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Delhi Machine Tool Expo 2019 Concludes Successfully

The third edition of Delhi Machine Tool Expo (DMTX 2019), one of northern India’s most prominent B2B exhibitions concluded successfully on 11 August 2019. With 122 exhibitors the machine tool exhibition attracted around 6,000 visitors and 49 trade delegations from various industry sectors such as auto component, automobiles, capital goods, die and mould, defence, aerospace, and so on.

The expo organized at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida by Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) attracted an impressive number of delegates and visitors from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, etc.

Besides India, technologies from foreign countries such as Germany, Japan, China, Taiwan and USA were on display and visitors got a peek into the latest manufacturing technologies which covered both metal cutting and metal forming technologies. Sheet metal forming machines, CNC machines, and metrology were prominent highlights.

Stating his views on the expo, P. Ramadas, President, IMTMA, said, “We are glad about the outcome of the expo as it evoked an enthusiastic response from the manufacturers from northern states. I believe that this edition will encourage companies to participate in subsequent editions and it will help us in our journey to reach out to the regional industries.”

Citing his thoughts on the show, V. Anbu, Director General & CEO, IMTMA, said, “IMTMA organizes regional expos to enable India’s regional industrial units to keep pace with the changing technologies. These shows help in addressing the numerous requirements of original equipment manufacturers and supply chain in Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities. The Association is pleased with the outcome of the show and we are hopeful that the show will continue to evolve and grow bigger as we organize the future editions.”

IMTMA will organize the fourth edition of Delhi Machine Tool Expo in Delhi in August 2021.

Continuing its journey of carrying technology to the doorsteps of manufacturers spread in different regions, IMTMA is organizing the first-ever Chennai Machine Tool Expo at Chennai Trade Centre in Chennai from 26 - 29 September 2019. The expo will be another big opportunity for the regional players in the southern region to attune themselves with the latest technologies in manufacturing.


Kochi to host 12th Conventions India Conclave from August 29-31, The meet to offer largest networking platform for MICE industry

The 12th edition of Conventions India Conclave, a premier international meet on MICE tourism, will be hosted at Grand Hyatt Bolgatty in Kochi from August 29-31, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.

Organised by India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism to promote the country as a global hub of conventions and exhibitions, the event will see convergence of major players of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions)  and connected stakeholders  from around the world for transacting businesses.

The theme of the conclave is Mapping the sustainable MICE future of India, with its focus on creating an opportunity for the participants to look for new avenues of business development. The exhibition and B2B meetings with pre-scheduled appointments will be key components of the three-day event.

“This international conclave has been conceived and structured on the lines of global meetings and world exhibitions like IBTM World (Barcelona, Spain), IMEX (Frankfurt, Germany) and IMEX  America (Las Vegas). As the largest MICE event  of South Asia, the conclave will showcase our strength before the international buyers,”, Kerala Minister for Tourism  Shri Kadakampally Surendran told a meet  here on Saturday,  unveiling the details of the three-day event.

“It is significant that this is taking place at a time when Kerala Tourism is poised to make big leaps in all segments. Kerala was very strong in MICE tourism. Due to some policy shifts over the years the state had lost someground. Now we are set to regain the lost ground make further strides, ”the Minister said.

He said Kerala has made quick recovery from the damage suffered from last year’s devastating floods. There has been steady increase in the footfalls since then. The heavy downpour that battered some parts of the state recently did not have any serious impact on major tourism centres.

The Minister also said the fresh schedule of the Champions Boat League (CBL), deferred due to heavy rains, will be announced without delay. The CBL stake-holders are eager to hold the event as early as possible, he said.

Around 300-350 delegates are expected to attend the conclave, who include prominent speakers, domestic and international buyers, exhibitors and mediapersons.

Over 30 international buyers from USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Turkey, Cyprus, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Malaysia have confirmed participation. Also, 100 domestic buyers and 70 exhibitors will be participating in the conclave.

“MICE and adventure tourism are the niche products Kerala Tourism is promoting in a big way. Kerala has the infrastructure need to emerge as a major MICE hub and the state will be doing more to promote this  sector,”said State Tourism Secretary Smt Rani George

The Department of Tourism will be forming ICPB- Kerala State Convention Bureau which will enable Kerala to participate in bids for getting national and international conventions to Kerala and to promote Kerala MICE tourism opportunities aggressively across the world.

Mr Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, said the Kochi conclave has been planned as the largest event CIC has ever held. “The response to the event from around the world has been extremely encouraging not only in terms of numbers but in terms of the profile of the participants”, he added.

"India Convention Promotion Bureau , a marketing arm of Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India is looking forward to opening the State Chapter in Kerala during the Convention to promote Kerala in collaboration with all stake holders as a preferred MICE destination and also to bring Kerala on International map of World Convention Industry ," said Shri  Mansharamani.

During the Convention, the report of the Research conducted by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India initiated by ICPB on the Economic impact of MICE Tourism  will be shared.

A strong platform for business networking, knowledge sharing and updating on industry, the conclave will facilitate meetings of organisers from international and domestic source markets. It will also be a forum for interactions with planners from Indian associations including medical, non-medical, academia and corporate domains to showcase various MICE products and services.

Leading suppliers of the industry including Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs) Professional Exhibition Organisers (PEOs), convention centres, hotels, travel organisers and service providers will present their  services and products at the conclave.  The event will be packed with informative sessions and panel discussions on various connected topics.

The keynote speaker, Mr.Senthil Gopinath, CEO ICCA, will share his perspective and experiences in his address. Other sessions focussing on the growth of the MICE industry include ‘*Hard Talk’* with Shri Suman Billa, Joint Secretary Tourism, Govt. of India, Smt. Rani George, and Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran, moderated by Mr. Senthil Gopinath.

A salient feature of the Conclave is launch of ICPB MICE Planner, as a ready reference to Convention Venues in India. Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran and ICPB functionaries,  Shri Amaresh Kumar Tiwari ( Hon. Secretary), Mr. Girish Kwatra  ( Hon. Treasurer), Smt Madhu Dubey (Executive Director) were also present at the press conference.


Kerala to host Nehru Trophy Boat Race on August 31, First race of Champions Boat League to start the same day

The Nehru Trophy Boat Race and the first race of the maiden Champions Boat League (CBL) will be held on August 31.Both the events were to be flagged off on August 10, but were postponed due to floods during the last fortnight. Kerala Tourism today said the first race of the CBL will be held on the sidelines of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race at the sprawling Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha city.

Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran said the schedule of the remaining 11 races of the CBL, the country’s first-ever boat racing patterned on the IPL format of cricket, will be announced soon. Nine teams are to vie for top honours and prize monies totalling Rs 5.9 crore at the CBL.

The participating teams remain the same: Tropical Titans (traditionally, Village Boat Club), Backwater Knights (Village Boat Club), Backwater Ninja (Brothers Boat Club), Backwater Warriors (Town Boat Club), Coast Dominators (United Boat Club), Mighty Oars (NCDC), Pride Chasers (Vembanad Boat Club), Raging Rowers (Police Boat Club) and Thunder Oars (KBC/SFBC).

While the first three winners of each CBL match will get Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively, all participants are to win a bonus prize of Rs 4 lakh for each match. The overall CBL league winner after the accumulation of all the points from the 12 races will get a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, while those finishing second and third will get Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, respectively.

The races, being held from 2 pm to 5 pm, will be broadcast live.  Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Asianet Worldwide, Asianet Plus, Hotstar, ETV Andhra Pradesh and ETV Telangana will beam the event for an hour from 4 pm.

Winner of Fulcrum Award 2017 for Best Use of Public Affairs Diamond Sabre Awards South Asia 2014 for Superior Achievement in Measurement & Evaluation category Winners of the Gold Sabre Awards India 2013 for excellence in PR in the Media Relations & Not-for-Profit categories


Kerala Tourism’s Info Centres get facelift, Minister opens info counter at Thampanoor Bus Terminal

Strengthening the information network of Kerala Tourism, seven renovated tourism information centres were opened in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi on Tuesday, with Hon. Minister for Co-operation, Devaswom and Tourism, Shri Kadakampally Surendran inaugurating the facility at the Central BusTerminal at Thampanoor here.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said Tourist Information centres in Chennai, Goa and Kolkata were also getting spruced up and strengthened with sufficient staff and technical back-up.

