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Assam to soon start 50 Water Taxis between Guwahati city and Airport: Minister

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Assam, Wikimedia
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Guwahati, March 28, 2017: Assam will soon start water taxis between Guwahati city and the airport near here, a state minister said on Tuesday.

Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said this while addressing a press conference and added that the government has decided to bring in 50 water taxis soon. The introduction of water taxis will reduce travel time between Guwahati city and the airport to a mere 18 minutes.

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“A jetty will be developed near the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (LGBI). The water taxis will take the visitors from the jetty in the city to the proposed jetty near the airport. From there, air conditioned buses of the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) will take the visitors to the airport in absolute comfort,” Patowary said.

He said the government has also taken up several steps to revitalise inland water transport in Assam, and added that the Central government has also notified nine new national waterways in Assam, apart from the Brahmaputra and Barak national waterways.

“We are planning to improve and upgrade all the jetties in Assam, the number of which is 101 at this moment. Most of them are in dilapidated condition. If needed, we are going to set up some more jetties with modern technologies to make the waterways vibrant. The use of waterways will reduce the transportation cost in the landlocked state to a great extent,” the minister said.

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The minister added that the government is also in the process of bringing back the government barges which are in Kolkata now. “Of 18 such barges, seven have already been brought back to Assam and the process is on to bring back the 11 others to make the waterways very effective in Assam.”

The Assam government has already decided to dredge the Brahmaputra river and other national waterways to make the river transport effective.

“We are going to sign an MoU with the central government soon for dredging the Brahmaputtra river from Sadiya to Dhubri,” Patowary said, adding that the government also plans to dredge the Brahmaputra river from Dhubri to neighbouring Bangladesh, which will make river transport easier with ports in Bangladesh. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC