Goa has the potential to become the Venice of the East if it taps its intricate network of inland waterways for commuting, suggests Rajiv Somani, chairman and managing director of Drishti Marine, promoter of the state’s first private ferry service.
Somani, whose agency also operates a private lifeguard service along Goa’s coastline, said that the ferry service also adds to the range of offerings, in terms of “things to do” in Goa.
“The only model really close to this is the one in Venice where one can travel through waterways all the time,” Somani told IANS in an interview.
“The ferry service is more of a leisure experience. The picturesque ferry service adds to the range of offerings in terms of things to do in Goa for the hundreds and thousands of tourists who visit the state. Additionally, it also acts as a premium transit service for tourists and local residents.
“We are only targeting less than five percent of the population arriving at the airport. We understand that there are people willing to pay the fee for the trip,” he said, adding that the service would begin later this month when the tourism season begins to peak in the coastal state.
The daily ferry service will function with the help of two 40-seater, high-speed catamarans, which will ferry commuters between designated pick-up points like the state capital Panaji, heritage centres like Old Goa, beaches like Baga, Aguada and Sinquerim and the Dabolim airport.
The Airport Ferry Terminal is located at Baina beach, Vasco da Gama, and is approximately five kilometres from the Goa airport in Dabolim. A free shuttle service will be available between the ferry terminal and the airport for the convenience of passengers arriving at the airport.
Fares for the ferry service range from Rs 100 for a ride between Old Goa and Panaji to Rs 800 for a trip between the Airport Ferry Terminal (AFT) at Baina and Panaji.
The ferry will operate from 22 temporary jetties spread across the state, including tourism vantage points.”
In Phase 1 and 2 we are looking at a mix of about 22 jetties. Of these, 11 are existing jetties and 11 will be floating jetties which will be constructed by us. The present government jetties exist at Panaji, Old Goa, Chapora and Sinquerim, among other places,” he said.
Asked if the service would be competing with the state’s aggressive taxi lobby, which has been combative vis-a-vis introduction of alternative modes of mass transport, Somani said: “We are not competing with the taxi operators. One thing we were always clear about: We will not do anything which is competition to the local community”.
Somani also said that ferry services had immense potential in Goa, which is crisscrossed with waterways.
“Goa has an excellent network of waterways; what’s needed is the right kind of infrastructure. One doesn’t need to erect concrete jetties everywhere; a floating jetty like the one we are currently building in Baina works just as effectively,” he said, adding that the ferry would help better water-related experiences for visitors. (IANS)
An ancient game turning out to be a peace maker between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem
Backgammon is a deeply rooted game in the Middle-East, which is uniting segregated neighbors
Backgammon is one of the oldest board games in the world
Jerusalem, September 11, 2017: No one had ever imagined the power of Backgammon. And about how this ancient game could act as a game changer in the Middle-East.
Backgammon is one of the world’s oldest board games that is currently being used to bring back peace in the Middle-East.
Jerusalem Double project is a series of Backgammon tournament that takes place in Jerusalem. It is an inter cultural initiative by Jerusalem Foundation to create more interaction between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel is the only Jewish state in the world which is located just at the east of Mediterranean Sea. Jew is a word used for those people who profess Judaism irrespective of the place they live in.
Palestinians consist of the Arab population that hails from the land which is now controlled by Israel. They want to establish a state by the name “Palestine” on all or part of the land, which is currently controlled by Israel.
“We wanted to bring Jews and Arabs together beyond the daily grind. We wanted to create a joint cultural event in which everyone can share and we wanted to create cross over between neighborhoods that for generations have been completely segregated”, believes Zaki Djemal from Jerusalem Foundation.
Jerusalem Double chose Backgammon as a medium to break the walls between the Jews and Arabs because Backgammon is deeply rooted in the Middle-east. It is highly accessible and inclusive.
Initially, the project Jerusalem Double had faced a lot of resistance from both the communities. But, they went against the wind and left no stone unturned to make this project work. As a result, the Backgammon proved to be a catalyst towards a positive change.
In 2106, when the first Backgammon championship had happened, only 150 people showed up. But this time, 250 people participated in the tournament and competed for a cash prize of 6,000 USD.
Play can create empathy between strangers and apparent enemies and it can give us the confidence that we need to trust in each other and in the world we have been slighted, even after we have experienced pain, suffering, and fear said Zaik Djemal.
Backgammon is an outstanding initiative towards a peaceful morning in the Middle-East.
-prepared by Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter handle: @cshivani31
India is a country of vibrant race, religion, colors, and heritage. The secularist nature of the country distinguishes different it from other nations. It is also denoted as a nation of ‘unity in diversity’. Visitors traveling across the globe want to travel India for its austerity and simplicity. It is aesthetic country and there is a lot to do when you visit this beautiful country.
Undermentioned is a glimpse of the vast country and a very minimal part of it.
Here is a checklist of the things you can explore while traveling to India. It’s uniqueness always compels sojourners to visit the beautiful country.
Diwali: Festivals of Light
Festivals in India are worth a watch. The traditions are so bizarre and unique that you tend to enjoy being a part of such an affair. It becomes a memorable experience for the voyagers. The entire region flickers with lights and lamps which seem as if the stars have descended to the earth. Festivals in India have its own charm and grace.
Relic importance of Delhi
Delhi is a perfect spot for people wanting to see Indian history of colonial government or British era. Although India is very developed, it is the glimpse of slum areas where you get to see the hard hitting reality. The famous ‘Paranthe Wali Gali’ is the heart of old Delhi in the middle of Chandni Chowk. They serve a variety of stuffed parantha made with wheat dough and lightly fried on both sides. One of the fascinating things is that some of the places there have been around for 100 years or more.
At its first sight, you will be spellbound by the impressive structure located on the outskirts of Yamuna River. The dome like structure and unworldly architecture of the temple blow away the onlooker. When the sun descends, temple lit up in its magical sense. Amidst of this exquisite creation, you will find yourself a minuscule.
Grandeur Himalaya Peaks
Plan a trip to mountain valley and land up to Spiti Valley, the truest quintessence of the great Himalaya. If you want to get the mesmerizing sight of Himalayas, you must travel to Spiti Valley. It begins from Shimla and ends in Manali. Here you will be encountered with snow covered mountains surrounding you all the time. During the journey, you will also visit the old tribal group and to witness their cultures and traditions is a treat.
Goa: The Blue Land
Enroute to Goa to have the Indian beach experience. To name a few you can visit Palolem beach of Goa, this area has everything starting with whitish clean sand, dark blue water, palm trees and the sun constantly shining. You get to see everything on the canvas like the independent traveler, couples, vacationers, sea food, beverages and the laid back atmosphere that all together makes it a perfect destination for the travelers.
Kashmir: Paradise on Earth
Kashmir is also known as paradise on earth. You can’t miss the chance to glare the beauty of Kashmir when you are in India. The state is blessed with invincible beauty and people who visit here are amazed to see the beautiful creation of God. There is a lot to see in Kashmir, to name a few important places in Kashmir, start with Srinagar, and one of the famous attraction here is Dal Lake. Gulmarg is a place to visit during winters as the entire countryside is covered in a fresh sheet of snow.
Leh and Ladakh are another major attraction of Kashmir which is as magnificent as ever. One thing appealing about this place is the climate which is extremely pleasant which gives relief to the mind and nature gives relief to the eye.
Your journey should always teach you, it should always be of high relevance to you because that’s where you are spending your precious time and India is a country which has a lot of disguised beauty and bizarre traditional values. You can only become empathetic to other culture if you will try to fit into their shoes, and there is much more to this beautiful country which meets the eye of the traveler.
– by a Staff writer of Newsgram
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