"Tourist Information Centres have undergone a complete makeover to meet the demands of tourists visiting Kerala. Through the project, the government is also providing jobs for professionally-qualified and skilled youth who will serve as Assistant Information trainees on temporary basis in these facilities,” Shri Surendran said.

Shri P Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Tourism, was also present.

Around 50 youths, who had undergone a training programme conducted by Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), have been posted as trainees in various Information Centres across the state and outside.

Renovation works are going on in full-swing in other centres as well, which will become fully functional this year itself.


Third Edition of Delhi Machine Tool Expo Begins at India Expo Mart

Delhi Machine Tool Expo, 2019 - Northern India’s largest B2B machine tool exhibition got underway today. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri. Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Hon’ble Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Govt. of India, Smt. Sukriti Likhi, IAS, Joint Secretary, DHI, Mr. P. Ramadas, President - IMTMA, Mr. Indradev Babu, Vice President – IMTMA and Mr. V. Anbu, Director General and CEO of IMTMA.

Organized by the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers Association (IMTMA), the exhibition will be held for four days from 8th August - 11th August 2019 and will serve as a platform to demonstrate the latest manufacturing technologies. With around 150 exhibitors, the expo covers the entire gamut of metalworking machine tools for both metal cutting and metal forming including automation and robotics, tooling systems, CAD/CAM and other technologies which are essential for today’s manufacturing.

Speaking at the inauguration, Shri. Arvind Ganpat Sawant said, “I feel every manufacturing company should not only strengthen themselves but also they should make sufficient profit to generate employment. Further, their products should be globally competitive. Our government is significantly concerned about this. Toward this, income tax has been reduced to 25 percent for companies with turnover below 400 crores.”

“Price of electric vehicles is high due to the cost of batteries; we need to be free from dependence on other countries for batteries. The central government has created 10 common machine tool development centres in the country. Why not take their help for designing and developing new machines?” he said.

“To be globally competitive, we need to make a joint venture. In our over-populated country, technology should be used to generate more employment,” he added.

Mr. P Ramadas, President, IMTMA said, "Although at present, we are witnessing some headwinds in manufacturing, I optimistically believe that markets would open up in the coming quarters and the industry would bounce back as the economy improves.”  He also urged the government to take suitable measures to extend credit to SMEs and connected financial reforms.

Welcoming the delegates, Mr. V. Anbu, Director General and CEO of IMTMA said, “Shows such as the Delhi Machine Tool Expo are enablers to take technologies closer to the SMEs and pave way for their continual growth. At this Delhi Machine Tool Expo 2019, we have over 150 exhibitors displaying state-of-the-art technology solutions and innovations for both metal-cutting and metal-forming machine tools. Apart from India, four countries: China, Germany, Japan, and Taiwan are participating. We also have Group Participation from China and Taiwan.”


UST Global announces sponsorship of Champakulam Chundan for 2019 Nehru Trophy Boat Race

UST Global, a leading digital transformation solutions company, announced its sponsorship of ‘Champakulam Chundan’, for the latest edition of Kerala’s most prestigious water sports event - the Nehru Trophy Boat Race for 2019. The event will witness the famous Champakulam Chundan sporting the UST Global logo for the race on August 10, 2019.

Champakulam Chundan is one of Kerala’s most celebrated snake boats and the pride of the Champakulam village in the Kuttanad backwaters. The latest avatar of the traditional snake boat has its predecessor, the original ‘Chundan’, displayed at the UST Global Thiruvananthapuram campus after it was retired in 2013. The snake boat which has been synonymous with speed, focus and excellence, has won the Nehru Trophy nine times between 1989 and 2014. The current snake boat is 131 feet in length, with its rear portion towering to a height of about 6 feet, and a long tapering towards the front-end. A team of 110 oarsmen on the boat competes against many similar snake boats on the day of the race for the coveted Nehru Trophy. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held on the second Saturday of August every year, on the renowned Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha district of Kerala. The globally watched snake boat race, named after the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, attracts over five lakh spectators from India and around the globe, every year.

