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48-day annual retreat begins in Tamil Nadu to treat giant elephants across state

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February 11: The 48-day retreat of temple elephant retreat in Tamil Nadu has begun in the state’s Thekkampatti village near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district. As per a report by the Indian Express, this year’s annual retreat for the captive elephants began on Monday as it is organised by Hindu Religious and Charitable Trust.

The retreat was be inaugurated when the elephants were fed fruits and sugarcanes by Dindigul Srinivasan, the Forest Minister, Sevur S Ramachandran, Hindu Religions and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Minister and SP Velumani, Municipal Administration Minister. Beginning a few months ago, the preparations were done to make the retreat as memorable as every year.

The government of Tamil Nadu undertook the preparations, asking the mahouts and assistants to plan the event in accordance with the Covid-19 negative certifications. They will be allowed to enter the camp only upon furnishing these certifications. This camp had been a brainchild of the late J Jayalalithaa, the former Tamil Nadu CM as she aimed at providing these jumbos with rest and relaxation for some time along with the nutritious food.

Also read: Signum Hotels & Resorts continues strengthening presence in Europe, new hotel opening in Serbia

In the 2021 edition of retreat, they are hosting as many as 26 elephants from across the state and the list includes the famous Sengamalum. This famous elephant became an internet sensation previously with her famous bob-cut hair.

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As covid surges, Delhi makes mandatory -ve test report for visitors of these 5 states

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February 27: As the Covid-19 virus is surging in a few states including Kerala and Maharashtra, the Indian capital state Delhi has taken a decision on presenting a mandatory negative Covid test report for the people travelling from 5 states before entering the UT. As per the official sources of the Delhi government, these orders will remain in place from midnight of 26 February to noon of March 15.

The submitted RT-PCR test report must not be older than 72 hours of travel. These five states are Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Also, these orders are applicable to people who are travelling to Delhi via buses, flights, or trains.

Not only Delhi, but several other states have also made it a case for the visitors to furnish a negative RT-PCR test report if they are travelling from states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh.

Also read: With expectedly increasing domestic air traffic, government to ‘likely’ remove fare band

ANI reports quoting the sources, “Delhi government took the decision because, in the past week, 86 per cent of the new virus cases have emerged from these states. Nodal officers in these states will be asked to verify COVID-19 negative reports from tests taken up to 72 hours before the flight, prior to allowing passengers to leave for Delhi.”

This step was taken as Delhi recorded 220 Covid-19 cases earlier on Thursday that was the highest number of single-day spikes in February, luckily, no death was registered. This was 4th time in February month when the single-day death toll stood nil this month.

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Air Arabia, SpiceJet can add more routes from RAK Intl. airport to other Indian states

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February 26: Emirati low-cost airline, Air Arabia is planning to add up more routes and flights exchange with Indian carrier Spicejet from the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport.

As of now, the passengers travelling from RAK International airport to Delhi via Indian low-cost airline SpiceJet are able to fly to several destinations using the domestic services of the airline. The destinations are limited to some states like Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur and Kozhikode.

Other than these, the carrier also operates direct flights between UAE and as many as 7 India cities. However, the airline plans to add more in order to improve the connectivity further.

Also read: With expectedly increasing domestic air traffic, government to ‘likely’ remove fare band

As it was expected that the flight resumption would help boost connectivity, the airport resumed its flight exchange in October last in an attempt for the emirate to position itself as a major tourist hub within the United Arab Emirates.

Sharing his take over the plan in the pipeline, Sanjay Khanna, serving as CEO of RAK International Airport quoted, “We expect even more Indian destinations to be added to SpiceJet’s direct service from Ras Al Khaimah within the coming months and years. With these additions from the various carriers, we fully anticipate reaching our pre-COVID-19 level passenger throughput by the end of 2021.”

The behind such tilt towards India is simplistic. India is represented as one of the largest aviation markets in the UAE. Numerically to explain this, in 2020 when high tensions were triggered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as many as 4 million passengers had flown from Dubai tppo several Indian cities. Explaining the situation, Khanna added, “At present, India represents our largest market for travellers and RAK Airport aims to enhance the links between nearly 3.5 million Indian nationals living in the UAE.”

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With expectedly increasing domestic air traffic, government to ‘likely’ remove fare band

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February 25: As expectations of improved domestic air traffic are increasing ahead of the summer season, the government ‘might’ remove the fare bands beside lifting other travel restrictions. This information was laid by Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri. He talked about the same while replying to the queries during the meeting of his ministry’s consultative committee earlier on Thursday.

After this, an official statement on Friday quoted that domestic air traffic is increasing day by day and has now reached a count of 3 lakh passengers in a single day. The statement also said that Puri has also talked about several steps that the ministry has been taking during the Covid-19 pandemic in order to benefit the citizens, their travel along the aviation sector while explaining his take to the Members of Parliament.

Bestowing information about the UDAN scheme, the minister also mentioned that over 300 routes have been operationalised under the scheme making travel more convenient. The committee members discussed suggestions for the privatisation of airports, opening new airports, expanding existing airports among other aviation issues.

Also read: With covid variants arriving India, India introduces new travel guidelines for intl. travellers

Further, the statement added, “He informed about the fare bands introduced with a floor price and ceiling price. He further said that in the summer schedule, as domestic traffic would increase more, the fare bands and some other restrictions are likely to be done away with.”

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