Sea plane routes connecting the various islands of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar as well as Hyderabad’s Prakasam Barrage with Nagarjunasagar in Telangana are among the routes being offered to airlines under the fourth round of UDAN scheme.The Ministry of Civil Aviation invited bids for 134 routes under the low-cost flying scheme, also known as Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), on Friday. Interested players can submit their proposals by February 22.Islands of Agatti, Kavaratti, and Mincoy in Lakshadweep have been offered for bidding. Popular islands of Andaman and Nicobar such as Hutbay, Neil, Long Island,Havelock have also been sought to be connected with sea planes under this round of UDAN.On the request of the State government, the Ministry has also invited interest for connecting Prakasam Barrage over Krishna river with Hyderabad as well as Nagarjunasagar dam in Telangana.Last month, the Ministry awarded 235 routes after the successful completion of the third round of bidding for UDAN routes. Players have six months to commence services. These included unserved airports of Andaman and Nicobar at Campbell Bay, Shibpur, Car Nicobar, and six watedromes at Guwahati River Front and Umrangso Reservoir in Assam, Nagarjuna Sagar dam in Telangana, and Shatrunjay Dam and Statue of Unity in Gujarat.Several airports in the northeast region such as Tezpur, Shillong, Passighat and Aizawl have also been offered again for bidding after 56 routes were withdrawn from Air Deccan and Air Odisha because of their failure to provide regular services.Of the 428 routes awarded to airlines under the first two rounds of bidding, 138 have taken off so far.
It’s not for nothing the world is in awe of China for whatever new it does virtually every day. As this huge port city braces for the challenge of hosting the high profile Asian Games, the signs of progress and prosperity can be seen all around.Participants perform during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou on Friday.From the bustling Baiyun International Airport to the brand new Asian Games complex is almost an hour-long drive. It criss-crosses through heavy traffic which moves at a fast pace and reflects how the host city has prepared to handle the big event starting on November 12.The flowing highways leading to the Asian Games complex is one journey which actually captures how China has meticulously prepared for an event of this stature.It would seem as a smaller one in comparison to the Olympics held in Beijing in 2008 but in reality, the Asian Games has grown up to be a big event.If one were to compare Guangzhou with how New Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games, every facet is different.The word corruption cannot be heard here nor do you hear of bickering between agencies involved in the various works, with close to 40 new venues made for a plethora of sporting events.It’s a task which has been completed so well that no where one finds post-construction debris piled up or last-minute coats of paint being applied.For a country where there is virtually no scope for organisational glitches, more than big personalities involved in the work, the faces of volunteers are so different.advertisementBack in 2008, much as volunteers in Beijing tried hard to speak in English, it was a struggle for the non-Chinese to deal with them. From something as simple as asking for a subway route or giving instructions to a cab driver, unless you had addresses written in Chinese, it was a struggle.Now, in a matter of two years, the change is huge and stark. Cheerful volunteers in Guangzhou are not the only ones who are conscious they have to speak English to be understood and be helpful.Even those who have been hardcore ‘Chinese’ realise that the importance of English, and are making an effort to converse in one of the most widely spoken languages around the globe.The signage around the Asian Games sub-city is mostly in English and for people who have been coming to this country repeatedly, this is a big change. Old timers recall how in 1990, when Beijing hosted the Asian Games, it reflected the old China.People then were actually hesitant to interact with people from outside the country. Today, there is no such hesitancy in Guangzhou as from the young college kid — who has taken it as a challenge to be a volunteer – to a waiter in a hotel, the desire to speak English is pronounced.For those who have watched sport for decades and seen China grow, they swear this country is dead serious about not just producing champions but also how it wants to be seen as a nation which can host any big event.Undoubtedly, after the success of the Olympics in 2008, holding an Asian Games is being seen as something simple.But the bigger picture is how China could again emerge as one of the strong contenders for hosting yet another edition of an Olympics in the future.At a time when India doesn’t know whether or not to bid for the 2019 Asian Games, China’s message to the world is loud and clear.If it comes to the 2024 Olympics or the ones in 2028, they may well again throw their hats in the ring.And this is why the world sees China with admiration and awe. It’s a big achievement for a nation to hold Olympics and Asian Games within a gap of two years. China sure is a superpower today.
The world’s premier sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, and news channel Headlines Today, gave away sports awards in Bangalore on Thursday. Among the fourteen awards that were given away, Ramakant Achrekar, the coach of Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli, got the Lifetime Achievement Award. Somdev Devvarman bagged the Athlete of the Year Award. Besides his stellar performances in the Commonwealth Games and the Asiad, his consistent climb up the ATP charts definitely makes 2010 his year of reckoning. The Sportskid of the Year Award went to Wasim Jaffer’s nephew Arman Jaffer, who scored 498 in 490 balls in the Giles Shield in December last year. The Asiad Gold winning 4×400 meter relay quartet bagged the award for the Best Sporting Moment of the Year. Karnataka’s Ashwini Akunji received the award on behalf of her teammates. While Indian cricket coach Gary Kirsten got the Coach of the Year Award, Indian Test Team bagged the Team of the Year award, a fitting tribute to the team, which had climbed to the top of ICC Test ratings and stayed there despite all odds. The Sportsperson of the Year Award went to master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa- Authorities say Sioux City firefighters have rescued a woman and three children who were trapped by flames in their second-floor home.Sioux City Fire Rescue was called to 3826 Garretson Avenue a little after 7:10 PM and found heavy smoke visible near the entrance of the two-story home upon arrival.Firefighters say flames in a stairwell kept the occupants from escaping the danger.Fire personnel assisted with removing the occupants from the balcony and quickly extinguished the fire.No injuries have been reported.Fire investigators have ruled the blaze accidental with the cause being an overloaded electrical circuit near the entrance.The structure sustained moderate fire damage and has been red tagged.