Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has achieved a remarkable feat yet again in the IT field to bring laurels to the Indian sub continent. IBS Group, a blue chip IT Company in Technopark, has inked an agreement with Tokyo international Air Cargo Terminal (TIACT) for the implementation of iCargo a new-generation Cargo Management System developed by IBS. President and CEO, of TIACT, Terutake Kato, opined that IBS was selected for their far-reaching experience and competence in the airline cargo industry.
The new cargo terminal of Tokyo international (Haneda airport) will be the first airport in the world to have the iCargo’s CTO module. This system would be used to manage the ground handling and warehousing of all cargo handled by the airport.The new cargo terminal spread over a staggering 170,000 sq. m would ensure the maximum optimization of the available site area.
In addition, this software module would greatly improve the quality of service levels and productivity. iCargo would be managing the cargo business of the leading carriers of Japan including Nippon Cargo Airlines and All Nippon Airways. This deal has indeed thrown open the doors of the prospective global market with Japan clearly emerging as one of the principal markets for the global air cargo business.
IBS Group is also going places in the domestic aviation sector. It has already been enlisted by the Airports Authority of India as the IT solution provider for the 30-odd airports expected to be modernized shortly. IT industry has always been the backbone of industrial Kerala, providing jobs to thousands of qualified hands apart from attracting the much desired foreign exchange.
Kochi: Kerala Tourism is going ahead in full steam with the proposed plan to attract more Chinese tourists to “God’s own country”. State Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan held extensive discussions in this regard with Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni.
Though Buddhist circuits typically underscore the itineraries of Chinese tourists, Kerala is pinning its marketing strategy on its exceptional network of backwaters and beaches- something that not many countries on earth can boast!
During the meeting, the ministers reviewed thread bare the status of the ongoing central aided tourism projects in the State. The Centre has released an amount of Rs. 112 crore during the 10th Five Year Plan for 61 tourism projects in Kerala.
The procurement of land for the Institute of Hotel Management at Alapuzha would be hastened. The minister opined that Kerala could bolster the Human Resource Development in the tourism sector through quality institutes imparting state of the art training to catch up with the growing trends and needs of the tourism sector.
Kozhikode: The multi-crore Sarovaram eco-tourism project implemented by the Department of Tourism in the city is nearing completion. Costing over 17.5 crore, it would enhance the tourism prospects of the city. Some of the works under the first phase that are still pending include the installation of lights, musical fountain and work of the amphitheatre. This project coming up near the famous Kottuli wetlands, will also strive for wetland conservation.
Meanwhile, construction activities under the second and third phases have started. The Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society is in charge of construction of this project while the Tourist Resorts Kerala Limited, a government nodal agency which is responsible for making investments in the tourism sector is supervising the works. Approximately 250 acres of land will be made use for the eco-tourism project, which was contributed by the Departments of Water Resources and Revenue.
The project on completion would comprise of adequate parking spaces, a reception centre, a cafeteria with a capacity for 100 people, a children’s park, handicrafts village, water museum, an otter park, a boat club with battery-operated boats, a butterfly park, kiosks, a bird park, a cultural centre, a floating restaurant and an aquarium. The proposal for setting up of a bird sanctuary at the ecopark at Kottuli is also in the pipeline according to KTDC sources.
Kochi: The heritage tag of Fort Kochi would be further enhanced by the proposed folklore cultural theatre coming up at the tourism complex near the bus stand. The District Tourism Promotion Council aided project is at the final stages of completion, much to the delight of the art lovers of India and abroad.
Incorporating all the latest facilities, the proposed theatre would give further impetus to the promotion of the exceptional art forms of Kerala. It has a budget outlay of over 23 Lakh rupees and at present the interior decoration is going on in full swing.
The theatre would cater to the growing demand from foreign tourists to enjoy and pick up the nuances of traditional art forms like Kathakali.
