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After eight months, India-Bangladesh to resume flights from Oct 28

On October 9, the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh announced resumption of online visa application services for Bangladeshi citizens.

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Air India Flight

Dhaka, Oct 19 : After the reopening of online visa application services for Bangladeshis, India has moved to resume flights connecting the two closest neighbour countries from October 28 under a bilateral “air bubble” arrangement amid the coronavirus pandemic.

India had suspended the flights nearly eight months ago when the virus outbreak began to spread.

The flights will connect five Indian cities with Dhaka, the Indian High Commission in Dhaka tweeted on Saturday.

Initially, around 5,000 passengers from both the countries would be able to fly each week, the report quoted Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal M. Mafidur Rahman said on Sunday.

There is no transit facility for the passengers to fly to a third country, he said, adding that the passengers would have to undergo Covid-19 testing before flying.

On October 9, the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh announced resumption of online visa application services for Bangladeshi citizens.

For now, visas will be provided in nine categories, including medical, business, employment, journalists and diplomats.

Three airlines from Bangladesh will operate 28 flights a week initially, while five Indian airlines will operate the same number of flights, the Bangladesh foreign ministry said on Facebook.

The Bangladeshi airlines are Biman Bangladesh Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines, and NOVOAIR, while the Indian airlines are Air India, Vistara, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and GoAir.

Biman is scheduled to operate flights on Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka and Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka routes, US-Bangla Airlines on Dhaka-Chennai and NOVOAIR on the Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka route.

The Indian airlines will operate flights on Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka, Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka, Dhaka-Chennai-Dhaka, and Dhaka-Mumbai-Dhaka routes.

It had also suspended visas in March and resumed the online application services for Bangladeshis last week.

The suspensions spelt trouble for many Bangladeshis who needed to travel to India, especially to get medical attention.

In normal days, more than 3,500 Bangladeshis travel to India daily on an average. Over 10 per cent of them travel on medical purposes.

Of the foreigners who visit India for medical purposes, 45 per cent are from Bangladesh, according to the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

More than 13.7 million foreigners took treatment in India between January 2018 and March 2019. They include 2.8 million Bangladeshis.

After arriving in Dhaka earlier in October, Indian High Commissioner Vikram Kumar Doraiswami said India was committed to deliver on a special “air bubble” arrangement to resume aviation “very soon” as promised by Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla during his Dhaka visit in August.

India

Railways zero-based timetable: We will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience, says VK Yadav

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VK Yadav

With many news reports indicating the reduction of many small stations across the country after the implementation of the zero-based timetable, Railway Board Chairman and CEO VK Yadav on December 1 said the national transporter will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience and the aim is to reduce travel time.

“If there is a poorly patronised train, we will try to see if it can be merged with another train and run an additional train where there is more demand. We will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience. Travel time of trains will come down due to the zero-based timetable and the number of trains will not be reduced. Poorly patronised stoppages will be rationalised in a professional manner although we are yet to make a decision when it will be implemented. We will divulge details about it later in a formal manner,” he said addressing the media.

He also said some passenger trains used by people in rural India will be converted into express trains and Railways is planning to convert passenger train services to Mainline Electric Multiple Unit rakes.

Yadav said the growth in freight services has not dimmed, with November witnessing loading at 110 mt, the highest in the year till now.

In this period, Railways earned Rs 10,657.66 crore from freight loading, which is Rs 449.79 crore higher compared to last year’s earnings for the same period.

On the Vande Bharat bidding process, Yadav said technical evaluation is currently underway and by January 15, the Railways expects to finalise the tender. adding that he won’t be able to comment on the aspect of reverse bidding as the matter comes under the tender committee.

BULLET TRAIN PROJECT STATUS

On the land acquisition hurdles for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project in Maharashtra, Yadav said although only 22 percent land has been acquired in Maharashtra, they are in talks with the state government and things are moving in the right direction.

“We had a detailed discussion with Chief Secretary of Maharashtra government and he has promised that within four months, land acquisition will reach up to 80 percent. Work on the awarded tenders will begin in December this year and completed in four years,” Yadav said.

PRIVATE TRAINS

Yadav expressed satisfaction on the response of private entities for the PPP in passenger train operations project.


“The response has been very good. In the Chennai cluster, six clusters have qualified. In Mumbai cluster, 11 companies have qualified and in remaining clusters, 8-10 companies have qualified,” he said.

The project is expected to bring in private investment of around Rs 30,000 crore.

