Doha-Bahrain Direct Flight to Mangalore – Online Bookings Open

19 March 2007

Mangaloreans in Qatar and Bahrain can heave a big sigh of relief, especially those who were eagerly waiting to fly on the maiden flight from both Qatar and Bahrain to Mangalore.
The first inaugural flight will take off as per the scheduled date 25th March 2007 (Sunday). According to our team member in Doha Mr Iqbal Manna who is in constant touch with the Air India country Manager Doha, that the counter Reservations/bookings in Doha shall open only in Air India main office located near Sana Round from Tuesday 20th March 2007 onwards. Land Line numbers of Air India Express Doha Office: 4418423/4427747/4324111/.

His Excellency Dr. George Joseph, Indian Ambassador to Qatar, will inaugurate the maiden flight at the departure section at 11AM on 25th March 2007. Prominent members from Karnataka Expatriate Community, ICC & ICBF members will also attend the inaugural function.

Updates from Bahrain

According to D. Debesh, Air India country Manager for Bahrain and Jordan, and Mr Mohan Kutty Manager Y.B.A. Kanoo (Air India local sponsor), the inaugural celebration will be held in co-ordination with Kannada Sangha and Civial aviation Affairs(CAA). Mr Debesh has also informed that, there are repairs to the runway in progress in Bahrain which could have a temporary reschedulement of timings of landing and take offs. The actual timings will be known in a couple of days.

His Excellency Mr Balakrishna Shetty, Indian Ambassador to Bahrain, who is also a Mangalorean himself, is expected to travel to Bahrain from Mangalore in the maiden flight since he is already in India on a official visit.

Prominent Mangaloreans in Bahrain including Mr Rajkumar president of Kannada Sangha, Mr Shantaram Shetty, K.S. Razak, Managing Director, Metalco Skip Services and KMK Est etc will be traveling in the maiden flight.

Online bookings open

The online bookings for the Direct Flight to Doha/Bahrain from Mangalore on March 25th has opened today.

Leopard in the city

19 February 2007

Doha-Bahrain-Mangalore Direct Flight for Final Approval

According to reliable sources from Air India Express in Qatar, the direct flights from Doha to Mangalore will start flying tentatively on March 25th 2007, on Sundays and Tuesdays of every week. On Sundays, the flight will fly from Doha International Airport around 13.45 hours directly into Mangalore Airport. It will land in Mangalore Airport at 7.45 PM (IST). This flight will return back to Doha via Bahrain after one hour ground time at Mangalore. On Tuesdays, Air India Express will fly from Doha via Bahrain into Mangalore airport and will fly directly back to Doha International Airport.

Although the days of the flight are confirmed by reliable sources at Air India Express in Qatar, the flight schedules are yet to be officially announced.
Mangaloreans can very soon fly directly to their destination (or much closer to their destination) within the next couple of days. "Our dream will come true and our efforts have given fruitful result" expressed a prominent member of the Karnataka Expatriate Community, Mr. Iqbal Manna.
Tulu Koota Qatar President Mr. Divakar Poojary, KMCA President Mr. Syed Abdul Hye, Dakshina Kannada Sunni Center President Mr. Abdulla Mono have lauded all efforts to get this flight and have voiced their appreciation for all the support and encouragement initiated by the officials of Air Indian Express, Civil Aviation Authorities, local political leaders and the concerned Government authorities.
The mood of the Mangalorean community in Qatar is noticeable everywhere and this has become the talk of the town. Several families are looking forward to flying directly to Mangalore during their children’s forthcoming annual vacation which starts on 1st July 2007 upto 31st August 2007.
There are also concerns from a few expatriate communities hailing from Kasaragod/Kundapur and Bhatkal area that the timing may be inconvenient as the flight lands late in the evening, which could cause inconvenience and insecurity especially to families to reach their final destination during the midnight hours. Suggestions have also been made by a few expatriate community members to arrange one such flight on Thursday (Weekends) or Friday from Qatar which could add one bonus holiday to their vacation days.
Since the proposal to fly Mangalore by Air Indian Express is at the table of the Civil Aviation Authorities for the final approval, the anxiety among the enthusiastic Mangalorean Community intensifies to make sure that their chance to fly comes first.


Abu Dhabi - Muscat Air India Express Lands at Bajpe

'Indian' Air Bus 320 Lands In Mangalore Airport

07 February 2007

The first airbus 320 of 'Indian' airlines landed in Mangalore airport today 7 Feb 2007, morning at 11.53am. Although the capacity of this aircraft is 146, the flight carrying 81 passengers arrived here. A 'pooja' was performed for the aircraft soon after it landed.

Executive Director, West Region Mumbai, of 'Indian' expressed his joy over the landing of this flight, "we are happy though the first launch was delayed until now", he said.

Captain Tony Davis addressing the media persons expressed his happiness over the runway, "I am really happy to land here. It was the vision of Pandit Jawaharalal Nehru to dedicate a state of the art infrastructure to our great nation and to the National carrier. I humbly state that we have fulfilled his vision", he said.
"Mangalore has been on the network map of our airline for half a century now. We started in our own humble way with smaller aircrafts and with the development of the air field, we have brought Mangalore on the jet engine era. Today, on this auspicious 'muhurta' day we commence our operations with our mainstay work – with the versatile Airbus Boeing 320.

“It is to everyone’s pride that in spite of all the major metros, Mangalore is the second banking city in India, much ahead of major cities. The place also has the highest number of holy shrines in and around. This district has been adorned and described in the devotional songs and music that is the soul of India. We are proud to serve you.", he continued to say.
He went on to say "Indian airlines have always been attuned to the needs of the customer. We have your priorities safe and economic transportation uppermost in our minds. We have never compromised on safety. We also offer the best fares while keeping in mind the preferred destinations of the people of Mangalore. Highlights of our inaugural offer are-


Airport director Mr. Vasudevan, Captain Tony Davis area marketing manager Nagesh Shetty were also present at the press meet.

Airport director Mr. Vasudeva mentioned that on February 15th Muscat flight will be landing here. From March 1st, Dubai flight will fly 6 days in a week except Thursday.

"In January this year 678 aircrafts and 48,137 passenger movement has been recorded here. Only thing is here primary infrastructure is not completed . So I am requesting the passenger to kindly co-operate and welcome the new flights." he said. He requested the media to kindly support the introduction of these new international flights.
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Direct flights of Air India Express From Kuwait to Mangalore by June?

06 February 2007

There is a ray of hope for the NRI's of Karnataka who are making relentless efforts through United Associations of Karnataka to have a direct flight to Mangalore and Bangalore from Kuwait. The commencement of direct flights from Dubai and soon to start flights from Abudhabi/Musact has given a clear indication that start of Air India express flights from Kuwait to Mangalore is not far away.
UAKK office bearers in their continuous efforts to keep the pressure on, met Hon. Minister of State for External Affairs Sri E. Ahmed during his recent visit to Kuwait and submitted a memorandum to expedite the commencement of direct flights by Air India Express to Mangalore and Bangalore. UAKK members also explained the efforts made by the community and appeals submitted to all officials concerned including to Aviation Minister Sri. Praful Patel and to Prime Ministers office.
Sri. E Ahmed informed the members that he is well aware of this issue and assured that as soon as Air India Express resolves the crunch of Aircrafts, flights will soon start from Kuwait. He requested the community leaders to be patient as it is just a matter of time. He was surprised to hear that there is still no direct flight from Kuwait to Bangalore.
The memorandum was also copied to Sri Tulsidas, Chairman of Air India, Sri P.P. Singh CEO of Air India and Rishikanth Singh, Country Manager for Kuwait and Cyprus Air India, Kuwait.
On receiving the copy of the memorandum, Sri. Rishikanth Sigh, Air India Country Manager for Cyprus and Kuwait, explained his own efforts in impressing upon the Aviation and Air India officials to start direct flights to Mangalore and showed copies of the related correspondence to the visiting office bearers of UAKK. He said that the commercial viability of Kuwait/Mangalore/Bangalore sector is well known to Air India for some time but somehow the flights could not materialize due to priorities given to other sectors. He did not elaborate further. He confidently said as soon as Aircrafts are available Kuwait Mangalore flight will start immediately. On pressurizing for a probable time frame he said that flights most likely tol start from May / June 2007.
UAKK also got assurances from officials of Indian Airlines that there is every possibility of start of flights to Mangalore Via Sharjah. in the month of September/October period. It need to be noted that the local low budget Airline Jazeera Airlines had shown its willingness to start flights to Mangalore but is waiting for clearance from Indian Aviation Ministry.
The NRI's from Kuwait are hoping that their dreams of flying directly to Mangalore will come true before the start of the summer holidays and the nightmare of flying Via Bombay be averted once for all.

