Tourism Ministry to decide carrying capacity of Taj Mahal

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Taj MahalNew Delhi: The Indian Tourism Ministry has received a draft report on a study on Taj Mahal conducted by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and on the basis of the final recommendation of this institute, the carrying capacity or the maximum number of tourists to be allowed to visit the monument would be determined.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to an unstarred question in the Lok Sabha today

Conservation of Taj Mahal is a priority and the monument is in a good state of preservation, the Minister told the House.


24 Airports in India Identified for Domestic Cargo Terminals

Newsroom24x7 Desk

omestic cargo terminalNew Delhi: 24 airports at Tier-II/III (non-metro) cities have been identified where Common User Domestic Cargo Terminal (CUDCT) is proposed to be established by carrying out cargo feasibility study and minor modifications in the old/redundant passenger terminal buildings.

Giving this information, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma stated in a written reply in Lok Sabha today that keeping in view the requirements, cargo feasibility study is conducted regularly to provide basic infrastructure.

Keeping the current requirement in perspective the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided to utilise old and redundant passenger buildings with minor modifications or by creating a new facilities for International cargo operations. AAI has already established a Common User Domestic Air Cargo Terminals at airports in Coimbatore, Jaipur and Lucknow.

Earthquake Nepal: Indian Army takes up major rescue and relief operation

Army Operation Maitri (Update at 5 Pm on 27 Apr)

Newsroom24x7 Desk

earthquake Nepal-Indian Army
earthquake Nepal-Indian Army

New Delhi: Under “Operation Maitri” – the ongoing rescue and relief operations of Indian Army (IA) being undertaken keeping in focus the priorities underscored by Nepal Army, a Task Force(TF) Headquarters has been established in Kathmandu under Maj Gen Sandhu of IA. Another TF has been set up at Barpak under Brig Gamlin of IA, today.

Road from Kathmandu to Pokhara has been opened up by Engineer Task Force yesterday. Satellite communication link between Nepalese Army Head Quarters and Indian Army Engineer Task Force has been established. In addition, a Movement Control Team has been set up in Kathmandu to direct relief convoys to affected areas.

earthquake Nepal2Following stores have been or are being inducted:

(a) 4 ALH and 2 Cheetah helicopters are under induction at Pokhara where a Helicopter Base is being established.

(b) The process was on today to complete the induction of 18 Medical Teams (3 Field Hospitals) has been completed. One Field Hospital has been deployed at Rajdalgarh near Lalitpur with 1 Orthopedic specialist, 1 Surgical Specialist and 1 Anesthetist, along with attached medical staff. Additional doctors have been tasked to cover an area stretching over a radius of 80 Km radius around the base through two Mobile Medical Teams.

(c) One Engineer Task Force (ETF) has been inducted on April 26, comprising 40 personnel. 5 Earth Moving Equipment (Engineer Plant) and Generators.

(d) 1400 Blankets and 40 Tents were brought yesterday and 5000 blankets and 500 tents were being brought for distribution in the affected area today by road.

(e) 10 INMARSAT (Satellite Phones) were brought as part of rescue and relief material yesterday and  5 High Frequency communication detachments for direct communication has been inducted today.

(f) Electrical Damage Assessment Team was pressed into operation today.

The Pension Office at Pokhara is now functioning as a Multi-national Coordination Centre. Helicopters are being employed to evacuate people from inaccessible areas and adhoc helipads are being constructed at remote and inaccessible areas. 203 civilians have been evacuated to safe areas and 47 civilians evacuated to hospitals in joint effort with NDRF & IAF.

The Indian Army expedition team located at Everest Base Camp continues to assist in evacuation and rendering medical aid to the needy.

Nepal earthquake: India, US, and UK put relief initiative in top gear

Newsroom24x7 Desk

India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar
India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar

New Delhi: India is carrying out “Operation Maitri” (operation friendship) and the primary mission of this exercise is rapid rescue and relief response for the earthquake affected people in Nepal.

The death toll due to the havoc and destruction caused by the Nepal earthquake has risen to 3617 and the number of those injured is more than 6500, according to latest reports.

National Disaster Response Force teams from India have fanned out in the worst affected areas and the NDRF personnel are engaged in a massive rescue and relief operation.

indian nationals evacuated-nepal
Indian nationals evacuated from Kathmandu reach Delhi

Briefing media persons, India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said that 13 Military aircraft (4 C-17, 3 C-130, 4 IL-76 and 2 AN-32) have been deployed for relief work in Nepal. Besides 3 civil aircraft (2 from Air India and one Jet Airways) have also been engaged for bringing back stranded Indians and those from other countries. As there were aftershocks and the Kathmandu airport was closed for a few hours Sunday afternoon, the relief sorties were suspended for some time, the foreign secretary told journalists.

Three Army field hospitals, engineering task force and civilian doctors are also engaged in relief work. several tonnes of supplies, including blankets, tents, water and food have been airlifted, Jaishankar said.

US is also working closely with the government of Nepal to provide assistance and support. USAID is preparing to deploy a Disaster Assistance Response Team and is activating an Urban Search and Rescue Team to accompany disaster experts and assist with assessments of the situation. In the meanwhile, US Ambassador Bodde has issued a disaster declaration in order to immediately release an initial $1 million for humanitarian assistance.

In a statement to the people in Nepal and the region affected by this tragedy, US Foreign Secretary John Kerry said: “The United States stands with you during this difficult time.”

British relief for Nepal
UK search and rescue personnel board a flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. Picture: Jess Lea/DFID

The British Department for International Development (DFID) has also deployed a team of more than 60 search and rescue responders and medical experts as part of a cross-government capacity surge to support the relief effort in Nepal, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced this evening.

A DFID-chartered flight is due to leave London this evening for Kathmandu. It will be carrying:

  • seven UK International Search and Rescue crews, four search and rescue dogs, a medical support team and a hazardous materials specialist. They will take with them more than 11 tonnes of kit, including torches, axes, rope, search cameras, stretchers and tents;
  • trauma medics travelling as part of a DFID-deployed UK Med team;
  • a five-strong Foreign Office Rapid Deployment Team who will provide further consular assistance for British nationals affected by the disaster; and
  • experts from leading aid agencies including the British Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and Map Action, an international disaster mapping charity.

They will join the growing international aid effort in Kathmandu and help direct much-needed assistance. A £5 million package of UK support, including £3 million released under the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) so partners can address immediate needs on the ground and £2 million for the British Red Cross.

Britain’s Rapid Response Facility is a network of pre-approved specialist aid organisations and private businesses who can rapidly deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to affected people.