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Luxurious Villas now at U Tropicana Alibaug Resort

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Summer travel trends

Alibaug’s most preferred International weekend getaway, U Tropicana Alibaug Resort proudly introduces the first of its kind luxurious Villa nestled in the neatly manicured landscape in the backdrop of a tropical setting.

With India’s grandest festival of Diwali and a long vacation around the corner, the special occasion calls for an exclusive vacation for that perfect family time.

The grand opening of the luxury villas will offer lavish four bedrooms with a living room opening into a deck with private pool and sky loungers offering you a feeling of your own home with an extravagant twist. Feel like a celebrity with our private ‘Gazebo bar’ that includes a mixologist to woo you with his magic while you order those glamorous cocktails with a private party garden.

 

The outdoor rain showers and an open to sky-bath in all bedrooms and a Spa Therapy session that will do the trick of rejuvenating your souls and making you ready for the stressful city life until your next visit.

To top it all off, the villas are offering a fully serviced modular kitchen with a chef in attendance to cook your favourite dishes on demand. Other facilities include evening Barbeque, private parking and much more. All these experiences are facilitated by your private butler and maid right from the time you check-in, until you bid adieu.

On the occasion of the Villas’ opening,  Sameer Dharkar, Managing Director, Absolute Hotel Services India said, “The U properties are all about our guests and our target audiences who are profiled as the experienced travellers with sophisticated and curious minds and with U Tropicana being one of the most iconic properties of Alibaug now, it was important to take the next step in providing our world class hospitality amidst the quiet beaches, gentle hills and weekend homes of Mumbai’s top corporate honchos with some quality furnishing, state-of-the-art facilities for that perfect experience of luxury and comfort to our guests.

The Villas will serve as the perfect extension to our already well-established resort setting with other world-class amenities in Alibaug which is well accessible for everyone travelling from both Mumbai and Pune cities”.

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Business

AI’s 76% stake sale plan crashes, other alternatives to be evaluated

We ran a disinvestment process, where we made it very clear what type of bids we were interested in receiving… We asked certain type of bidders with certain bidding criteria to participate.

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Civil Aviation Ministry

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) The Central government has said that a 76 per cent stake sale process of the national carrier Air India has ended, as “no interest” was shown by bidders, however, it remains committed to the strategic divestment for which other alternatives will be evaluated.

“We ran a disinvestment process, where we made it very clear what type of bids we were interested in receiving… We asked certain type of bidders with certain bidding criteria to participate,” said Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

“No body expressed any interest during that process. So just by that set of those circumstances it is clear that that process right now is over… We have to move forward and we have to consider other alternatives, now as market conditions as industry circumstances change, we will evaluate all those alternatives but that particular specific process for the moment has come to an end, if need be, we can restart that or any other process depending upon the appropriate market circumstances.”

However, the government clearly stated that it is still committed to the idea of Air India’s strategic divestment.

Sinha added: “The government is committed to strategic disinvestment, what the modalities are and the circumstances are, we will have to monitor and evaluate as we go along.”

According to the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu a few days back the Empowered Group of Ministers set up to look at the — Air India Specific Alternate Mechanism — reviewed the situation.

The minister, who holds the charge of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said: “… Because there was no interest we have decided to review the situation soon. In the meantime to ensure that Air India runs properly a plan is being prepared by the Air India management to ensure that AI continues continues operate efficiently.

On May 31, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that “no response” was received even during the extended submission deadline for the ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) bids under Air India’s divestment process.

“As informed by the Transaction Adviser, no response has been received for the Expression of Interest floated for the strategic disinvestment of Air India,” the ministry had said in a tweet.

“Further course of action will be decided appropriately.”

The government on May 1 had released a detailed document on clarifications sought by interested bidders regarding the divestment process.

The clarification document outlined that net current liabilities as Rs 88.16 billion (Rs 8,816 crore) and “these will remain with AI and AIXL (Air India Express) as these have been incurred in the course of business.”

“After deducting Rs 88,160 mn from Rs 333,920 mn, the remaining figure of INR 245,760 mn is the debt and liability quantum that will remain with AI and AIXL.”

As per the old timelines, the submission deadline for the EOI bids was earlier extended to May 31 and consequently, the date for the “intimation to the Qualified Interested Bidders” — QIB — which was supposed to have been the next stage was slated for June 15.

It was expected that by August-end, the government will be able to determine the highest bidder.

On March 28, the government had issued a Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) inviting ‘EOI’ for the strategic divestment of AI, along with the airline’s shares in AIXL and AISATS (Air India SATS Airport Services) from private entities including the airline’s employees.

The Central government owns 100 per cent equity of Air India. In turn, the airline holds full stake in Air India Express, while it holds 50 per cent stake in the joint venture AISATS.

Accordingly, it has been planned to divest 76 per cent government stake in AI, 100 per cent in AIXL and 50 per cent in AISATS.

