Tag Archives: Union Minister

Rights of air passengers announced by MoCA

Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister, Civil Aviation, along with Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, have released the passenger charter. If a domestic flight is expected to be delayed by more than six hours, the airline would offer an option of ‘alternate flight’ to the passenger within that time, or it will refund the full price of the ticket. The charter also stated that if the passenger is informed of a flight cancellation less than two weeks prior to departure, the airline has to give an alternate flight to passenger or refund the ticket completely. In fact, at the time of booking, the airline has to clearly indicate the amount of refund money that will be given to passenger in case of cancellation. In case a passenger is denied boarding due to over booking of a flight, the passenger shall not hold the airline liable for compensation in case he was given an alternate flight within one hour of original flight’s departure. The charter also states that passengers can cancel tickets without having to pay any amount within a day of the booking and also claim enhanced compensation for loss of baggage from airlines. However, the new charter states that zero cancellation charge won’t apply if the tickets are booked less than seven days before the scheduled departure time of the flight.      

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MoCA’s ‘Aviation Conclave 2019’ aims to usher in new aviation business to India

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, in association with Airports Authority of India and Confederation of Indian Industry, has organised ‘Aviation Conclave 2019’ with an overarching theme of ‘Flying for All’ in Delhi. The conclave deliberated upon taking the government’s agenda to bring new aviation business to India, in particular, drones systems, manufacturing of aircraft in India, financing and leasing of aircraft from India by Indian and foreign airlines, transforming Indian airports into next-gen aviation hubs, and unleashing the air cargo potential by integrating every village of India in global value chains. Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, stated that realising the government’s vision of making ‘Flying for All’ a reality underpins the government’s commitment to bring about a veritable revolution in the Indian aviation sector. “This conclave is about the future of Indian aviation – it bringing together industry leaders, government and regulators for setting the tone and propelling us to realise our Vision 2040”, he stated. Over 30 industry leaders deliberated across five key sessions covering the Drone-Ecosystem Policy Roadmap, Roadmap for Manufacturing Aircraft and associated equipment, including Regional Transport Aircraft in India, Project Rupee Raftaar- Aircraft Financing and Leasing from India, National Air Cargo Policy, and Mission to transform Indian Airports into Next-Gen Aviation Hubs. The deliberations threw up key catalysts to fast track the holistic growth of the passenger, cargo and MRO sectors. Commenting on the objectives of the conclave, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State of Civil Aviation said, “With more than a hundred commercially-connected airports, aviation is now central to the lives of Indians. We are committed to growing the industry by encouraging and opening new segments. I am confident that this conclave with its …

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Alphons inaugurates Eco Circuit project in Kerala

K J Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism has inaugurated the project ‘Development of Eco Circuit: Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady’ under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism in the presence of K Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala at Vagamon in Kerala. This Eco Circuit project was sanctioned in December 2015 for Rs 76.55 crores.  Major works carried out under the project includes Eco Adventure Tourism Park at Vagamon, Cultural Centre at Kadamanitta, Eco Log Huts at Peerumedu, Idukki, Approach Roads, walking trails, rain shelters at Pine Valley Forest, Thekkady, Kumily, Moozhiyar Dam, Penstock and Kakki Dam. Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. Under this scheme the Government is focussing on development of quality infrastructure in the country with objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors on one hand and on other hand fostering the economic growth. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 77 projects worth projects for Rs. 6131.88 crore to 30 states and UTs. 30 projects / major components of projects are expected to be completed during the current financial year, of which 12 projects worth Rs 1024.49 crore, covering the states of Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Kerala and Sikkim have already been inaugurated. The Ministry of Tourism recognising the tourism potential of the state has sanctioned seven projects in Kerala under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes for an approximate amount of Rs 550 crores.

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Tourism Minister lays foundation stone for Spiritual Circuit in Kerala

Union Minister of State for Tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam laid the foundation stone for a spiritual circuit connecting Sivagiri Sree Narayana Guru Ashram, Arruvipuram, Kunnumpara Sree Subrahmania Swamy temple and Chembazhanthi Sree Narayana Gurukulam, at a function held at Sivagiri Mutt, Varkala near Thiruvananthapuram. The circuit will have facilities like a craft bazaar, bus shelters and an audio-video virtual reality show. Speaking on the occasion, Alphons said that the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned seven projects to Kerala under the Swadesh Darshan and Prashad schemes at an approximate amount of Rs 550 crore. He further said that Kerala’s future lies in exploring the possibilities in tourism sector. The project was sanctioned in January 2019 for Rs 69.47 crore.