Fort Kochi takes pride to an array of arenas that are typically associated with hotels and resorts where this timeless art form is regularly staged. Foreign tourists are keen enthusiasts of this art form and take great interest in the various stages right from the elaborate process of application of make up using traditional articles to the development of story line and the various hand mudras that are subtly used to express emotions and thoughts.
The cultural theatre in Fort Kochi is all set to repeat the success stories of the three earlier projects of the District Tourism Promotion Council including the spruced up Durbar Hall ground, the Royal Musical Walkway and the recreation pond near the Children’s Park.
Kochi, May 27
The report of the Meteorological department suggests that monsoon will hit the southern state of Kerala by Thursday. Apart from Kerala the seasonal rainfall is also likely over Lakshadweep and coastal Karnataka.
Generally monsoon arrives in Kerala during the end of May and the reports of the Met department have hinted that the monsoon is right on schedule this year and will lash the state by Thursday. It is said that the cross equatorial wind flow over south Arabian Sea would be strengthening and deepening during the next 3-4 days. This will bring in heavy rainfall over Kerala and its adjoining areas of Karnataka and Lakshadweep.
The meteorological data’s has shown that with the strengthening of westerly winds, the southwest monsoon has further advanced into some more parts of south, central and northeast Bay of Bengal. Last year Kerala experienced a very heavy monsoon and huge loss of life, agriculture and infrastructure was witnessed. Now with the onset of monsoon it is unpredictable whether this year too Kerala will face a massive monsoon period.
Kochi: With the arrest of Santhosh Madhavan, who had a meteoric rise from a nondescript temple priest into a mystical fortune teller and then into a multi millionaire by fraudulent means, more stories of fake godmen are unfurling. Kerala state police have already initiated a probe into the disproportionate wealth in many cases.
Santhosh Madhavan is charged with many offenses like rape, cheating, possession of narcotics, porn CDs, tiger skin and swindling huge amounts of money from unsuspecting clients has turned out to be a land shark. He owns thousands of acres of land all over Kerala in his own name and in benami. Married twice, he has taken many of his believers for a cool ride all these years.
Some of the other swamis in the investigation net include Divya Joshi, a self-proclaimed sanyasi in Thrissur district, Swamy Thapasyananda, a godman in Panthalam, Christian spiritual leader, Brother Thanku and many, many more. Police have also recovered documents of fraudulent land deals, fake passports, and many other incriminating documents from their possession. Their modus operandi has been to swindle money from devotees by promising to cure them from life threatening conditions like cancer or to ward off evil eye and bad luck.
Kerala holds the dubious distinction of having a superstitious populace in spite of being a fully literate society. Over stress and anxiety in an ever growing consumerist society has made them puppets in the hands of these godmen who prescribe cure for all their ills. Before falling prey to their tall claims, people need to be sensible rather than sensitive. Never bite the bait of the infectious, high voltage propaganda unleashed by these destructors.
With more complaints pouring in from different parts of the State, the government and the police force is leaving nothing to chance. Home minister reiterated that tough action would be initiated if any complaint is made against any spiritual leader, however mighty he might be.
Spiritual enlightenment should come from within and no devotee would ever need a fake guru to attain ultimate peace and mental bliss. Let common sense prevail upon the people of Kerala!
Kozhikode: The famous Lokanarkavu Bhagavathy temple is all set to undergo a major restoration work of its priceless mural paintings and sculptures. Kerala State Archaeology Department had enquired about the condition of the mural paintings in this temple complex. Sources at the Pazhassiraja Archaeological Museum, Calicut said that the 15th century paintings of religious deities are largely run down due to exposure to natural conditions and human contact.
The restoration work is about to start once the sanction from the government is received. As these priceless mural paintings are mostly concentrated on the outer walls of the sanctum sanctorum the chances of it being touched by the devotees and damaged are more.