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Lifestyle

Motorcyclist on a multi-nation anti-plastic mission

Abhimanyu Chakrovorthy, 31, has set off on a 10,000 km crowdfunded motorcycle expedition through India and five neighbouring Southeast Asian countries to spread awareness of its pernicious effects and to encourage people to shun its use.

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anti plastic campaign

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) With India estimated to generate 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day, media professional Abhimanyu Chakrovorthy, 31, has set off on a 10,000 km crowdfunded motorcycle expedition through India and five neighbouring Southeast Asian countries to spread awareness of its pernicious effects and to encourage people to shun its use.

“I have always been environmentally conscious about issues such as climate change and wildlife, and I used to practice this concept of outdoor ethics called ‘Leave No Trace’ in the Himalayas where you pick up your own waste and dispose it off properly.

“I am also a motorcycle enthusiast who has toured quite extensively across India. So this presented a unique opportunity to merge my two passions: Motorcycling and addressing the menace of plastic pollution in Southeast Asia and India. Hence this trip from New Delhi, covering more than 10,000 km, travelling to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Nepal to raise awareness on plastic pollution,” Chakrovorthy told IANS in an interview just before he set off.

How exactly will it work on the ground?

During the journey, through tie-ups with NGOs and schools in the five countries, he has planned beach and city clean-up initiatives and will conduct short sessions/presentations with them on the global scenario in plastic pollution and what India is doing to fight it.

“Through these workshops, I will share knowledge about India’s waste management system, and also learn from them their solutions to the plastic pollution problem. Some of these countries have taken affirmative action on plastic and I want to understand more of what and how they’re doing it. The focus of my work will be on reducing, reusing and recycling waste as much as possible. Through this trip, I plan to document plastic consumption in these countries and their waste management processes,” Chakrovorthy explained.

The planning, he said, had been quite a nightmare. For instance, he figured it would cost Rs 70,000 one way through Myanmar and at least Rs 80,000 one way through Thailand.

“At this stage, a friend told me about (crowdoutsourcing platform) Milaap. This presented some hope because I couldn’t bear the cost on my own. So I got down to work and prepared my statement of purpose over one week for the trip to be advertised on Milaap.

“The fundraiser is still live on the platform and I am hoping to raise some money through it. My target is Rs 3 lakh and till now I have reached just Rs 40,000 but I am hopeful my story will resonate with people and some funding comes through Milaap. I believe the momentum against plastic pollution is strong and through this trip I will highlight all the challenges that come with waste management in Southeast Asia and India,” Chakrovorthy explained.

What about the back-up for the journey?

“I am positive that Plan A will work out, because there’s still some time to raise funds (through the platform). I am also in talks with a few potential sponsors who might come on board to help me out with resources. However, the Plan B is to simply skip Nepal and put my bike on train from Imphal (on the return leg) to New Delhi in case I fall short of money. Other than this, I don’t see any other issue,” Chakrovorthy responded.

What of the future?

“In the near future, I will be organising few more clean-ups in association with embassies and institutions such as Delhi Civil Defence and Delhi Police focusing on communities and societies by asking them to moderate their consumption so that less waste ends up in our ever-increasing landfills,” Chakrovorthy concluded.

(Vishnu Makhijani can be contacted at [email protected] )

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Blog

Mail/Express trains to get saloons for exclusive journey

Railways has given written instruction to all zonal railways to allow saloons to be attached to all scheduled mail/express trains across the country. The Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and Gatimaan expresses have been exempted from this.

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IRCTC Sloon Coach

New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) Aiming to increase earnings, Indian Railways will add a saloon to mail/express trains if booked by passengers for exclusive travel for reaching destination in comfort by paying a little more.

Known as an Inspection Car, a saloon is a specially designed rail coach with two bedrooms, a drawing/dining room, two bathrooms, an attendant’s room and a kitchen.

Facing stiff competition from low cost carriers the national transporter is in the process of coming out with many innovative approaches to perk up revenue.

Saloons are used by senior railway officials on their inspection duty. Ministers are also entitled to use the saloon during their rail journey.

Though the saloon can comfortably accommodate six passengers, one has to pay the equivalent of 18 first class fare for the same destination in the scheduled train.

Image result for saloons in train

IRCTC opens luxury railway saloons to public; coaches to offer valet service, air-conditioned rooms

“We have allowed saloon to be booked by any passenger. It would be added as an additional coach to the existing mail/express train on demand after paying the prescribed rate,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.

One can book the saloon through IRCTC, the railways’ tourism and catering wing.

Railways has given written instruction to all zonal railways to allow saloons to be attached to all scheduled mail/express trains across the country. The Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and Gatimaan expresses have been exempted from this.

Currently, a Mail/Express train have between 18 to 24 coaches.

Since the saloon is equiped with cooking facility, customers will be free to make their own catering arrangements.

Railways expect the saloon will be in demand in tourist destinations and it would also be a much sought after service by newly married couples.

By : Arun Kumar Das

( is a senior Delhi-based freelance journalist. He can be contacted at [email protected])

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