Muscat Air India Office Announces Official Press Release

Air India Express office in Muscat today officially announced that they have received approval from the office of the Director General of Civil Aviation Oman. The Press Release from the Air India Express Country Manager in Oman Mrs. S. Pancharatnam, was received by today.
With this official release Mangaloreans in Oman are assured that there will not be any more hurdles for the commencement of the maiden flight from Muscat to Mangalore on February 15, 2007.
The Press Release reads:
Air India Express Takes Off To Mangalore
Air India has added yet another accomplishment to its glorious history in its entry into 75 years of operations by introducing the Muscat to Mangalore flights by its budget airline Air India Express. The Indian National carrier's development and progress is a significant achievement for Indian Aviation.
The expansion and growth of Air India, the flagship carrier of India, is continuing with its fleet expansion plan taking a firm shape. AirIndia placed the largest commercial airplane order in India's civil aviation history in December 2005. Air India plans to induct 50 new aircrafts in its fleet comprising the ultra long range B777-200 LR, 777-300 ER and the 787 Dreamliner. In addition another firm order of 18, B 737-800 are in place.
Air India has been awarded with the 'Best International West Bound Airline out of India' for the second consecutive year by Galileo Express Travel World Awards 2006 in New Delhi. The Special Category Award recognizes the Most Significant Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative (CSR) taken by an organization. Air-India has been ranked first as per total income in the aviation sector in the 2006 edition of the acclaimed publication 'India's top 500 companies.'
Air India commenced operations to Muscat on February 12, 1974 with a weekly service operated on the Mumbai-Muscat-Dubai-Kuwait route in the westbound direction and Bahrain-Muscat-Mumbai in the eastbound direction. The airline presently operates thrice-weekly flights each between Mumbai and Muscat, and Delhi and Muscat, via Abu Dhabi, with Airbus 310s aircraft.
Air India Express, the budget airline, has presently 55 flights out of Kerala to various destinations in the Gulf. It has a fleet of nine aircrafts and is planning to induct 18 new state-of-the-art 737-800 Boeing aircrafts. Air India Express started its operation in April 2005 and within a year, we have recorded impressive profits. A large group of customers today are demanding low cost international flights; hence expanding the network is the best solution to tap this growing market.
Air India Express began operations to Muscat on 9th May 2005, the 50th Year of diplomatic ties between India and the Sultanate of Oman. Air India Express currently operates six weekly services between Oman and India - five to Muscat from three Indian stations, viz. Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram; and one between Salalah and Kozhikode. Incidentally, Air India Express is the only airline which operates flights between Salalah and Kerala.
Air-India Express is proud to announce commencement of their flights from Muscat to Mangalore, a dream awaited by the Mangalorean community effective 15th February 2007 on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Since commencement of Air-India Express, there is never a dull moment since all the flights are doing well and propose to enhance its operations in future with a twice a week flight from Salalah.

M'lore bids adieu to senior leader UT Fareed

Present Ullal MLA and senior Congress leader, U.T. Fareed passed away today 6 Feb 2007 early morning after a prolonged Illness.
U.T. Fareed was admitted to Omega hospital in the city and was on life support for the past 4 days.
U.T. Fareed was born on 18 Aug 1938, and was well known in Mangalore for his social work and leadership in various capacities.
He started his career as a distinguished lawyer in 1964, and continued in the same profession until he was elected as a MLA from Ullal in 1972. Fareed had won from Ullal in 1972 and 1977 and had to wait for long before representing it again in 1999. He retained his seat from constituency again in the elections in 2004.
He also served as a vice president of INTUC, President of Karnataka Youth Congress, Director of Apex Bank, Director of SCDCC Bank, President of Lidkar Leather Emporium.
On behalf of the Govt, District In-charge minister Nagaraj Shetty paid the final tributes to Fareed's body at his residence. He was cremated in the evening with state honours in Ullal.
U.T. Fareed is survived by 5 children.


Road Traffic diversion

02 February 2007

Best Fire Station Award to Bajpe Airport

Ore exported to China through Mangalore port

The New Mangalore Port has exported 49,064 tonnes of iron ore fines on behalf of Sesa Goa, an iron ore exporter in India, through vessel M.V. Aegean Falcon. The consignment brought from Chitradurga mines on rail is bound for China. This is the maiden consignment of the exporter being dispatched through the port, according to a release from S. Gopalakrishna, traffic manager, New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT), here on Thursday.
The port handled a record traffic of 8.48 lakh tonnes of fertilizers, a growth of 57 per cent; 7.70 lakh tonnes of coal, a growth of 99 per cent; and 14,804 twenty-foot equivalent units of containers, a growth of 74 per cent during the current fiscal up to January 2007, the release said.

Airbus 321 lands at Bajpe

01 February 2007

Bajpe airport for the first time handled an Airbus 321, considered to be the biggest aircraft in the domestic civil aviation sector in the country, on Wednesday.
The aircraft was operated by Kingfisher airlines. The airbus from Mumbai landed on the new runway of the airport at 3 p.m. The aircraft took off to Mumbai later.
Kingfisher airlines was the first airline operator to land an Airbus 319 and an Airbus 320 at Bajpe airport last year.

Traffic diversion from today

The first phase of widening and concreting work of the road from Ambedkar Circle up to Hampankatte on the Mahavir Circle-Hampankatte stretch will begin on Thursday. The District Magistrate has banned the movement of all types of vehicles on the stretch where the work will be taken up till March 31, according to a press release from B. Dayananda, Superintendent of Police, here on Wednesday.
Buses and light goods vehicle proceeding from State Bank terminus towards Hampankatte, including buses proceeding towards Falnir, should reach Ambedkar Circle via Light House Hill Road and proceed further. Buses and light goods vehicle going towards State Bank terminus from Lalbagh should turn right at PVS junction, proceed along K.S. Rao Road, turn right at Hampankatte junction and move towards State Bank.
All buses and light goods vehicle proceeding towards State Bank from Mallikatte, Nanthoor via Bunts Hostel junction should proceed towards PVS junction and to State Bank. Vehicles proceeding towards State Bank from Mallikatte, Nanthoor via St. Agnes College should go towards Bendorewell and to State Bank via Karavali-Kankanady Circle on Falnir Road, reach Hampankatte and proceed further. Vehicles coming to the city from Mahavir Circle and Valencia should go towards Karavali-Kankanady Circle and towards State Bank on Falnir Road, reach Hampankatte and proceed further. Movement of all vehicles on Falnir Road from Hampankatte towards Kankanady will be stopped during this time. Vehicles going towards Light House Hill Road from Falnir Road should go up to old clock tower, take a u-turn and then proceed towards Light House Hill Road, the release said.