According to Sunil Balakrishnan, Global Head - Center Operations and Chief Values Officer, UST Global, “Champakulam Chundan has always been a proud mascot for Kerala, and by joining hands as a sponsor, we at UST Global, would take a step further in upholding the traditional ethos and draw inspiration from the spirit of competition and teamwork that the team and race are famous for. Our aim is to also provide support for the communities that are rebuilding itself after the devastating floods last year.”


Kerala Tourism offers ‘experience Onam’ packages to visitors from Sept 1 to 30

Kerala Tourism has unveiled a unique product to literally extend the feel and taste of Onam festival to visitors by enabling them to enjoy a variety of traditional dishes including the famed multi-dish ‘sadya’ and trips to sylvan rural stretches.

The  project , worked out by the State Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission, will facilitate tourists  to stay at  village homes as  guests, join the celebrations  of the festival of flowers, partake home-made delicacies and meals  and  receive attractive  gifts before bidding farewell.

The product , ‘Enjoy  Onam feast, get Onam gifts ’, piloted  in 2017 in selected places, will be extended  to the entire state on a grand scale from September 1 to 30, Hon Minister for Co-operation, Devaswom and Tourism Shri Kadakampally Surendran, said.

“The project is drawn up with the aim of facilitating tourists to experience hands on the joys of village life during the festival season,“ the Minister said.

The scheme offers different packages for the visitors to choose—A day-and-night stay at a village home for a four-member family  which will include  breakfast, dinner and lunch , a special Onam feast package, exploration of the unspoilt rural stretches to experience sights and sounds of Onam with local communities.

Besides treating to the mouth-welling feast, those choosing the first category, the premier Onam Festival package, will be presented with a set of traditional gifts like handcrafted souvenirs, handloom shawls and packets of crispy banana chips. The charge will range from Rs 3000 to Rs 8500, depending on the rating and facilities of the unit they are opting to stay.

The Onam Sadya, comprising a variety of spicy and sweet dishes including rice, curries, pickles, chutneys pudding and chips, will be charged modestly at Rs 250 per head. The visitors who are keen to explore deep into the  sylvan countryside can hitch to  the rural trips, which will cost Rs 3000 for a four-member family on vehicle hired they themselves. Apart from Onam Sadya, they will also be given   souvenirs, pappad, chips and handloom shawls.

The spots selected for the package are : Balaramapuram, Madavoorpara(Thiruvananthapuram district), Kainakari and Kavalam (Alappuzha),Vaikom, Maravanthuruthu, Chembu, Manchira, Varampinakam, Thiruvarpu (Kottayam), Amballur (Ernakulam),  Olavanna, Kadalundi (Kozhikode),  Chekadi, Cheruvayal, Nellarachal (Wayanad), Kunhimangalam, Cherupuzha (Kannur) and Bekal (Kasaragod).

Those joining the village near Kumarakom for “experiencing the village Onam” will also  have a three-hour cruise on the backwaters and  taken to villages  where they can see activities like coir-spinning and coconut tree climbing and tapping. This trip from 10 am to 2 pm will cost Rs 4500.

Also, there will be a three-hour Kumarakom package from 10 am to 5 pm which will include a three-hour cruise, village trips, stop-over at sites of fishing, coir-making and coconut climbing. This will be charged at Rs 8500.

The Vaikom Package will comprise backwater cruise, darshan at the famous Vaikom Mahadeva temple and a visit to a handloom work.

Bekal package will cover the famous north Kerala beach and the fort besides a visit to the pottery work, for which Rs 5000 will be charged. The Kannur package, which will cost Rs 5000, will include visit to a metal work at Kunhimangalam.  The Kozhikode package will include a visit to the Farm Tourism Centre at Mampbuzha.

