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Kerala: Catholic Church wants permission to produce more wine

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A Catholic Church named Syro Malabar Church in Kochi, Kerala, which earlier had supported the government to prohibit the sacramental wine, has recently been drowned in controversy by asking for permission to increase the production of sacramental wine.

The church is grabbing all the attention of different news channels since last week after the news came up floating that the church authorities had applied for a permission to increase the production of wine.

“Yes, we had applied for increase in production of sacramental wine used during our mass. Our diocese currently has an annual production of 1,500 litres of wine, which was last increased over 20 years ago. This time we have applied for 5,000 litres,” said Paul Thelekat, spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Church at Kochi.

When asked about the reason for increase in proportion, Thelekat said, “Look, the number of churches in our diocese has gone up dramatically in the past two decades. Hence, there are more members, which lead to more religious functions. So it is natural that our requirement of wine will increase.”

Sacramental wine is used in many different occasions including Eucharist. While most of the catholic churches use these wines in their sacred communions, the Thiruvalla-headquartered Mar Thoma Church is absolutely against it.

An official of the Mar Thoma Church who did not want to disclose his name said that they use dry raisins and pour a little water and keep it overnight.

He added, “The next morning just before the service, it is mashed and the liquid is used as wine and is given to our laity. The rest is equally shared by the priest and his assistants. Now-a-days, in many of our churches, to make things easy, we use grape squash.”

Excise department officials have also verified that they have received an application from the members of Syro Malabar Church, and they have also accepted their plea to increase the production from 1,500 to 5,000 litres annually.

The Catholic Church believes that Oommen Chandy government will totally prohibit the use of sacred wine in holy gatherings as they want to prohibit the wine in all the churches by 2023.

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Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction

The department has pumped in almost Rs 500 crore in the area for tourism and infrastructure development

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Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction
Northern Kerala to Soon Emerge as Major Tourist Attraction. IANS

Are Kovalam and backwaters the first things that come to mind when thinking of Kerala? All that’s set to change as more places will soon be added to the bucket list from ‘God’s own country’ — at an outlay of Rs 500 crore.

The Kerala Tourism Department is taking new initiatives and expanding its horizons, not just in the southern belt but also the northern zone with new “must visit” destinations.

“Kerala has seen a strong tourism sector since two decades and we have been doing well domestically and internationally.

“We are starting new destinations in different geographical areas. We are widening our canvas and including new destinations,” P. Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism told IANS.

He added that the northern parts of the state like Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Thissur, Malapuram and Palakad are on the list of new tourism destinations.

“This will be a separate circuit which will be complementing the existing tourism circuit in south Kerala,” Kiran stated.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

While the peak season for visiting the state is mainly November to February, the Tourism Department is also chalking out plans to attract tourists round the year.

And for that, the department has pumped in almost Rs 500 crore in the area for tourism and infrastructure development.

“We are also planning out new ventures like introducing river cruise facility in Malabar, making a Kameshwari heritage project, Jatayu Earth Centre which will feature world’s largest bird sculpture and offering plethora of adventure and rejuvenating activities and others,” Bala noted.

The department is also focusing on alluring young tourists by offering multiple adventure activities — water-based sports like river rafting and kayaking as also trekking, paragliding.

Recently, Kerala also bagged ‘Best destination for families’ award through an online poll which was conducted by Lonely Planet magazine.

Bala added in the past one year, Kerala has witnessed tremendous growth in tourist arrivals — both domestic and internatinal.

Also Read: Infosys Donates Rs 2.50cr To A Hospital in Kerala

“In 2017 we had 1.09 million international tourists and 14.6 million domestic tourists which is roughly translating into a growth of 11 per cent in the last year,” he added.

Asked about the major challenges being faced by the Tourism Department, Bala pointed out that ensuring safety and security of tourists were the first priority followed by providing world class amenities to the visitors and streamlining the waste management system.

“Kerala government is setting up a Tourism Regulatory Authority which will be a statutory body with full legal powers to intervene and execute orders whenever there are complaints on tourist-related activities,” Bala noted. (IANS)

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