Bajpe airport to have e-payment facility soon

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has declared 2007 as the year of e-governance. The AAI in association with Syndicate Bank will implement the e-payment facility at Bajpe airport, here, in the next two months, said Durga Shanker Mishra, Chief Vigilance Officer, AAI, on Wednesday.
He was speaking to presspersons at the airport on the sidelines of a function organised to present the national "Best fire station award for 2004" to Bajpe airport.
The airport bagged the award for category five, six and seven fire tender services.
Mr. Mishra said that the AAI would make the best use of information technology (IT) in governing its airports in the country from this year. Once the e-payment facility was introduced at Bajpe airport it would help passengers, airline operators, contractors and pilots, he said.
Though the bank had its unit at the airport there was no e-payment facility. It would be introduced in the next two months, he added.
Mr. Mishra said that the passenger traffic at the airport recorded 60 per cent growth last year. More flights were likely to operate from the airport in the next a few months, he said. Construction of a new terminal building to be built at an estimated cost of Rs. 147 crore would start soon. The construction of a new arrival hall and a canopy was under progress. The airport had two runways, he said. Mr. Mishra presented the trophy to M.R. Vasudeva, director of the airport. He also presented the ISO 14,001: 2004 certificate for "quality environment management" at the airport, to Mr. Vasudeva. He said that aviation sector in the country was booming, and air travel would become accessible to common man in the near future.

Hindu Samajotsav Paints City Saffron

29 January 2007

The initiation of the Hindu Samajotsav to commemorate the birth centenary of RSS Sarsangha Sanchalak Madhava Sadashiv Golvalkar, took place in Mangalore today with the offering of flowers to a photograph of Bharath Maatha by Rasthtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarakaryavaha, Mohanjee Bhagavat.
The program was then inaugurated with Mr. Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat giving the keynote address. Mr. Mohan Alva welcomed the gathering.
Speaking on the occasion, Rasthtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarakaryavaha, Mohanjee Bhagavat said that our society was facing a lot of problems and these problems could be overcome if the younger generation gets more involved and fights against the conversion process.
"The country is facing uninterrupted terrorism, conversion and threats to the unity and integrity of the Hindu community," he said.
"There was an urgent need for awakening and show of strength to the world through unity since we have forgotten our strength and fall prey of our own weaknesses," he added.
Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji of Pejawar Math, said the society should declare that there was no space for untouchability.
"If the backward classes developed, it will be possible to the develop of the Hindu society," he said.
More than a lakh people converged at the Nehru Maidan from various places around Mangalore.
Adichunchanagiri Mutt seer Balagangadharanatha Swami, Pejawarmutt seer Vishweshateertha Swami, Kolya seer Ramananda Swami, Jangamutt seer Shivaprakash Swami, Vajradehimutt seer Rajashekaranada Swami, Sridhama, Manila seer Mohanadas Swami, Sri Kshetra Kemaru seer Eeshavittaldas Swami, Satyanarayanapura Yogishwaramutt seer Muktananda Swami, Kadri seer Sandhyanathaji, Sri Samsthana Anegundi seer Kalahasthendra Saraswathi Swami and Sri Gurukrupa Sevashram, Hosmaru seer Vikhyatananda Swami were present on the occasion.
Dy CM B S Yediyurappa, D V Sadananda Gowda, Ex-minister Dhananjayakumar and all MLAs were also present.

Hindus and Muslims unite for samajotsava

27 January 2007

Leaders of both Hindu and Muslim communities came together in Mangalore at a meeting held at the Hindu Samajotsva office on Friday with regard to holding the samojotsava peacefully.

Leaders of both communities and organisations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishat, Catholic Sabha, Chair in Christianity of Mangalore University, Indian Union Muslim League, Muslim Central Committee, leaders from BJP, Congress and Janata Dal met together for the first time on a common platform and decided to sink all other differences and hold the Hindu Samajotsava peacefully. The samajotsava, being held in the city on Sunday, is the last one in the Southern region. Senior officials including Deputy Commissioner M. Maheshwar Rao, Inspector General of Police H.N. Sathyanarayana Rao and Superintendent of Police B. Dayananda also attended.

Offering co-operation of the Muslim community chairman of the Muslim Central Committee and former chairman of the State Minority Commission K.S.M. Masood said that the Muslims would offer sharbat to the people taking part in the Shobha Yatra.

District in-charge Minister B. Nagaraj Shetty called on minority communities to take part in the samajotsava. Inspector General of Police (Western Range) H.N. Sathyanaryana Rao said that such events should not attract major police security.

Republic Day in mangalore 2007

26 January 2007

Vintage Car Rally 2007

RTO raid by lokyukta

Direct Flights from Muscat and Abu Dhabi to Mangalore -Online Booking Open in First Week of February

Following top level meetings at Air India Express headquarters in Mumbai, the officials have informed us that they have changed their flight schedule and will now be flying the first flight to Mangalore from Muscat and Abu Dhabi on March 1st 2007, BUT if everything goes positively, then they may prepone the maiden flight to February 24, 2007.
Timings and Aircraft Movement

Days of flight operations will remain the same – Thursdays and Saturdays.

The assigned AI aircraft for the said maiden flight on Thursday, March 1st 2007 will fly the following sectors: Trivandrum – Abu Dhabi – Muscat – Mangalore – Abu Dhabi - Muscat – Trivandrum.

The tentative timings-

Departure from Mangalore: 00:01 hrs (midnight). This gives more than a three hour gap to the Mangalore Airport Immigration as the Dubai flight takes off at 9 pm from Mangalore. (Other related flight timings will be confirmed by AI Express shortly).

According to AI officials, four new Boeing 737-800NG Aircrafts have been delivered to Air India Express, presently parked at Mumbai terminal. AI has already recruited many foreign Flight Commanders and right now they are short of First Officers, but the process of recruiting more first officers is on. As Mangalore Airport is categorized as a table top airport, the pilots who are operating this sector have to do the test flights landing and take off in order to get certified prior to operating a commercial flight to Mangalore. For this reason, AI Express has already flown a certain number of Captains to Mangalore Airport to be certified.

Changes in flight schedules

The dates given to us first hand by Air India Express have been shifting from March 2007 to January 18th to February 15th and finally back to March 1st 2007, but officials are of the opinion that these changes in flight schedules are very common in the aviation industry due to unforeseen circumstances.

All hurdles facing the flight operations have been outlined in our earlier report dated January 10, 2007, wherein we had clearly stated that the flight will take off subject to certain conditions. The conditions included AI shortage of staff and immigration facilities at Bajpe Airport. While the former has been sorted out to a large extent, the same report also stated that “the airport authorities are working very hard on expanding Immigration facilities to take in more International flights.”

On Line bookings Open

Whether the direct flight from Muscat and Abu Dhabi to Mangalore will take off on March 1st or February 24th, Air India Express headquarters in Mumbai have assured us that the online bookings for either date will be opened within the first week of February.

Let’s hold them to their word and hope for the best.

Updated Information from Mangalore Airport

Team Mangalorean Oman, today, spoke directly to Mr. Vasudevan, the Mangalore Airport Director. He has assured us, that full cooperation will be given by the Mangalore Airport Authority, if Air India Express from Muscat flies into Mangalore anytime from February 24th onwards. He also stated that the Airport Authorities staff is very efficient and cooperative, so they need ONLY a maximum time of 3 hours between each flight to ease out the airport congestion, mainly at the Immigration counters.

Team Mangalorean also contacted Mr. Rao, Station Manager Air India at Bajpe Airport. He confirmed that he has received intimation from AI headquarters Mumbai, regarding the tentative date of the maiden flight being March 1st 2007. He also said that it is unfortunate for Mangaloreans in Muscat and Abu Dhabi that Air India Express will not be able to operate on February 15th 2007 as previously planned by them.