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Government allocates Rs 64,587 crore for Railways in 2019-20: Budget 2019

In the Interim Budget 2019-20, the Railways has been allocated Rs 64,587 crore. The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs 1,58,658 crore. This was stated by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Piyush Goyal while presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament. He said, “Indian Railways has experienced the safest year in its history as all Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network have been eliminated”. On the introduction of the first indigenously developed and manufactured semi high-speed Vande Bharat Express, he said, “ This will give Indian passengers world-class experience with speed, service and safety. This major leap in wholly-developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs.”

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KJ Alphons inaugurates first Swadesh Darshan project in Sikkim

K J Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism has inaugurated the project ‘Development of North East Circuit: Rangpo– Rorathang- Aritar- Phadamchen- Nathang-Sherathang- Tsongmo- Gangtok-Phodong- Mangan- Lachung-Yumthang- Lachen- Thangu-Gurudongmer- Mangan- Gangtok-Tuminlingee- Singtam’ implemented under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism in the presence of Ugen T Gyatso, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Government of Sikkim at Zero Point, Gangtok. This project was sanctioned by Ministry of Tourism in June 2015 for Rs 98.05 crores. One of the many challenges region faces in development of tourism is the absence of quality infrastructure, services and awareness about the array of tourism products region has to offer. The Ministry is carrying out number of activities to handle the issues on above fronts. On one hand, the Ministry has given great impetus to the tourism infrastructure in the region under its flagship schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD. For development of tourism infrastructure, the Ministry has sanctioned 16 projects for Rs 1349.04 crores covering all North Eastern States under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD.  The Ministry is actively working with other Central Ministries like M/o Culture, M/o DONER, M/o Road Transport and Highways, M /o Civil Aviation, etc for development of tourism in the region. For promotion of North East region Ministry carries out special promotion in domestic and international markets highlighting regions diversity, tourism products and its rich culture. The Ministry of Tourism has also set up hotel managements and food craft institutes for creating skilled manpower in tourism and hospitality sector in the North Eastern Region.  

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MoCA launches 46 tourism routes under UDAN 3

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) awarded 235 routes to different airlines, out of which 46 are tourism routes, and 189 are under Regional Connectivity Scheme. Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister, Civil Aviation, said, revealed, “We are working with Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Commerce, as we have sanctioned a programme of 12 champion sectors of service development, under which Rs 5000 crores were allowed as sanctions. Part of that money is being given to MOT, which in turn is giving that money to aviation ministry for these routes.” Rajeev Nayan Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, shared that for the first time MOT came on board for the UDAN scheme. “MOT asked us to conduct tourism route-wise bidding, for which they will be providing funds. The difference between MOT route and the conventional RCS UDAN route is that MOT wants tourist places should be connected among themselves. It may happen that the airport which they are wanting may have enough flights but between two tourist destinations, there may not be a flight. So the MOT’s intention was that we should conduct the bidding, not for individual airports, but for routes which are specified by them. MOT has in turn got it collated by interacting with the tourism professionals, both in the private sector as well as the government sector, including state governments and other stakeholders before giving it to us,” he said.

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Kannur airport to start operations from October 1

Commercial operations are all set to start from Kannur International Airport in Kerala from October 1, 2018. This was recently announced at a joint press conference by Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister, Civil Aviation, along with KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism; Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation; as well as RN Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation. The officials shared that all the pending licences would be cleared before September 1 and the final aerodrome licence would also be given by that date. The airport will play a major role under the UDAN scheme of the government. Also, three domestic carriers will be operating international flights from this airport. Jet Airways will be flying to Abu Dhabi; Go Air would ply to Dammam and IndiGo will be flying to Doha from Kannur airport.

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Wide-bodied aircraft operations to restart at Calicut Airport

Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, alongside KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C),  Tourism and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, has announced that operations of wide-bodied aircraft will be restarting from Calicut Airport in Kerala. Accordingly, DGCA has accepted the safety assessment and advised AAI for commencing operations of A330 and B-777 aircraft of Saudi Arabian Airlines with strict compliance with the mitigation measures to ensure safety operations. In future, any other airline may also start operations at the airport. With this move, a long standing demand of the people in Kerala as well as of the airline has been met. The minister also announced that in future, Calicut Airport could be used as an embarkation point for Haj operations too.

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Mumbai Port Trust lays foundation stone for international cruise terminal

A top-level delegation led by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt of India, gathered inside Mumbai Port to lay the foundation stone for the new international cruise terminal. Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) proposes to handle 80 per cent of the cruise passengers that will arrive at the port once the terminal is complete. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, MPT, said, “As per our consultant’s report, we have the potential to bring in 30 lakh passengers. Based on that projection, we have prepared a second SOP on a national level. We have also recently exempted cruise passengers from e-visa and this is in line with our efforts to make immigration process for international tourists easier and faster. With the new terminal, the area of cruise terminal will be 4.15 lakh sq feet, almost 10 times bigger than what we have today.” Bhatia added that the new terminal will have all the facilities of the domestic airport. Also present at the ceremony were Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra and Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of India.

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