wide. The devotees carry a five wicked lamp mounted on a wooden pole, from which all other lamps of the temple are lighted up.
Legend says that the Goddess was overly pleased with the cow boys who acted as girls and offered flowers and coconut preparations to the deity. The temple was constructed without an outer wall as per the divine revelation made to one of these boys. The ritual of men donning female attires was started ever since then and even today it is practiced once in every year with religious fervor and gaiety during the chamayavilakku festival. It is believed to be one of the most popular offering to the goddess to invoke her blessings and to cast away all the sins.
Kochi, March 28
The world renowned temple festival of Kerala, Thrissur Pooram this year will not be so grand and vibrant as it has been since its past. This colourful temple festival is known to be one of the most traditional and famous festivals in this God’s Own Country. The main charm of the festival has always been the brigade of caparisoned elephants which will not take part in the festivity this year.
This shocking decision came out after the Kerala High court ordered a ban over the parading of elephants during ‘Thrissur Pooram’. It was learnt that one of the animal right group appealed for a ban of parading the elephant after the tragic incident of jumbo running amok occurred during the festival last year. Acting to this plea the court ordered a ban, shattering all preparations with only 20 day to go for the festival.
Thrissur Pooram has gained a huge recognition as an elephant festival with the tradition of so many caparisoned elephants as part of the festivity. The court also upheld the earlier ban on parading elephants between 1100 hrs and 1400 hrs (IST) during the festival. The main attraction of Thrissur pooram has been its beautifully decorated elephants, which attracted huge numbers of spectators. But this announcement came as a shocker for the devaswom authorities who think it will ruin the whole traditions of the festivals at large.
It was also known that the festival authorities are now seeking intervention from the government in this regard. But it seems that Thrissur Pooram is slowly loosing its colour, earlier it was the ban on high-intensity crackers and now it’s the jumbos turn. So all these factors are some how making the festivity a bit dull.
Kochi: It was a proud moment for Kochi, the “Queen of Arabian Sea” to play host to ‘Queen Victoria’ the UK luxury cruise liner on its maiden voyage.
With a passenger capacity of over 2000 passengers, this ship is fondly called ‘floating palace’ by its die hard fans and committed users. As the ship docked at Kochi, the Passengers were given a traditional reception with a rich feast of folk art and music.
The 90,000 tonne ship, inaugurated by the Duchess of York Camilla is the latest in the series of cruise liners of British shipping company Cunard. This luxury liner flaunts the state -of- the- art facilities such as theatre, live orchestra and a second largest floating library in the world.
Some of the other eye popping features include well stocked bars and lounges, apart from an in-house museum and a card room to cater to the eclectic entertainment needs of its passengers. True to its name, this cruise liner is indeed an epitome of the ultimate onboard opulence that any one could ask for!
The next whistle stop for this cruise liner is Mumbai, where it will be docked for a fortnight before it sets sail to the Baltics and Scandinavia. Kochi has enough reason to cheer as it is the 40th cruise vessel to drop anchor in this port in less than a year and what more, Kochi will be playing a welcoming host once again in April when two more cruise vessels are expected to dock here.
Kozhikode: The IT department will soon make a final decision on the construction of the information technology park, proposed to come up in a 78 acre site near here. The IT Park in Kozhikode would be set up in the model of Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram.
This is a fore runner of the Government plan to open IT parks in all districts of Kerala. The official sources pointed out that already over 10 companies including NeST, US Technology, FinPro Business Solution Bangalore Ltd and Leela Group among others have shown interest in starting their organizations in this IT Park. In addition job offers galore with many IT giants like IBS offering to set up one lakh sq.feet at the IT hub in Kozhikode, which would ensure initial employment of over 1000, which would scale up to 5000 in future.
Kerala holds a distinct cutting edge over its competitors in IT industry as it has an impressive English speaking manpower and the requisite infrastructure facilities. Kochi being the landing point of the submarine cable holds an additional credit of being a global gateway in internet connectivity. Kerala boasts of a 100% literacy rate with an impressive line up of professional colleges, which churn out young qualified engineers. The prevailing trend of brain drain caused by the migration of this creamy pie of labor force could also be arrested with the commissioning of more IT parks, which can ensure attractive jobs right at their door step.
The advent of IT industries would boost the overall development of northern Kerala and it has also been a long pending demand of entrepreneurs and realtors in this part of Kerala. Its proximity to Bangalore, the hot seat of various IT giants like IBM, Wipro and Infosys enhances the significance of this IT hub. Kozhikode has both domestic and international air services that are at par with the best, which would notch up its popularity an IT hub even further. The Government is also planning to introduce daily flights to all major European and American destinations apart from the Indian metro cities.