Cochin – Mangalore – Doha – Bahrain sector

Mr. Rao also informed us that the Cochin – Mangalore – Doha – Bahrain and return flight will tentatively commence between March 25th and April 1st 2007 on Tuesdays and Fridays. Since this flight will be touching two Indian domestic sectors, both Cochin and Mangalore have been alloted 50% of the seats each.

Dubai – Mangalore sector

Mr. Rao stated that by March 25th 2007, Air India Express will operate six flights between Dubai and Mangalore on all the days of the week except Tuesdays. Timings will remain the same.

Kuwait – Mangalore sector

Air India Express has recognized the great market potential in the Kuwait – Mangalore sector and they are seriously considering the commencement of this flight by end of April 2007.

Mangalore Airport – Definitely ready for more International flights!!!

Mr. Vasudev, Mr. Rao and other officials at the Bajpe Airport were very upbeat about handling more International flights from the Gulf destinations. As quoted by Mr. Rao, Station Manager Air India, come April 2007, Mangalore Airport will be handling a total of twelve Air India Express International flights per week. Hats off to Mr. Vasudev, Mr. Rao and their team for being so positive and accepting the challenge of handling the additional flights.

We will continue to keep you informed of the developments. Updates will follow.

Colourful parade on Republic Day

Patriotic songs and colorful celebrations marked 58th Republic Day on Friday, with District in charge minister Nagaraj Shetty hoisting the tri-colour and taking salute at an impressive parade held at Nehru Maidan in Mangalore today 26 Jan 2007.
The celebrations begain at 9am. After inspecting a guard of honour, Shetty feliciated four students, who have excelled in the field of sports. Students from various schools in the city took part in an impressive Republic day parade.
Mangalore DC Maheshwar Rao, SP Dayananda, MLA Yogish Bhat, ZP President Sushma Janardhan, Mayor Vijay Arun were also present.

Mangalore SEZ will be the first petrochemical investment hub

22 January 2007

The Union Government has drawn up an ambitious plan to set up massive petroleum, chemical and petrochemical investment regions along the coastal belt of the country. The first such investment hub is likely to come up during the next five years in the Mangalore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) being one of the major investor.
Such investment hubs would include SEZs, free trade and warehousing zones and other existing industrial clusters.
Each of such hubs would be incorporated as special purpose vehicle headed by a CEO and would have a definite management structure.
The Mangalore SEZ will be the first such hub of the country.
ONGC investment
The ONGC would invest over Rs.35,000 crores in the Mangalore SEZ that would comprise a new refinery with a capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum, a power plant, LNG re-gasification terminal, extraction plant from re-gasified LNG and general industry, trade, banking, telecommunications and allied services for supporting the activities of units in the SEZ. The Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) is understood to have urged the Petroleum Ministry to include the locations of Kochi and Lepetkata in Assam for such hub, according to the latest issue of Petrotech Society -- Unfolding Horizons: Hydrocarbons Vision of India.
GAIL plants
Further it states that the GAIL is in the process of setting up two petrochemical plants — a Rs. 7,000-crore unit in Kochi in Kerala and a Rs.5,200-crore unit in Lepetkata.
Officials said the hub would have special incentive package for enabling domestic and foreign enterprises to promote infrastructure services, domestic and exported production in petroleum and petrochemicals.
It would be a combination of production units, public utilities, logistics, environment protection mechanisms, residential areas and administrative services.
It is understood that both the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry as well as the Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry are very keen on this proposal and are understood to have moved Cabinet note for consideration on the issue for approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
As per the proposal, State Governments intending to set up such investment hubs would provide all infrastructure facilities like power, water, roads, sewage, effluent treatment linkages and health related infrastructure. The Union Government would make available railway, port, airports and telecom connectivity.
It is also understood that five best locations have been short-listed following serious commitment from the State Governments. These include Dahej in Gujarat, Mangalore in Karnataka, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Paradip in Orissa and Haldia in West Bengal.

AI Express - Maiden Flight from Oman to Mangalore to take off on February 15, 2007

19 January 2007

Air India Express headquarters have stated that Air India Express is ready to commence operations on the Muscat- Mangalore and the Abu Dhabi-Muscat-Mangalore sectors from February 15th onwards.
All the legal formalities pertaining to the maiden International flight to Mangalore from Muscat and Abu Dhabi are completed, including the approval from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Oman.
The Oman Government had given the go ahead signal effective February 1st 2007, but Air India Express has informed them, that they will be ready to commence the maiden flight from Muscat to Mangalore only on February 15th 2007. The flights will operate on Thursdays and Saturdays as initially planned by Air India Express.
Confirmed timings and other flight details will be reported as soon as we get them.

MAHE gets new name - Kuwait wants closer ties

18 January 2007

The Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) will go in for a complete revamp beginning with its name. MAHE will now be known as Manipal university.
MU pro-chancellor H S Ballal told reporters on Tuesday that the new name will apply to all the campuses including those in Nepal, Malaysia and UAE with immediate effect. "Since the tag of a university was missing, it used to create ambiguity, particularly in international circles," he added.
Along with new name comes a change in entrance pattern. The online entrance exam, which began last year for post-graduate admissions, will now be the norm for all courses including MBBS, BDS, BE, BPharm, BSc (Nursing), BHM and BA (Journalism) in MU.
"Since every weekend between March and May are blocked for some entrance exam or the other, we're keeping our online entrance exam open for pre-fixed slots over 38 days," Manipal Universal Learning group president Anand Sudarshan said.
A student can fix a slot on a day of his convenience on the website and choose from among 19 centres across the country to write the exam. Like most online exams, this will have multiple choice questions.
To ensure security, bio-metric testing and constant monitoring systems will be on throughout the duration of the exam at the centre.
"Every computer is fitted with a web camera that will take an image of the candidate every 20 minutes. Besides, we have two external audit agencies monitoring the entire process," Sudarshan added.
Kuwait wants closer ties
Kuwait is ready to have closer ties with Manipal Academy of Higher Education in the field of higher and professional education, said Mohammed-al-Badah, director, information office, Embassy of Kuwait, New Delhi.
He was talking to reporters here on Tuesday after attending a two-day India-Kuwait Round Table Partners in democracy, organised by the department of geopolitics of MAHE.
Mohammed said Manipal institutions can be bracketed with the world's top institutions in the field of biomedical, engineering, creative writing like animation technology. "Hence we have made an initial study and would try to forge a future collaboration."
He said though an MoU or such other agreements have not been signed yet, efforts are being made to have a closer tie with MAHE in future. He said Kuwait has emerged as one of the important international partners with India. JNU, Delhi, Delhi University and Jamia-Milia are also on Kuwait's list. M D Nalapat, chief convener of the meet, said like Singapore in the East, Kuwait is an important anchor in the West.