The Lokanarkave temple complex has three temples and is the only one of its kind in the State. One of the temples is dedicated to Bhagavathy while the other two temples are dedicated to Vishnu and Siva respectively. Lokanarkav temple is closely related to Vadakkanpattu and it legendary heroes like Thacholi Othenan used to worship here before setting out on any mission. The festivals of all three temples are celebrated together in the Malayalam month of Meenam, which attracts huge crowds from far and wide.
Thiruvananthapuram: Lanco Kondapalli Power Private Ltd, a company based at Hyderabad belonging to an Indo Malaysian conglomerate has been entrusted with the prestigious project of Vizhinjam Deep Sea International Transhipment Terminal.
The cabinet gave the green signal when the bid was accepted. The proposal would soon be forwarded to the Centre for security clearance. The other members of the consortium include Pembinaan Redzai Sdn Bhd and Lanco Infrastructure Limited, based in Malaysia. The centre had earlier rejected the proposal submitted during the previous UDF Government as the consortium selected through a global tender involved two Chinese companies and a Mumbai firm. The centre rejected the proposal as the consortium had business interests in the ports of Pakistan.
Five companies in all submitted the bids, of which the lowest quote was submitted by the consortium backed by terms and conditions, which were beneficial to the state. The project is estimated to create 5,000 direct and 1.5 lakh indirect jobs and the first phase of the project would be completed in three years.
The state government would retain a 24 per cent stake in the Rs 5,348 Crore Project which would be implemented through BoT basis with a 30 year term. The greatest plus point of Vizhinjam Port is that it has a natural depth of 24 meters, one of the deepest in the world, which does not require dredging.
Kochi, May 23
The fans of Norah Jones has something to cheer for, with the Metro Film Society planning to screen the debut film by singer Norah Jones on the coming 31 of this month at the YMCA auditorium. The famous and multi talented star Jones, born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, has proved her mettle as a singer, songwriter, pianist, keyboardist and guitarist. Norah is now making her presence in the big screen for the first time with her debut movie ‘My Blueberry Night”.
Earlier Jones has made her mark several times with her number of albums which has won several hearts. She also won five Grammie awards with her debut album Come Away with Me. Her debut movie My Blueberry Nights is a soft romantic thriller which will feature Jones acting ability apart from her singing talent.
The movie stars Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman and David Strathairn along with debutant Jones. Directed by Wong Kar Wai, it is hoped that this musical gene from sitar maestro Ravi Shankar will captivate audience with her acting skills.
Veluchami is one of the many Malampandarom tribals who eke out a living by selling medicinal herbs and roots, collected from the deep forests of Marakkootom in Sabarimala and sells them to the pilgrims. Veluchami who claims to be 110 years of age has been engaged in this activity for many years now. Even the policemen on duty on the trekking path, trust his herbal medicines when they fall ill. His tribal cure for snakebite is highly popular among the traders and workers on duty at Sabarimala.
Veluchami says that rare medicinal herbs and plants grow in abundance in the interiors of the shola forests at Ponnambalamedu ‘Kalluvazha’, which produces plantains filled with black seeds and ‘mruthasanjeevani’ (Eupatorium ayyapana) are seen in some pockets of the Ponnambalamedu.
While scouting for the herbs in jungle, he keeps hunger at bay by eating a wild leaf, which keeps him going for the whole day. Many of his regular customers are seasoned devotees who make a visit to him without fail to get their stocks of medicinal herbs. The family of Veluchami shifted to the Adichippuzha tribal settlement in Ranni taluk following a fire outbreak at Sabarimala. Though the tribal is now settled in Chidambarom he still serves the Ayyappa devotes by supplying some of the rare herbs and natural medicines all through the principal Mandalam-Makaravilaku season and during the Vishu and Onam festival when million of pilgrims throng this hill shrine.
Some of the herbs are well known remedies for many serious disease conditions. For instance the seeds of ‘karkolari’ seeds (Psoralia corylifolia), the time tested method in the treatment of leukoderma and Helicteres isora, used in the treatment of body pain, are some of the products lined up for sale at this nondescript seasonal outlet of Veluchami.