Pune: Passengers on Delhi-Pune Air India flight AI 849 had a close shave after it overshot the 2,535-metre runway at the Lohegaon Airport in Pune, forcing an emergency evacuation of those aboard. No one was injured. Authorities said all 152 passengers were safely evacuated, while the runway was shut down for over an hour as the aircraft had to be towed awayA number of flights between 6.27 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. were delayed as a result.“The plane overshot the runway after touching down at 6:27 p.m. It halted safely and was towed away. All passengers were evacuated using chutes and no one was injured,” said Air India officials.While many flights were delayed, details were awaited at the time of going to press. Directorate General of Civil Aviation officials said the incident was serious in nature and would be investigated. “This is a case of runway excursion, which seems to be due to excessive tail winds. But there is no damage to the aircraft. A DGCA team from Mumbai will visit Pune on Saturday,” officials said. The Pune Airport forms part of the Indian Air Force’s Lohegaon Air Base and currently handles 126 civil aircraft movements. Air India officials said that a ferry flight was being arranged to fly from Delhi to Pune for the passengers waiting to fly to the capital.
Lawyers from the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers have expressed their concern over the arrest of advocate Surendra Gadling from his house in Nagpur, alleging an attack on lawyers who are fighting cases of marginalised people.Mr. Gadling has been arrested in relation with the violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune when Dalits congregated to celebrate the British victory over Peshwas with the help of Mahar soldiers.Addressing the media here on Thursday, IAPL vice-president Sudha Bharadwaj said that the sudden arrest was part of a pattern where “people’s lawyers” are being targeted, in violation of the widely-held norm that “being a lawyer of a political prisoner is not a crime”.A release by the IAPL said that this is part of a larger pattern: advocates Upendra Nayak of Odisha, Murugan of Tamil Nadu and Satyendra Chaubey of Chhattisgarh “have all been implicated in the cases of their own clients, which is absolutely unacceptable as per United Nations principles on the role of lawyers”.“In the morning of June 6, 2018, the Pune Police arrested senior advocate Surendra Gadling from his house in Nagpur at 6 a.m. The arrest has been made in connection with an FIR registered on January 8, 2018 at Vishrambaug PS in Pune. The FIR originally alleged inciting communal harmony at the Elgar Parishad program organised on December 31, 2018 to commemorate 200 years of the victory of Mahar soldiers over the Peshwa in the Bhima Koregaon battle,” the release said. “In March 2018, the case was converted into a criminal conspiracy. On April 17, 2018, though the FIR did not originally name advocate Gadling, the police raided his house and office and confiscated all possible CDs, hard disks, computer systems – including the family’s devices. Yesterday he and other intellectuals and activists were arrested in the same case, by adding several sections of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which ensures long detention and difficulty in obtaining bail.”Apart from Mr. Gadling, head of the English department at Nagpur University Shoma Sen, Marathi poet Sudhir Dhavale, Rona Wilson of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners and anti-displacement activist Mahesh Raut have also been arrested.“The bias of the state is all the more obvious when the leaders of Hindutva organisations named in many complaints and FIRs as instigators of the Bhima Koregaon violence – Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide – whose anticipatory bail applications have been refused by even the Supreme Court, still roam free,” the release said.
A view of the Pereybere beach, the smallest and one of the best in the islandRediscovered in the 16th century (though Arab and Malay sailors are known to have visited the island as early as the 10th century) by the Portuguese, Mauritius was uninhabited until 1598 when first the Dutch,,A view of the Pereybere beach, the smallest and one of the best in the islandRediscovered in the 16th century (though Arab and Malay sailors are known to have visited the island as early as the 10th century) by the Portuguese, Mauritius was uninhabited until 1598 when first the Dutch, then French and finally the British colonised the tiny island before it became independent in 1968.Even though the British rule lasted a relatively longer period, the French roots are more evident in the Mauritian lifestyle and people still prefer to speak Creole and French over the official English language.Right from the time when you set foot at the SSR International Airport at Plaisance, chances are that if you say you are from India, the locals, who proudly refer to the island as ‘Little India’-a moniker attributed to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, will give you a warmer welcome. Not surprising since over 68 per cent of Mauritians are of Indian origin whose forefathers migrated to Mauritius as indentured labourers during the British rule.Though India is seventh among top 10 nations in the Mauritius tourism pie, it contributes only a fraction to the market dominated by Europe till now. However, the Mauritian Tourism minister Nando Bodha plans to change that. He recently announced plans to attract over 100,000 Indian tourists within the next five years, more than doubling the number from the existing 49,779 (as per February 25, 2011 data). Says the minister, “Being initially frequented by honeymooners only, today we have different segment of travellers from India visiting the island.””Both Mauritius and India have a long standing historical and cultural connect. It offers the Indian travellers a perfect feel of home away from home while taking an international vacation with family, friends or spouse,” adds Bodha.Deputy director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) Vijaye Haulder agrees. “We speak Hindi, our culture and food habits are similar, what’s not to like,” he says.Mauritian Sega dancers on the beachThis ‘rainbow’ nation offers a blend of cultures, Indian, African, Chinese, French and British. And there’s plenty to do, from various sporting activities to visiting leisure parks, undersea walks, submarine rides to watching hundreds of dolphins accompanying your catamaran, lazing on beaches or long drives on the ‘tea route’ lined by tea estates are just a few of the excellent options. For a sublime experience visit the Belle Mare beach before the first light to view the perfect sunrise and head to Flic en Flac at dusk for the most surreal sunset you are likely to see, ever. At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlement in southeast Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Or visit a former sugar factory at Beau Plan’s Aventure du Sucre. The museum here tells the story of sugar, the original economy booster once upon a time, and along the way covers the history of Mauritius.Have you heard of the Talipot Palm which flowers once in 60 years and withers thereafter? If you are lucky you might just see one in full bloom at the SSR Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses which also houses 500 different species of plants. With rising spending