Five foreign kitemakers to participate in fest

Team Mangalore, the hobby group of kite makers and flyers, will be conducting a Kite Festival on January 21 and 22 at Panambur Beach as part of the Beach Festival of Karavali Utsav.
Addressing media persons here on Wednesday, Giridhar Kamath of Team Mangalore said that though the Team has conducted kite festivals before in Mangalore, it was not of the magnitude they are planning to conduct this year.
The most important attraction of the festival this time is that, apart from the native kites of Team Mangalore depicting the traditional folklore of Dakshina Kannada and Kerala, Mangaloreans will be able to enjoy kites by five foreign kite makers. Karl Logbottom and Bob Krukshank from England, Marten Van and Frits Groenhart from Holland and Peter Stauffer from Australia will entertain the spectators with their latest kites at the festival.
The major attractions will be the 'Spirit', 'Mat- Stickman', 'Super-Stickman' (all made by Martin Lester of UK) and 'White Angel' (by Robert Brasington of Tasmania). "Spirit and White Angel will be great for night flying as they are all white," said Mr Kamath. The kites presented by Team Mangalore include 'Yakshagana', 'Kathakali', 'Bhootha Kola' and 'Durga'. In total, 86 kites will be showcased at the festival.
There will also be a kite stall in the venue from where the spectators can buy kites and fly them.
Founder of Team Mangalore Sarvesh Rao, members Yatish Bykampady, Nitin Shetty and Artist Dinesh Holla who has designed all the team's kites along with the five foreign kite flyers were present at the press meet.
Beach festival as part of Karavali utsav 2007 will be held on the shores of Panambur beach between January 19 and 21, said MCC Commissioner Krishnappa Poojary.
Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, he said food festival, cultural programmes and beach sports will be a part of the festival. Various food stalls will be selling mouth watering delicious Dakshina Kannada, Uudpi and South Indian dishes.
Swimming, boat race, sand sculpture, beach volleyball, beach throw ball competitions will also be held as part of the festival during these three days.
On January 20, there will be beach volleyball and beach throwball competitions (9 am), flying of kites by Team Mangalore and contestants from UK, Holland, and Australia (3 pm), Tulu cultural programme by Siri channel (6.30 pm), Konkani cultural programme (7.30 pm), Tibetan dance (8 pm) and Rasamanjari by Planet Music Orchestra.
On January 21, there will be Satsanga programme by Art of Living team (5.30 am), skating competition (8 am), swimming, traditional boat race and sand sculpture competition (10 am), flying of kites by Team Mangalore (3 pm) and musical concert by Gurukiran and Udit Narayan and team.
Parking facility
The district administration has made parking facility for the public at NMPT Stadium in Panambur on January 20 and 21. There will be a pick up from the NMPT Stadium to the beach festival venue by a KSRTC bus arranged by the district administration. Those vehicles with pass should divert their vehicle from Baikampady bridge to left to Meenakali and reach Coast Guard compound from K K Gate to park their vehicles.
Special attractions
* Parmod Patnaik’s sand sculpture. The sculpture is supposed to be the largest sand sculpture in the country.
* Parasailing facility by the Out back Adventures team of Mysore.
* Kite flying by Team Mangalore and foreigners.
* Swimming and traditional boat race for public.
The beach festival will be inaugurated by District-in-Charge Minister B Nagaraj Shetty. B K Mrithyunjaya of Brahmakumari Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya (Mount Abu), Mayor Vijaya Arun, NMPT Chairman Tamil Vanan will participate while MLA Krishna Palemar will preside.

Only 127 out of 8,080 pass Airmen selection rally

The poor performance of candidates at the Indian Air Force recruitment rally held for the selection of Airmen inspite of increase in the turnout of the candidates is a great cause of concern, said Squadron Leader K K Bhaduri.
Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, he said the turnout of candidates for the Group Y (non-technical tradesmen) was overwhelming. As many as 7,593 candidates had appeared for the selection. For Group X (technical tradesmen) a total of 487 candidates had appeared from all over Karnataka. However, in Group Y, a total of 99 out of 7,593 candidates had passed the written examination which comes to a mere 1.3 per cent. After physical fitness test and interview, a total of 79 candidates were qualified. In the group X, a total of 62 candidates out of 487 could clear the written examination.

After physical fitness test and interview, 48 candidates were qualified for medical examination. The total pass percentage for Group X and Y is approximately two per cent, he added. Mr Bhaduri said the Koppal rally in the last year had seen the highest ever selection of 264 candidates out of 6,179 which makes it 4.27 per cent.
He said a thorough analysis of the answer scripts of the candidates showed that most of the candidates lack the basic knowledge of English language. They found it hard to understand simple English sentences told to them during the briefing.
Mr Bhaduri said the question paper of mathematics reasoning in Group Y required basic mathematical knowledge and reasoning for solving. Since the questions were framed in English, candidates of Kannada medium found it difficult due to lack of basic knowledge of English language. A large number of candidates had turned up without any formal preparation for the rally, he added. He said that there will be another recruitment rally in Belgaum in June.

Malpractice in contracts at Govt Wenlock Hospital

Floors and surroundings are never spotlessly clean. And District Wenlock hospital is always running short of some drugs or the other.
These shortcomings are but fallouts of lacunae existing in the system was realised in a review meeting held at Wenlock Hospital recently.
The usual meeting, chaired by DK Deputy Commissioner, to plan development of hospital turned out to be an eye opener owing to the presence of Mangalore MLA N Yogish Bhat.
The meeting, which included District-in-charge Minister B Nagaraj Shetty and District Medical Officer Dr Prabhudev, began scrutinising tenders invited for cleaning and security contract.
Though all tender applications seemed perfect, yet Yogish Bhat suspected something amiss and sought a detailed enquiry.
During an in-depth enquiry it was discovered that solvency certificates of four among seven firms submitted turned out to be fake.
Classic, Sai and V-Help agencies had attached solvency certificates purportedly issued from banks. "The banks denied its existence," Yogish Bhat said.
The firms though registered in different names were hand-in-glove with one Prabhu, who was suspended pending charges during Lokayuktha raid in 2005, Bhat said.
A fourth firm, ‘Helpline’, which submitted a fake solvency certificate had bagged the previous contract worth Rs 33.44 lakh for Lady Goschen and Wenlock hospitals, which ended in December.
Intriguingly the firm collected only its first monthly installment of Rs 3.04 lakh. "As according to an agreement, Helpline had to submit proof of ESI, PF benefits and collect payment," sources informed and added that contractor had avoided paying ESI, PF benefits by fixing a salary between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 to 100 and staff.
The committee has recommended Medical Education Directorate to blacklist the four firms. Bhat informed that there was a huge gap between demand and supply of medicines from Logistics Department. As against demand for supply of medicines worth Rs 1.80 crore to both government hospitals, the department has supplied medicines worth Rs 44 lakh.
"I have brought this to the notice of Health Minister Ashok," Bhat informed and added that strict adherence of guidelines in awarding contracts and procuring medicine will do a world of good to both Wenlock and Lady Goschen hospitals.
Solvency certificate Mangalore: ‘Solvency certificate’ estimates total worthiness of a person and is issued by a bank to a client.
A customer with an ordinary SB account cannot obtain solvency certificate. "It is not issued as a matter of routine," sources said. Institutions insist on a certificate to help them understand finance position of contractors to liquidate any dues.
(New Ind Press)

Abhi - Ash now inseparable: Top astrologer from Mulky

Who is this man revered by the country's most wanted and chased celebrities, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Amitabh Bachchan?
Why would Bollywood's iconic family travel from Mumbai's 'Jalsa' to this man from a small town, Mulky, in Karnataka — Chandrashekar Swami?
Who is this self-professed Swami, what makes him tick?
TOI probed into his life and times and the Swami spoke from Mangalore. "Lot of people challenged that the marriage of Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan would never happen. Aishwarya's horoscope has a 'kuja dosha' but it also has 'raja yoga'.
It is an extraordinary horoscope with fantastic qualities. I have performed 'homas' for Rai's family, I know her father Krishnaraj Rai for 10 years now. It is once in 600 years that you come across such a horoscope as Aishwarya's."
And what about the typical tales of celebrity couples headed for splitsville sooner or later? "This is a God-made couple, no force can separate them. Aishwarya has a powerful presence of Venus in her, beauty and buddhi (intelligence), she knows exactly what to talk where.
Amitabh Bachchan's career soared to great heights after his marriage. Similarly, every film of Abhishek Bachchan will be an extraordinary hit because of the influence of Aishwarya," he declares.
Bollywood's most watched wedding, he says, is slated to be sometime between February 1 and March 7. A decision would be taken after February 5, which is also Bachchan Jr's birthday, says Swami.
Chandrashekar Swami's meteoric rise to overnight fame is not unprecedented. His clientele extends from the dunes of Arabia to the bylanes of Mulky, a town in Mangalore.
Sample some names — Vijay Mallya, Delhi-based industrialist Vijay Srivastav, Mahendra Sharma, Congress politico D K Shivakumar, H Vishwanath, G Parameshwar, the Saudi prince, thespian Dr Rajkumar's family.
Reading and analysing planetary positions was not a one-day task for him. Having completed his schooling and college from Vijaya College, Mulky, he went to a small town in Kerala to study Atharvana Veda and has been honing his skills for over 13 years now.
His USP, as some of his 'clients' talk of, is suggesting remedial measures for 'defects' in horoscopes and the environs of people. Even a week ago, he performed a 'homa' for the benefit of former home minister Subodh Kanth Sahai.
(Times News Network)

Technology parks at Mysore Mangalore, Belgaum planned

To meet the growing demand for building space by the information technology companies, both domestic and foreign, in Bangalore, the Karnataka Government has decided to set up three more international technology parks in the State, with the participation of the Singapore Government.
Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said the parks would be established in Mangalore, Mysore and Belgaum on the lines of International Tech Park Limited, Bangalore (ITPB). The ITPB houses over a 100 information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms.
The ITPB is the icon of the country's IT success story, and continues its contribution to the development of Whitefield as a major IT hub in India's Silicon Valley. Located 18 km from the city centre, ITPB catalysed the growth of a burgeoning suburban city at Whitefield. It was developed by a three-way joint venture comprising a Singapore-based consortium, the Tata Group and the State Government.
The Chief Minister met delegations from Singapore, Kuwait and South Korea at Wednesday's Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) summit here and appealed to them to invest in infrastructure, oil exploration and fertilizer projects in the State.
Mr. Kumaraswamy said the Government had decided to promote IT in second tier cities and hence Mangalore, Mysore and Belguam had been identified for establishing the technology parks. The Government had requested the Singapore Government and business leaders there to invest in these parks. Companies at these parks would be assured of reliable solutions and services to support their operations round-the-clock, he said. The IT industry was facing space constraint as land was not available to set up companies in the city limits. Further, building rent had increased in the recent years following the real estate boom.

Choice destination for tourists

15 January 2007

With regard to tourism, Goa is saturated, and Kerala over sold. In this scenario, coastal Karnataka with its natural beauty and diverse culture is emerging as the destination of choice for many tourists, Eulalia D'Souza, proprietress, Lia Travels and Tours, said at a workshop on "Tourism development in coastal Karnataka" organised by the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Saturday.

Basic infrastructure and suitable marketing was required to tap the tourist potential of the region, she said. Measures such as updating the tourism website of the State regularly, printing informative brochures on South Canara and appointing travel guides, could go a long way in attracting tourists, she added.

Good Roads

C.R. Kamath, director, Corporation Bank, stressed on the need to have good access roads and clean toilets at places of tourist interest.

Basic signboards must be in English to ensure that visitors from outside the State or abroad do not feel unwelcome. Dr. Kamath said that boards with information on the historical significance of monuments must be set up. Often, at historical sites, little or no information was available about the place, he said.

Jesper Houggard of Serena Spa Pvt. Ltd. said more budget hotels were needed to attract tourists.

The hotel rates in Karnataka were at two extremes. Tourists felt that they did not get "value for money" in such hotels. Most people look for a clean place to stay at a reasonable price, and not five star comforts, he said. M.R. Vasudev, Airport Director, Mangalore, spoke about the need to develop a comprehensive plan for the development of tourism. It was not enough to have an international airport. Infrastructure around the airport must also be developed, he said.

There was a need for better road connectivity, and more budget hotels in Bajpe area (where the airport is located), he said.

L.C. Soans, proprietor, Soans Farm, Moodbidri, said the involvement of local community was essential for the development of tourism. Small-scale entrepreneurs, autorickshaw drivers and taxi drivers must feel that they have a stake in the development of tourism, he said.

Big scope

William Pais, journalist and author of the book "The land called South Canara", said there was big scope for heritage tourism in coastal Karnataka.

The workshop concluded with a discussion on developing a catch phrase and a mascot to promote the region. Some delegates at the workshop suggested that "Kambala", the buffalo race, a unique folk sport of Dakshina Kannada, could be the mascot.

John Prasad Menezes, president, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the suggestions put forth at the workshop would be forwarded to the State Government.

Hinduja in joint venture with ONGC for Mangalore project

In a bid to enter India's booming petroleum sector, the Hinduja group has entered into a joint venture agreement with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation to partner in developing the proposed Mangalore petrochemical and petroleum special investment region.

The JV will also encompass upstream exploration activities, Ashok Hinduja chairman of the group's Indian companies said. This will be the group's first major investment in the Indian oil and gas sector.

Speaking to the Business Standard, Hinduja said, "We have a joint venture agreement with ONGC to develop both upstream and downstream activities. Part of the agreement is the development of the Mangalore petroleum SEZ."

Hinduja said that the largely-privately held group may consider investing up to $4 billion in the Mangalore project. The Mangalore SEZ has been evaluated at $8 billion.

The two companies are also planning to rope in the Qatar Gas Company to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the project. A team from both companies had visited Qatar last week and made presentations to the Qatari authorities for the supply of 5 million tonne of LNG for the Mangalore petroleum SEZ.

"The exact contours of the financial arrangements will become clear once we know how much the Qataris will invest," Hinduja said.

Qatar, which holds the largest gas reserves in the world has already signed up to supply 7.5 million tonne of LNG to India for Dabhol and other power projects, including NTPC's Kawas project. The Qataris have also expressed an interest is taking a stake in the Dabhol LNG terminal should the government decide to sell a stake in the terminal.

ONGC's subsidiary Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Limited (MRPL) is expected to be the anchor developer in the Mangalore SEZ. ONGC has already announced that the capacity of the MRPL refinery is being ramped up from the current 7.5 million tonne to 12 million tonne.

Hinduja group company Gulf Oil already has a tie-up with MRPL for marketing lubricants.

Hinduja also said that the group has also tied up with the Geneva-based Amas Bank to set up a half billion dollar fund for its India projects, including the Mangalore project. The bank is owned by the group.

All for the love of flying kites

13 January 2007

Kite flyers of the world unite, you have nothing but the wide skies to conquer, seems to be the war cry of an intrepid band of kite flyers.

This was exemplified by the presence of Michael Alvares from Perth, Australia, who came down to India on an invitation from Team Mangalore, whom he met at Dieppe, France, in September last.

Michael, who originally hails from Mangalore, but has since settled in Australia for the past 35 years, had no second thoughts about coming to this city. A family event commemorating the 50th year celebration of one of his aunts becoming a nun at Bangalore came in handy for Michael to plan his trip to Mangalore.

Michael conducted two special kite workshops at schools — one at SVS High School, Bantwal, on Thursday and at St. Agnes Special School, Bendore, on Friday.

Taking time off from his demonstrations, Michael told presspersons that kite flying had been a passion with him for quite some time now. A sprightly 52-year-old, Michael did what he came here for — fly kites and give children a wonderful time. For the students of the special school, this foreign visitor with all his flying contraptions provided moments of fun and laughter as Michael took them through the demos and the workshops.

While the lack of wind did come as a dampener in that Michael was not able to give a full demonstration of the exact capabilities of what his kites including the "Rokkaku" — a hexagonal 12-cell box kite could do, the children enjoyed what he did nonetheless. A workshop where he gave them mini kites to colour and later helped them fly their creations virtually brightened a sunny day. He promises to be back next year.