The proposal of setting up the IT Park was welcomed by the Calicut IT Initiative, a group that was set up to support this proposal. Many prominent groups including representatives of the Malabar Chamber of Commerce, IT Forum of Calicut, IIM-Kozhikode, Calicut Management Association and NIT-Calicut among others are members of CITI.
Kochi, March 26
As Kerala is on the threshold of a booming infrastructural development, several new projects and venture are coming up daily keeping the construction industry always buzzing. In recent years the state witnessed a golden period in the field of its key infrastructure development pushing the state to a brighter tomorrow.
Amidst all this construction the state is now totally dependent on the neighbouring states to meet its demand for the provisions. For any sort of construction work the main ingredient is sand which is not in adequate supply in the state. With so much of demand for this key element, branded sand is now out in the market from Tamil Nadu adding a new facet to the construction sector.
This branded sand is packed in 50 kg polythene sacks and are transported to the state from Tamil Nadu. With this new branded sand hitting the market many questions are raised regarding the cost factor. This Nachiyar sand is a product of KNR Minerals based in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. A sack of this sand costs around Rs 75 in Kozhikode, and the prices may differ in other districts.
With so much of scarcity of sand in the Kerala construction market, this new variant may have brought a sigh of relief for the people into construction business. But if we look at the surge in the prices of sand in recent years we can find that, for a truckload of sand which amounted around Rs 3500, now costs about Rs 9500. Such a huge jump in price of sand is a serious concern for people who are planning to buy their dream home.
So in this era, where packaging is an essential factor, one can hope this new addition to the chain of products proves to be a hit in the market.
Kochi: If the latest reports are any indication, travelling across Kerala through waterways would be a reality in the near future. The Kollam- Kottappuram waterway, which was declared the national waterway, has already been commissioned and work on the Kollam-Kovalam waterway is steadily progressing.
Apart from the commissioning of the waterways, special emphasis is laid in enhancing the infrastructure facilities for the fishing community. A mini fishing harbour would soon come up in Chellanam and construction work of over six new fishing harbours is in progress all across the state. A long time dream of the local fisher folk, the mini harbour at Chellanam would bring about a sea change in the fish processing facilities of this belt.
Government is also taking immediate steps for improving the condition of the existing harbours in Kerala. The latest in this line up include the Thankassery Harbour in Kollam, which was commissioned recently after restoration. The inclusion of Azheekkal Harbour in Kannur in the National Maritime project would bring in further impetus to the fishing industry of Kerala.
Kozhikode: One of the oldest churches in Kerala, Mother of God Cathedral, is being renovated without causing damage to its original architectural style. The church thought to be built in 1627 during the reign of Zamorin has undergone refurbishments in the 17th and 18th centuries as well.
Considered as the oldest church in Malabar, extreme care is being taken to unveil its original Portuguese architecture and an architect from Portugal has already visited the church. The plan outlay for the renovation is put at Rs.15 million out of which The Goolberg Foundation in Portugal has offered a contribution of Rs.5 million for the work on condition that the Portuguese architecture would be preserved. The remaining funds would be raised locally.
The wall plastering and flooring will be mostly redone. The teak ceiling will be bolstered with aluminium covering to prevent water seepage during the renovation of the cathedral church. The entire wood work including those of doors and windows will be done using teak wood. Once renovated the church will flaunt the original white and blue colour as in the past.
The rain fury which is continuing for the past one week in the state has turned out to be a nightmare for many. These heavy rains have so far claimed many lives and have incurred huge crop losses for the state. The unusual summer rains has resulted to be a deadly rain for many and a setback for the agriculture sector.
Creating a huge loss for the farmers these rains ruined the ready to harvest paddy in a stretch of 20,000 acres in different districts of the state. It was the poor farmers who suffered the fury of this sudden rain which paralysed their life. The damage does not end here, the cash crops of pepper and coffee in the Wayanad and Idukki districts have also been affected badly.
These un-seasonal rains may have created a huge destruction in the state with both lives and property. But it also affected many suburban areas in Kerala with complaints of water logging and flooded streets, creating huge problem for residents and commuters. This week long rains has raised an alarm for the administration to take some concrete measures to overcome such situations before the monsoon finally gets in to its climax.
The state government taking into account the losses which poor farmers faced due to these rains later announced a relief package of Rs 12 crore. Even reports are that the state government has also asked for help to the centre in this matter. Last year monsoon was the most furious monsoons Kerala had ever experienced, and till now people are still recovering from the huge losses those rains incurred to them. Amidst all this these sudden rains has created a state of fear in the minds of people as to what all is about to come in next.