power, the Indian tourist, who tends to spend over Rs 16,000 per person per day, is increasingly being wooed by the island which relies on tourism as one of its prime sources of income. “Mauritius is an extremely popular mid-haul destination especially among the honeymoon travellers,” agrees Amal Rakeshi, Thomas Cook’s associate vice president Leisure Travel Outbound.”In the past few years it has caught up with families also. Honeymooners and families looking for a relaxing holiday with a focus on water sports look at Mauritius as an ideal destination,” adds Rakeshi. Arrivals from India, the nation’s top source for Asian tourists, went up by 26.8 per cent in 2010 to 49,779 (39,252 in 2009).In response, the authorities in the island nation are looking at new ways to woo the Indian tourist too. “We organise international golf tournaments and aim to introduce polo to attract the top segment of travellers,” says MTPA’s Haulder.Exploring the undersea world is a popular choice among touristsBodha’s ministry is also promoting the island as a wedding destination for Indians on the lookout for innovative options for this most memorable day. In the last six months MTPA has helped in organising over five big Indian weddings. “You have to give us at least a three month prior notice, we’ll take care of the rest for you,” says Haulder adding that they had to turn down half a dozen requests due to lack of time recently. The MTPA has instituted a special committee to push the wedding tourism strategy.Travelling to the island can be comparatively expensive though. It has four direct entry points from India-Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, though only the Mauritian national carrier flies on this route.Rakeshi attributes the sustained interest to special deals at popular resorts which more than make up for the airfare. “Direct flights, no crime and discrimination, people of Indian origin works with travellers. It’s a mix of activities and sightseeing to families who are looking for more than relaxation. It’s the safe, easy to get around, more exotic than the Far East destination image that sells,” he says.”Good resorts with private access to nice pristine beaches, lack of Thailand-like nightlife makes it more exotic than the other beach destinations closer home,” adds Rakeshi.Whether you are the gung-ho activity seeker or looking for a romantic interlude, Mauritius offers more than you can expect to pack in on your average three- to seven-day trip. So pack your swimsuits and head for this exotic island just about seven hours by flight from India. The writer is a journalist based in Mauritius.advertisementadvertisement
Story Highlights Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (September 25), to discuss activities for World Maritime Week, MAJ Director General, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, said the approach is particularly important as shipping technology changes. The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) is welcoming the thrust of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) towards industry-led maritime education and training.Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (September 25), to discuss activities for World Maritime Week, MAJ Director General, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, said the approach is particularly important as shipping technology changes.“The shipping industry now has very advanced vessels. For example, there is now the mandatory inclusion of an Electro-Technical Officer (ETO) or Electrical Officer on board some vessels,” Mr. Brady said.The ETO is a licensed member of the engine department of a merchant ship as per Section A-III/6 of the International Convention of Standards and Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Code, and is the most vital in the technical hierarchy of modern advanced ships with automated and conventional electrical and electronic systems.The Director General said this is necessary because the average marine engineer could not cope with the advanced electronics with which modern ships are equipped.“You could look, for example, at communications. All communications that you enjoy ashore can be enjoyed at sea, but it takes a little bit more to ensure that it is done and kept as efficiently,” he said.“The communication is sustained over a long period of time because as you may realise, the marine environment is very rough. It can be very hostile because of the content of salt in the atmosphere and, therefore, our equipment has to be maintained more frequently,” Mr. Brady added.The Director General pointed out that the expertise required involves dealing with offshore communications systems and satellite communications systems.“We even have communications systems for the controls on the ship itself from ashore, thousands of miles away that have revolutionised shipping completely.This means that while you still have to train people to work at sea, you’ll have fewer people on board the ship and more people ashore tending to the ship remotely,” he said.This, he argued, is the future of shipping, and that is what persons in the industry have to be trained to do.The Director General said the technology is now so far advanced that “we have to equip our people to be competent as opposed to just learned or educated”.“You must be able to apply the knowledge that you learn to whatsoever you are doing at sea, so the addition of the Festo Lab at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), the technological advances that they have there and the emphasis that’s being placed on industry is not only critical to the maritime sector but also timely and visionary,” he said.On September 19, the CMU officially opened the world’s largest Festo Authorised and Certified Training (FACT) Centre at its Palisadoes Park Campus, aimed at bringing a responsive approach to industry needs.World Maritime Week is being observed from September 23 to 28. “The shipping industry now has very advanced vessels. For example, there is now the mandatory inclusion of an Electro-Technical Officer (ETO) or Electrical Officer on board some vessels,” Mr. Brady said. The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) is welcoming the thrust of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) towards industry-led maritime education and training.
zoomImage Courtesy: Conrad Industries US shipbuilder Conrad Industries has delivered the Clean Jacksonville, the first LNG bunker barge built in North America.The Clean Jacksonville, which was constructed at Conrad Orange Shipyard in Texas, conducted safe and successful gas trials in Port Fourchon, Louisiana.The vessel will enter service for TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico in the Port of Jacksonville, where it will bunker two Marlin Class containerships operating on LNG fuel between Jacksonville and San Juan, Puerto Rico.“It is the first LNG bunker barge built in North America. It is the first time the GTT membrane system has been installed in a non self-propelled barge in the U.S. It is the first time an LNG bunker mast of this type has been built. The list goes on,” Johnny Conrad, President and CEO of Conrad Industries, said.“The use of LNG as a maritime fuel results in tremendous environmental benefits – including air and water quality improvements – and this barge is the final critical component of our LNG program in Jacksonville,” Tim Nolan, President and CEO of TOTE, said.