Rs. 7.39-crore plan for roadworks

The maintenance of roads under the purview of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat is set to get a major boost with the body approving an action plan for Rs. 7.39 crore under the 12th Finance (Roads and Bridges) division, at its special general meeting here on Thursday.

The panchayat's engineering division will take up 254 works through which 674.79 km of the 1,047.26 km of roads in five taluks are proposed to be developed.

Clash with officials

Members from Mangalore and Belthangady taluks clashed with the officials over the list of works scheduled for their constituencies. U. Babu Mugera Yernody, a member from Dharmasthala, was particularly vociferous in his protests, saying that the taluk assistant executive engineer had not consulted him while drawing up the proposed works.

Panchayat Chief Executive Officer (CEO) A.M. Kunjappa told Mr. Yernody that it had been necessary for the panchayat to approve the action plan and send it to the State Government for its consideration immediately.

He directed the assistant executive engineer to amicably settle the issue with the member.

Members from Mangalore taluk, Shyla Sequeira and Victoria D'Cunha, also expressed their dissatisfaction with the works proposed for their constituencies. The CEO directed officials of the Mangalore taluk engineering division to sort out the issue with the members and ensure that the list of works was forwarded to the State Government. When taluk members requested the panchayat to forward the action plans for their taluks to the Government for approval, the CEO said that the Government only wanted the overall plan for the district.

According to the plan which the panchayat has approved taking into consideration the views expressed by members, it is proposed to develop 149.9 km of road in Bantwal at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.02 crore, 141.65 km of road in Puttur at a cost of Rs. 1.52 crore, 101.3 km in Sullia at Rs. 111.5 crore, 198.44 km in Belthangady at Rs. 2.17 crore and 83.50 km in Mangalore at Rs. 1.55 crore.


Water leakage hits four-lane work on highway at Kulai

Water leakage from a valve at Kulai pump house, owned by Mangalore City Corporation (MCC), for the past many days has come in the way of implementing four-lane work on National Highway 17 by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), according to a senior official of the NHAI project office here.

When this Correspondent visited the spot on Friday, the MCC workers at the pump house said that the valve had been leaking for the past five months. The valve had been fixed to the pipeline which supplies water from Panambur side to the tank of the pump house. Also, the tank overflows whenever power supply stops to the pump house. As a result water was flowing on the highway, they said. They had informed about the problem to their higher-ups, they said.

The NHAI official said that flow of water from pump house had affected the slab culvert work of the NHAI. The NHAI had to pump out the water from the highway continuously. If left unattended, the water flowed on the highway, coming in the way of taking up four-lane work, the official said.

The MCC had not taken steps to plug the leakage, the official alleged.

`Old valve'

Suresh Babu, Executive Engineer of the MCC, told The Hindu that the 900 mm valve was 35 years old. The MCC might have to replace it instead of repairing it, he said.

The Kulai pump house would be closed after the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded water supply scheme under Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Coastal Environment Management Project was operational. Due to the "economy factor" the engineers were contemplating on steps to handle this problem, he said.

A retired Superintendent Engineer of Public Works Department, now working with the NHAI project office here said that the MCC could afford the repair.

Problem of pipeline

Meanwhile, Mr. Babu has written to the NHAI that the MCC had commissioned a new water supply pipeline to a length of two km, from the National Institute of Technology - Karnataka (NIT-K) to Surathkal bus stand on the highway on January 5.

The NHAI official said that the NHAI was communicated about it on January 11. This pipeline is on the eastern side of the highway. Mr. Babu confirmed to The Hindu that the pipeline had been commissioned.

The NHAI official said that under the port connectivity project, the NHAI had planned to complete work on the 6 km-stretch from NIT-K to Baikampady in the first phase.

But the plan was not getting materialised, as the MCC had not commissioned the water supply pipeline to the length of four km between Surathkal and Baikampady though it had laid a new pipeline from NIT-K to Baikampady, the official said.

Hence, the NHAI would be forced to complete work on only half of the total width of the four-lane, the official said.

Looping method

If the MCC commissions the 4 km-stretch, the four-laning work on both the sides on the highway could be completed by May-end, the official said.

He said that the MCC could adopt the looping method to commission the pipeline.

Mr. Babu said that there was no provision for the looping method in the MCC's tender.


Thaneer Bavi Beach

Landing at Bajpe Airport

12 January 2007

Beach Festival begins on Jan 19

Panambur Beach Festival will begin on Jan 19 and end on jan 21. it will be funtime for all mangaloreans to come together at one place. There will be Kite festival, Food Festival, Boat Racing, Para Sailing, Skating, Sand Sculpture, Beach Vollleyball, Beach Throwball, Dance Festival and many more.

Hampankatta-Pumpwell Four Lane Work to Begin on Jan 14

10 January 2007

Mayor Vijaya Arun has said that the work on converting the Hampakatta- Pumwell stretch of road to four lanes will begin on Sunday January 14.

Speaking to press persons after conducting a spot inspection on the various development works in the city on Tuesday January 9, she said that the traffic will be diverted to facilitate the works and alternative routes will be finalised very soon.

The administration will discuss the inconvenience caused to the public and try to reduce the same as much as possible, she promised.

KUIDFC officers including deputy director J R Lobo, MCC commissioner Krishnappa Poojary, deputy mayor Abdul Saleem, former mayors Shashidhar Hegde, K Ashraf, corporators Lancy Serrao, Kamalaksha Salian, and MCC engineering department officials were present.


Mangalore Cross Country Race on Jan 26

08 January 2007

A cross country race will be organised by Corporation Bank Employees Sports and Recreation Club here as part of Republic Day celebrations on Friday January 26.

A press release stated that the race will be open to residents of the district. The race will be divided into two categories open section and high school section. The race for adults will be flagged off from Kadri Park main gate while that for students will be flagged off from Kankanady market ground. The race will culminate at Corporation Bank head office at Pandeshwar.

The participants will have to assemble at their respective starting points at 6.30 am and will have to cover a distance of 7 km. Winners will get cash awards while deserving participants will get consolation prizes.

Entries may be sent before Monday January 15 to secretary H Murali Rao or Rita D’Souza of Corporation Bank head office in Pandeshwar.

Spot entries will not be allowed, the release stated.

Fire in Garment Store

A fire that broke out in a shop in a commercial complex in the city destroyed the goods stored in it. On Sunday, a wholesale ready-made garment store in Linking Tower near Lady Goschen Hospital caught fire.
A short circuit is said to be the cause for the fire which destroyed the goods in the shop and also damaged the adjacent shop.
It may be recalled that in February last a major fire had broken in the same commercial complex which alerted the district administration on the non-adherence to safety from fire in public buildings.
The fire fighting force took around 1 hour to extinguish the flames. The loss is estimated at Rs 3 lac.

MSIL offered Bajpe's cargo-handling task

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has indicated that it might entrust cargo-handling operations at the Bajpe airport in Mangalore to Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL), a State-Government undertaking, according to official sources.

Senior MSIL officials visited the airport recently and expressed their satisfaction over the cargo-handling facilities, the sources said.

So far, Customs at the airport had permitted the handling of only bags and luggage at the airport and not cargo. If cargo operations were to take place, the Customs would first have to declare the airport fit for them, the sources said. Further, airline operators there would also have to be ready to operate cargo aircraft, they added.

Previously, the AAI itself had been planning to take up the responsibility of cargo operations at the airport. But it has now considered MSIL for the task as the company was already handling similar operations at the Bangalore airport, the sources said.

MSIL, however, was yet to take a final decision on whether to accept AAI's offer, they added.

According to former president of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) G. Giridhar Prabhu, Mangalore had the potential to export 10 tonnes of vegetables per international flight. Further, 16 tonnes of gherkins could be exported per day either by the sea route or the air route.