Coming to the capital district in down south, there will be different packages including a visit to renowned Kovalam beach resort and farms nearby, at cost of Rs 4500. The second package will include visit to the cave temple at Madavoorpara and several village work units in and around, at a cost of Rs 4500. For those opting for the Thekkadi in Idukki district can join the trip to see several panoramic high-altitude sites paying Rs 4500. The Alappuzha package, which will cost Rs 4500, includes visit to the backwater-bound rural stretches of Kainakari. Kavalam package, which will cost Rs 4000, includes village walk  , casting net and other activities.

The packages are worked out by RT Mission jointly with accommodation units across the state. Those units interested in receiving the tourists and making arrangements for their stay and meals can register on responsible-tourism/ onam-package/accommodation.  Those arranging Onam feast should have the registration or certificate of the Food Safety Authority of India.

Besides households, village restaurants, kudumbasree hotels, catering units, registered hotels,  homestays and wayside eateries can also join the programme. For details visit responsible-tourism/ onam-packages/ onasadya.


Kerala Govt signs MoU with VSSC to develop Space Park

In a major boost to the Kerala Space Park project, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) has signed an MoU with the State Government to support its endeavours in promoting Space Technology vertical in the state.

The agreement was signed by State IT Secretary Shri M Sivasankar IAS and VSSC Director Shri S Somanath in the presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, at the CM’s Office here on Thursday.

“With VSSC and the Kerala Government joining hands for the project, Kerala is set to make major strides in space technology sector. This partnership will create an ideal ambiance for advanced research and development in space technology”, the Chief Minister said.

The agreement will facilitate VSSC to support the state’s ambitious project to set up the country’s first state-of-the-art Space Systems Park at Knowledge City in the state capital to attract global start-ups in the space sector and make it a major manufacturing hub for space-related technology, research and development.

“This agreement will enable to tap the full potential of Kerala in space research. The Space Park will also generate plenty of job opportunities,” Shri Somanath said.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Knowledge Centre and Space Museum, to be developed by VSSC, a major centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), as a befitting memorial to former President and top space scientist, will be part of the overall infrastructure of the Space Park .

Chief Secretary Shri Tom Jose IAS, Scientific Advisor to C M Shri M C Dathan, IT Mission Director Smt S Chithra IAS, ISRO Inertial Systems Unit Director Dr D Sam Dayala Dev, LPSC Director Shri Dr V Naryanan, Space Park Special Officer Dr Santhosh Kurup, Kerala IT Park CEO Shri Hrishikesh Nair, senior scientists from VSSC and CM’s  IT Fellows attended the ceremony.

Through the MOU, VSSC will support Kerala Space Park in the technical and leadership responsibility and promote the SMEs, startups and other partner entities in developing products and services for the Space Industry.

The MOU also states VSSC’s interest in providing opportunities for companies operating out of the Space Park to participate in its procurement process. Through this partnership, startups and SMEs will have access to VSSC’s experts in the design to commercialising stages of development.

Kerala Space Park will join hands with VSSC in organising international events and attract global space companies to Kerala. It is expected to open up immense global opportunities to professionals, students and industries and benefit the state in job creation and economic growth.

“Signing an MOU with VSSC is a Milestone for Kerala’s plans to develop the Space Technology ecosystem. We believe it will open up plenty of opportunities in Kerala for the Space Technology Companies and Startups from across the world, and we hope to see a lot of action in the coming days”,– Shri Sivasankar said.

Kerala Space Park has two sub verticals – Space Technology Application Development Ecosystem (STADE) and Nano Space park to harness both upstream and downstream capabilities of Space Tech domain. STADE has already signed agreements with French Space Agency CNES and also Airbus, for promotion of Space and Aerospace Startups.

The project will be implemented by the Electronics and IT Department, Government of Kerala.

The State Government had already allotted the land required for  Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Knowledge Centre and Space Museum , which will be an added attraction to the Space Park.

The Government will transfer 20.01 acres of land as lease to the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) to develop the Space Park at the Knowledge City within the Technocity.


Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram Semi High Speed Rail corridor gets Cabinet Nod

Kerala will get a special railway corridor along its 532-km length by 2024, as the state government is set to build a Rs 66,079-crore rail line that will enable semi-high speed trains ply between upstate Kasaragod and the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram.

A Cabinet meeting of the state’s ministers gave clearance to the implementation of the mega infrastructure project by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), a joint venture of Government of Kerala and Ministry of Railways.

The completion of the double line spanning 532 km is expected to reduce congestion along the state’s railway traffic that is already 115 per cent of its capacity, according to Shri V.Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, KRDCL.

KRDCL will have to acquire about 1,200 hectares of land for the project that will have the rails elevated along urban stretches. The trains will run at a maximum speed of 200 km per hour. They will initially have nine coaches, and the number will be subsequently enhanced to 12. The travel charge is projected to be Rs 2.75 per km, and there will be an annual hike of 7.5 per cent, he added.

KRDCL expects a ridership of 67,740 passengers a day. It estimates to carry 1,330 travellers in one direction at peak hours. The average number of travellers a day will be 82,266 by 2028, 116,681 by 2040 and 147,120 in 2051. As for employment, the project will generate 50,000 jobs during the construction of the corridor and 11,000 once it is functional after completion.

The announcement of the governmental nod to the project, made by Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan following a Cabinet meeting here last week, comes a year after KRDCL initiated a preliminary feasibility study and found the project “viable”. Hereafter the feasibility report will be forwarded to Railway Ministry for their in-principle approval. In the meantime, KRDCL will be completing the preparation of DPR (Detailed Project Report) by around November 2019.

For meeting the expenses of the Rs 66,079-crore project, Rs 34,454 crore will come as loans. The Centre and state will need to provide Rs 7,720 crore each. The Kerala government will spend Rs 8,656 crore on land acquisition and allied matters. The rest of the expenses will be met through other loans by the union and state governments, said Shri Ajith Kumar.

Thiruvananthapuram-headquartered KRDCL, floated in January 2017, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Railways to execute viable railway projects on acost-sharing basis.

The feasibility study, carried out by Paris-based Systra as the general consultant for the KRDCL, had projected the internal rate of return as 5.6 per cent and 8.1 per cent for 30 and 50 years, respectively.

As a 100 per cent green project, the Semi High-Speed Rail (SHSR) line is expected to reduce journey time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod from 12 hours to just four hours. The running time between the state capital and the commercial city of Kochi will be only 90 minutes. The line is also expected to reduce both congestion and pollution on the roads, improve safety and reduce dependence on imported oil. The airports at Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi will be connected in the SHSR.

The rail line will pass through eleven of the state’s 14 districts, and will stop at 10 stations. Up its northward course from Thiruvananthapuram, these stations will be Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode and Kannur before reaching Kasaragod.

Between Thiruvananthapuram and Tirur in central Kerala, the proposed project will pass by a stretch that is different from the existing railway line, since the existing Rail line has large number of curves that limits the speed. From Tirur upward, the line will run parallel to the existing track up till Kasaragod. There will be underpasses for road traffic at every 500 metres.

Keeping in mind the maintenance aspect, the rail corridor will also have roads parallel to it. This will open up the land along the new rail corridor which will increase their market value.

The SHSR line will be green. For this, KRDCL will be tying up with IIM-Ahmedabad. It plans to depend heavily on solar power generation and re-used concrete and steel. The corporation is set to adopt last-mile connectivity, with system-driven e-vehicle public transport system, multi-modal integration, charging and parking stations, which would take Kerala to next generation of urban mobility.

Planned urban development of the cities along the corridor and development of new cities down the SHSR line can derive benefits for the socio-economic development in the regions served by the line, he added.

The strategies proposed to be adopted during construction includes recycling steel and concrete, diversion of construction waste from landfills through reuse and recycling, use of new, low emission construction equipment, replacement of inefficient truck engines and irrigation pumps, and urban forestry programme. The station buildings, depots, administrative building and other service structures will be designed based on the platinum rating standard of Indian Green Building Council.

The rail corridor will also help stem pollution by buses and other private vehicles on the road. By 2028, SHSR will reduce road vehicles and trucks causing reduction of approximately 2,37,663 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and 3,81,899 tons by 2051.

SHSR will adopt latest world-class rail system technology such as signalling system of ERTMS level-2 with automatic train control system, communication, ticketing, rolling stock fully air-conditioned with modern passenger amenities and maximum regeneration capability and power supply system with the latest electric traction system (2x25 KV). Further, modern railway stations will provide battery-run vehicles and facility to charge them electrically.


Tourist arrivals in Kerala up 14.81% in second quarter

Riding on a swift recovery from one of the worst natural calamities, Kerala Tourism has regained the pre-floods tourist footfalls, registering an impressive growth rate of 14.81 per cent in the second quarter of the current year as against the figures of the corresponding period a year earlier.

There was an increase of 639,271 tourists (both domestic and foreign) during April-June this year as compared to the figure during the corresponding period in the previous year. In the first quarter (January-March), the total number of tourist arrivals was 46,12,937 as compared to 43,18,406 during the same period in 2018.

The number of domestic tourists during the second quarter of 2019 increased to 47,73,739 as compared to the figures of 41,49,122 during the same period
a year earlier, clocking a hefty  15.05 per cent growth rate.

Particularly satisfying for Kerala Tourism was the fact that it bucked the negative trend in foreign tourist arrivals in the aftermath of last year’s calamitous floods, attracting 182,320 visitors from abroad in the second quarter of the ongoing year — a growth rate of 8.74 per cent as compared to the same period in the previous year. The total number of arrivals from abroad was 167,666 during April-June 2018.

Of the 14 districts in Kerala, Ernakulam registered the highest increase in footfalls with an increase of 1.71 lakh, followed by Idukki with 1.35 lakh. The total number of visitors in Ernakulam was 10,70,613 as against 8,98,784 in the second quarter of 2018 while the figures for Idukki were 5,27,311 and 3,91,674, respectively.

Except Kollam and Thrissur, all the other districts showed positive growth rates in tourist arrivals.

As for domestic tourists, the number went up by 6,24,617 when compared with the figures of corresponding period in the previous year – an increase of 15.05 per cent. Ernakulam district attracted the highest number of tourists with an increase of 1.57 lakh while the second highest increase was registered in Idukki with an increase of 1.31 lakh footfalls.

Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran said the positive growth rate in tourist arrivals from both inside the country and outside was achieved by a string of measures that the state government undertook swiftly to repair the damage caused by the floods to tourism infrastructure.

“We also launched an aggressive marketing strategy in both domestic and foreign markets to bolster our presence in the highly competitive tourism marketplace. The results are now there for everyone to see,” he added.

After a span of nearly ten months (May 2018-March 2019 except December 2018), the arrival of international tourists registered a positive growth rate. Overall, there was an increase of 14,654 tourists during April-June 2019 when compared with the figures of 167,666 registered during the corresponding period a year earlier.

“This clearly indicates that Kerala has now fully overcome the negative trend in arrival of foreign guests, which was largely caused by the floods,” the minister said.

Tourism Secretary Smt. Rani George said the domestic tourist footfalls In Kerala was back to normal by the end of 2018 itself, but the international arrivals showed negative trends till the end of first quarter (January-March) of 2019.

“This negative trend has now been reversed because of sustained efforts of the Kerala Tourism to allay apprehensions of visitors from abroad about the impact of the floods,” she added.

Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran said Kerala Tourism has been adding a range of innovative products to attract tourists from far and wide. “We have now laid emphasis on adventure tourism and monsoon tourism, and it has started yielding heartening results,” he added.

In fact, 11 of the 14 districts registered positive growth rate in foreign tourist arrivals during April-June this year as compared to the figures of the corresponding period a year earlier.

Ernakulam district witnessed the highest increase in foreigners’ footfalls with a figure of 87,058 as compared to 72,496 during the same period in the previous year, registering an increase of 14,562. The second highest increase was registered in Idukki with a figure of 12,409, an increase of 4,145 over the previous quarter figure.


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