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India

‘Ramayan Cruise Service’ will be launched soon on the river Saryu in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh

Project aims to give the mesmerizing experience of the divine journey to devotees visiting holy city Ayodhya

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CRUISE VESSEL

‘Ramayan Cruise Tour’ on the Saryu river in Ayodhya will be launched soon. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways today chaired a review meeting for the implementation of cruise service.

It will be the first-ever luxury Cruise service on the Saryu river (Ghagra/National Waterways-40) in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. It aims to give mesmerizing experience to devotees with one-of-its-kind spiritual journeys while cruising through the famous ghats of the holy river Saryu.

The cruise will be equipped with all luxury comfort and facilities along with all essential safety and security features at par with the global standard. The interiors of the cruise and the boarding point will be based on the theme of Ramcharitmanas. The fully air-conditioned 80-seater cruise will have large glass windows for experiencing the scenic beauty of Ghats. The cruise will be equipped with kitchen and pantry facilities for the comfort of the tourists. The cruise contains bio toilets and hybrid engines system for the ‘zero effect’ on environment.

Tourists will be taken on the ‘Ramcharitmanas Tour’, of 1-1.5 hour duration, featuring an exclusively made video film of 45-60 minutes duration, based on Ramcharitmanas by Goswami Tulsidas, covering the period from the birth of Lord Ram to his Rajyabhishek. The entire tour will cover the approximately 15-16 Km distance.There will be several activities and selfie points inspired by different episodes of Ramayan. The tour will be followed by Saryu Aarti, in which every member will be able to actively participate.

Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram, as mentioned in in the great Indian epic Ramayan. It is also the first of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Mokshdayini Sapt Puris) for the Hindus. Approximately, 2 crore tourists visit Ayodhya every year as per the data of UP tourism, for the year 2019.After completion of the Ram Mandir, it is to be believed that the inflow of the tourists will be increased.

The ‘Ramayan Cruise Tour’ will not only attract a large number of tourists but it will also generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in the region. Ministry of ports, Shipping and Waterways will provide all necessary infrastructural support for the smooth operation of the cruise service.

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India

Public comments invited for proposed rules on registering vintage vehicles

The restriction in the definition- no substantial overhaul of the vehicle which includes modification in chassis or body shell, and/or engine.

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vintage vehicles india

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has published GSR 734 (E) dated 25 Nov 2020 seeking comments and suggestions in regards to Amendment to CMVR 1989 relating to Vintage Motor Vehicles.

Through this notification the Ministry intends to formalize the registration process of the Vintage Motor Vehicles. There are no existing rules for regulating the registration process of vehicles of heritage value. These rules are proposed to be inserted as sub-rules 81A, 81B, 81C, 81D, 81E, 81F, 81G in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

The draft rules define Vintage Motor Vehicles as all those vehicles which are two-wheelers and four-wheelers (non-commercial/personal use) and are more than 50 years old from the date of their first registration (including imported vehicle) are proposed to be called as the Vintage Motor Vehicles. The restriction in the definition- no substantial overhaul of the vehicle which includes modification in chassis or body shell, and/or engine.

Procedure: It is proposed that all applications for registration shall be applied on “PARIVAHAN” portal. It is further proposed that:

• All States registering authority will appoint a nodal officer who will process all applications for registration of Vintage Motor Vehicles.

• Further, States will form a Committee which will inspect a vehicle and declare whether the vehicle is fit for registration under Vintage Motor Vehicle.

• If approved, a 10 digit alpha numeric number will be assigned to the respective Vintage vehicle. This registration shall be valid for 10 years. The format for the registration mark will consist of the letters “XX VA YY ”, where VA stands for vintage, XX stands for State code, YY will be a two letter series and “” is a number from 0001 to 9999 allotted by State Registering Authority.

• Fees for a new registration- INR 20,000 and subsequent re-registration- INR 5,000.

• If a vehicle is registered as a Vintage Motor Vehicle, the sale and purchase of the vehicle is allowed under the rules.

• Restricted use of Vintage Motor Vehicle: A Vintage Motor vehicle is allowed to run on Indian roads only for display, technical research or taking part in a vintage car rally, refueling and maintenance, exhibitions, vintage rallies, to and fro to such exhibition / car rally.

Objective is to preserve and promote the heritage of old vehicles in India.

Objections and suggestions to these draft rules, if any, may be sent to the Director (MVL), email : [email protected], Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Transport Bhawan, Parliament Street, New Delhi-110 001 within 30 days of the date of notification.

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