He said there was scope to export vegetables not only to West Asian countries but also to other countries.

The region also had the potential to transport flowers, and fish and its products. Mr. Prabhu said the construction of a cold storage facility near the airport would help exporters. Sources said vegetables could also be transported from Hassan to other places through the Bajpe airport. Currently, vegetables from Hassan are being transported to Thiruvananthapuram through the Bangalore airport and other modes of transport.


Muscat – Mangalore Direct Flight: Air India Express awaiting approval for January 18th 2007

06 January 2007

Air India Express headquarters has approved the allocation of two flights from Muscat to Mangalore on the following days – Thursday and Saturday, where they will have a late evening arrival and departure from Mangalore into Muscat.

Out of the allocated flights, one flight will be a direct flight from Muscat to Mangalore whereas the other one will be a hopping flight from Abu Dhabi – Muscat – Mangalore.

The headquarters in Mumbai has directed the local office to approach the concerned officials in the office of the Director General of Civil Aviation, Sultanate of Oman, for the necessary approvals for the two flights that are being introduced from Muscat to Mangalore.

The slots and the timings of the flights will be finalized subject to the approval of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Government of Oman.

The Air India officials will submit the request to Mr. Rashid Al-Kiyumi, Director General of Civil Aviation in Oman, tomorrow, January 6th 2007.

When contacted the Air India officials at the headquarters, we were informed that Air India Express is very much interested in starting the Muscat-Mangalore sector, especially after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two Civil Aviation Ministries in November 2006.

They also informed us that Air India Express has an acute shortage of skilled technical crew and they had a choice between two flights, that is, Cochin-Doha-Bahrain and Muscat-Mangalore. Preference was given to the Cochin-Doha-Bahrain flight as this particular sector already has a ready market survey and market analysis available. Air India Express will commence this flight from January 12th 2007. One could consider this as a New Year gift to Kerala from Air India Express.

But Mangaloreans need not lose hope as our turn to receive a New Year gift from Air India Express is not far behind. Come, January 18th if the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Oman, gives approval, the first direct International flight from Muscat to Mangalore will commence on this date, namely January 18, 2007.

However, Air India Express headquarters in Mumbai have specifically informed us that the commencement of this maiden flight from Muscat to Mangalore is subject to the availability of technical crew to operate these extra flights for Air India. This is even after getting the concerned approval from the Oman authorities.

We will keep you updated with the latest developments.


Pilot training programme at Bajpe airport from Sunday

04 January 2007

A private airline operator will utilise Bajpe airport of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for its pilot training activity from January 7.
Another private company has planned to utilise the airport here as the base to operate its helicopter for a study to find out oil reserves in the Arabian Sea, according to sources. The sources told The Hindu that the company would take up the study (oil rig operations) under the new exploration licensing policy of the Union Government.
Kingfisher Airlines will start day and night training programme for its pilots at the airport. Initially, it will press into service an ATR aircraft and later an Airbus 320 for the training.
The training will fetch revenue to the AAI as for every landing and take off the airline has to pay a fee to the authority, the sources said.
The airline will complete one year of its operation at the airport on January 20. It was the first airline to operate Airbus 319 and Airbus 320 from the airport.
It will also become the first airline to start pilot training activity here.
Two runways at the airport have come in handy for taking up pilot training activities, the sources said.
They said that it was the only airport in the State to have a complete concrete runway. The runway was commissioned last year.
Other major airports in the country were congested as the number of flights had gone up.
It was difficult to use them to train pilots, they said.

Helicopter operation

The sources said that a private company, which has its subsidiary in the petroleum sector, would operate its helicopter from the airport for a study to find oil reserves in the Arabian Sea.
The helicopter would transport its engineers and workers to identified sites in the sea from the airport and back, they said.
The company will also have a unit at the airport.
The helicopter is likely to arrive by January 8. The study is likely to go on for a year.


Seven flyovers to be built by NHAI

01 January 2007

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that has taken up work on the four-laning of national highways between Surathkal and B.C. Road will construct seven flyovers between the two destinations, according to sources in the NHAI here.
They will be built at Surathkal, Kulur, Kottara Chowki, Kuntikana, Nanthoor, Maroli and B.C. Road. In Surathkal and Kulur, traffic will be allowed from Udupi towards Mangalore. In Kottara Chowki, vehicles will be allowed from Mangalore to Udupi. Traffic will be allowed two-ways on the Kuntikana flyover.
Sources said that vehicles would be allowed to ply from Moodbidri and B.C. Road towards Udupi on the Nanthoor flyover. Traffic from Mangalore to B.C. Road would pass over the Maroli flyover. Vehicles coming from Bangalore would be allowed to go to Mangalore through the B.C. Road flyover. Except the Kuntikana flyover, that will be a two-way flyover, the remaining flyovers would be one-way.
Asked if the NHAI would change the design of the Surathkal flyover to ensure two-way traffic as demanded by various organizations recently, an authority of the NHAI told The Hindu that it would not be changed.
The authority said that two underpasses would be provided at Surathkal, one near the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NIT-K) and the other near Vidyadayini school.
A two-way flyover would require more funds and would result in escalation of the project cost.
"If people demand two-way flyovers at all seven places, the project cost would go up drastically. Instead providing underpasses wherever required was a feasible solution. The NHAI cannot build two-way flyovers by succumbing to `popular demand' of the people. The agency has taken a decision on the design of flyovers taking all aspects into consideration," the authority said.
According to sources, another underpass would be built at Baikampady. They said that three minor bridges would be built on National Highway 48 and two minor bridges would be constructed on National Highway 17. In addition to this, three railway bridges would be built to complete the four-lane works.
Sources said that once the four-lane works were completed, two toll collection gates would be provided on the highways, one near New Mangalore Port on National Highway 17 and the other near Brahmarakutlu on National Highway 48.

Tension in B C Road: 11 injured in stone pelting

Tension prevailed near B C Road on Sunday for some time after some youths belonging to a particular community pelted stones at the Shobayathre being taken out as a part of Virat Hindu Samajotsava.
According to the police, the Shobayathre was about to begin when a group of persons burst crackers for which some youths belonging to other community raised objections. When they were engaged in a verbal duel, some miscreants pelted stones at the group. While Hindu youths claimed that Muslims pelted stones, Muslim youths claimed that Hindus pelted stones. Seven persons were injured in the melee. They included Prashanth Shetty, Jnanesh, Jayaprakash, Narayan, Sunil, Naveen and Ashok Rai. Among the seven, Prashanth, Sunil and Naveen have been admitted to hospital. Though police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control, another group of people assaulted two persons going in a car and an auto, during the procession. The miscreants also damaged the vehicles. The car belonged to a certain Nazeer while the auto belonged to Zakaria.
Meanwhile, when the processionists were returning home near Bantwal, yet another group of persons pelted stones following which two more persons suffered injuries.
Two persons identified as Naushad and Abdulla have been taken into custody. Further investigations are on.
Superintendent of Police B Dayanand, Additional SP Lokesh Kumar and Assistant SP Dr Harsha are camping at B C Road.

Bakrid celebrated in Mangalore

Bakrid was celebrated with ritualistic fervour in and around Mangalore on Sunday. Bakrid is an important festival of Muslims falling in the last month of Islamic Calendar. It is also called as Id-Ul-Azha , which coincides with the Haj pilgrimage at Mecca. The significance of the festival is the commemoration of the ordeals of Prophet Ibrahim. Thousands of Muslim brothers offered prayers at the Mosques and greeted one another with an embrace. All muslims go and meet thier relatives and friends. All muslim brothers meet each other during the morning Eid Namaz and our muslim sisters meet each other usually in the evenings in the Beach, Park etc..

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