Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced that the State Government will provide an assistance of Rs 500 per month to patients with blood disorders for their transportation cost for blood transfusion. Speaking at an event organised to celebrate Voluntary Blood Donation Day-2017 here, Naveen said the State Government has been providing blood to patients suffering from thalassemia, haemophilia and sickle cell diseases free of cost. “We have adopted latest technology for screening of blood on a pilot basis at six blood banks in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur and Burla. The expenditure incurred for the Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) is borne by the State Government. Annually, Rs 12 crore is being spent for screening of blood. This facility will soon be extended to other blood banks of the State,” he said. As blood transfusion is always associated with the risk of infections, the Chief Minister hoped, the practice of appropriate clinical use of blood would be improved for its optimal use. “Odisha has 14 blood component separation units, including the private units to prepare components of blood for the optimal use of scarce drug and avoid unnecessary transfusion. The Government will soon open seven more such units at Balasore, Baripada, Keonjhar, Koraput, Bargarh, Balangir and Rourkela besides four more at Jharsuguda, Dhenkanal, Phulbani and Bhawanipatna next year,” Naveen said. All blood banks of the State have been linked with Noida-based National Institute of Biologicals for Hemo-Vigilance programme for ensuring blood safety. “We have many proposals in the pipeline to ensure to improve blood transfusion service in the State. The proposals include provision of blood collection vans at nine major blood banks, automation of blood grouping and cross matching in the blood banks collecting 10,000 units of blood per annum, increase the number of Post Graduate seats in transfusion in SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack besides opening day-care centres at Balasore, Kandhamal and Rourkela for blood disorder patients,” he added. The CM felicitated 27 institutions and organisations including Jeevan Bindu, Ama Odisha and Satyasai Society for successfully organising blood donation camps. Among others, Health Minister Pratap Jena, MP Prasanna Patsani and Bhubaneswar North and Central MLAs were present.
In the wake of a spate of accidents that claimed more than 300 lives in 2017, the railway ministry has started to roll out stern measures to mitigate such tragedies in the future. The latest being – banning railway staff from using Whatsapp and YouTube during working hours. Railway officials said the messaging app was a ‘major distraction’, especially while managing train operations and hence have called for the ban’s implementation. “It was noted that several members of the staff associated with the safety department or the operational staff were using WhatsApp and YouTube during working hours.” “They have been told not to use these apps and entertainment medium and to perform their duty with greater efficiency and alertness,” an official said. Using the apps has compromised passenger safety, the report says. However, the report did not mention how authorities would restrict the use of such apps while using phones. What it did say was staff that are required to communicate with one another, such as drivers and guards with station masters, are permitted to do so only through walky-talkies. It is unknown whether the ban of apps equates to not using mobile phones in toto during working hours. The Standing Committee on Railways, while examining safety and security said more than half of the accidents are due to lapses on the part of the employees, the Wire reported. Carelessness, poor maintenance work, short-cuts and not following safety rules and procedures have cost many lives. The new circular will be applicable to all maintenance and safety staff such as trackmen, gang men guards on railway crossings, loco pilots and train guards. Even station managers and superintendents who are primarily responsible for the operation of trains at their stations cannot use WhatsApp on duty. The circular has been issued by the Delhi division of Indian Railways to its entire operational staff. If employees are found violating the orders, they will be dealt with strictly, it said. A senior railway official said similar orders would be issued in all divisions shortly. Existing rules also prescribe for such restrictions on staff, a loco pilot at Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin station said. Drivers and guards are required to switch off their phones while on duty. They are not even allowed to leave the locomotive to use the restroom, the pilot said. The last major railway accident was the Utkal Express derailment on Aug 18 that killed 23 people and injured over 40 others. Fourteen coaches of Puri-Haridwar-Kalinga Express train derailed in Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district.
AirAsia today announced that it will launch daily flights on new routes with airfares starting from Rs 2,299. The new AirAsia daily flights will connect Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar and Hyderabad to Ranchi. The airline today updated the information on its website which reads 'Launching daily direct flights! Fly from Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar & Hyderabad to Ranchi'. The first flight under the plan will fly on October 7, 2017. According to AirAsia website, the price for Bhubaneswar to Ranchi is Rs 2299 and from Ranchi to Bengaluru it will cost Rs 3299. Ranchi to Hyderabad is priced at Rs 2799. The price for Hyderabad to Ranchi as on Tuesday is Rs 2799 and from Bengaluru to Ranchi is Rs 3299. To travel under the new scheme, the fliers will have to book their tickets in advance. These prices are 'only available for online bookings at www.airasia.com' and it is valid for new bookings only. The airline also said that a non-refundable processing fee is applicable for payments via credit, debit or charge card. "Fare includes airport taxes except for selected airports where airport tax is collected at the point of departure," AirAsia website noted. Seats under the new scheme are limited and may not be available on all flights, AirAsia said. The airline is also offering all-inclusive fares starting at Rs 3,299 for flights connecting Ranchi to Bengaluru and Rs 2,799 for flights between Ranchi-Hyderabad. All fares are quoted for single journey (one-way) only, the airline said.
Sometimes the best travel companion you can have is yourself. If you are a person who does not like following fixed itineraries, hate clicking selfies, love to sample local cuisines and enjoy backpacking, then travelling solo can be a rewarding experience for you. However, the monsoon can play spoilsport if the right precautions are not taken. Therefore, before you pack your bags and get set for a vacation with yourself, read these tips shared by Goomo, one of India's leading omni-channel travel-tech companies, to tackle monsoon woes like a pro! Go waterproof: If you have made up your mind to experience greenery in its full bloom and enjoy the rains to its fullest, then ensure that you carry a waterproof backpack, a good raincoat and umbrella before you set off for your trip. After all, you don't want to miss out on the fun element because you forgot to arm yourself with waterproof essentials. Carry zip-lock pouches and plastic bags: While you have set your mind on some adventure trekking in the rains, you don't want to unnecessarily worry about your expensive gadgets getting soaked in the rain. Be it your high-end camera or a luxury smartphone, keep them in zip-lock pouches to protect them from the rains. Also, if your dormitory does not provide the facility to dry your wet clothes or wash them, then plastic bags can come to your rescue. Avoid street food: While you may be tempted to try out the crunchy and piping hot bhajiyas and chicken momos from the roadside shop, resist your temptation and opt for hygienic food. Avoid consuming any kind of fruit juices; pre-cut fruits and other food items from road side vendors and stick to healthy food, as is in this season, you are more susceptible to health issues. Always ensure that you carry a bottle of boiled water or packaged drinking water and a few light snacks with you. Pack a first- aid box: This is one of the most important essentials to be packed in your travel bag. The probability of slipping and falling on the road or even catching a common cold in the rainy season is high during this time of the year. Therefore, carry a first-aid box which includes painkillers, medicines, pain relief spray and a sanitizer, etc. Cope up with power shortage: Be wary of unexpected power cuts during therainy season. Arm yourself with a power bank and a pocket torch, as they can come in handy if you get stuck in traffic jams or there is a power outage in your hotel. Use insect repellents: The monsoon can easily attract certain insects, especially mosquitoes. Carry appropriate repellents such as sprays, creams and gels to keep mosquito bites at bay and protect yourself from any life-threatening diseases. Choose comfortable clothes: Pick the right clothes in dark colours and synthetic material that can dry off easily. Choose from rain-proof shoes before you set out for the trip. Find your people if you need help: Even though you are out alone to explore a different city, try and stay connected on social media or other networking sites. Talk to people around and make friends; you'll be surprised how great it can be to find a local tour guide for free or a helping hand in case of an emergency.
Private carrier Jet Airways has lowered its business class base fares for both domestic and international travel by 20 per cent, while the economy class travel has also become cheaper by 30 per cent under a discounted sale scheme. The special six-day celebratory fare sale, which commences from midnight today, is to mark Indias 70th Independence Day, Jet Airways said in a release. The sale, starting August 11, offers 30 per cent discount on economy class base fares and 20 per cent on premiere (business) class fares, it said. Another full service carrier, Vistara, announced earlier this week heavily discounted all-inclusive fares, starting as low as Rs 799 for economy class and Rs 2,099 for premium economy under its "48 hours only" Freedom to Fly sale offer. Tickets purchased as part of the sale for domestic flights will be valid for travel from September 5 while for the international flights the promotional tickets will be valid from September 15, Jet Airways said. The discount in base fares is applicable on both one-way and return tickets, Jet Airways said, adding customers can book tickets for 44 domestic destinations and 20 international destinations.
Tata-Singapore Airline (SIA) run full service carrier Air Vistara on Monday announced discounted all-inclusive fares starting as low as Rs 799 for economy class travel and Rs 2,099 for premium economy under a limited period scheme. The 48 hours only 'Freedom to Fly' sale offers customers all-inclusive fares starting at Rs 799 for economy class and Rs 2,099 for premium economy, Vistara said in a release today. The booking of tickets under the sale offer will be open from midnight today to 2359 hours of August 9 for a travel period between August 23 this year and April 19 next year, it said. The latest discounted sale offer provides an opportunity to the passengers to plan their travel in advance to some of the popular domestic holiday destinations like Goa, Port Blair, Leh (Ladakh), Jammu, Srinagar, Kochi, Guwahati, Amritsar and Bhubaneswar, it said. The airline also offers such fares to metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru, the release said. The lowest fare under this sale is available on the Srinagar-Jammu route, while tickets for other routes are also available at highly discounted fares, Vistara said in the release.
The American air safety regulator on Friday stopped an Air India aircraft to take off as scheduled from Chicago for India due to missing tag numbers from several seat belts. The surprise check by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) found a large number of belts on seats of the Delhi-bound Boeing-777 (VT-ALK) without the mandatory tags bearing their technical standard order (TSO) number. Though not a safety issue, FAA did not allow the plane — which was booked to capacity — to take off.
Air India had another B-777 parked in nearby New York's John F Kennedy Airport. The airline took out some seat belts from this plane (VT-ALJ) and flew them to Chicago on a Delta flight. Once there, these belts were installed on the seats of the AI plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. This 342-seater plane then took off for Delhi after a delay of more than eight hours on Friday after its schedule take-off time of 1.30 pm.As many as 44 passenger seats and 12 flight attendant seats had to be declared unserviceable for this journey due to their missing TSO tags. Clearly, AI is not happy.
An airline spokesman said: "The seat belts were perfectly fine. Only some had tags worn out. This is an instance of impractical or irrelevant stipulations being imposed on Air India by FAA. However, we would take necessary action to ensure such things don't recur. A lot of new seat belts have been ordered."A senior AI official said that FAA is subjecting the Maharaja's aircraft to stringent checks at all the stations it flies to — New York JFK and Newark, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco. "The checks have intensified in the recent past. While technically FAA was correct in pointing out the missing TSO tags, we told them that new seat belts have been ordered and the old ones will be replaced very soon. Still the aircraft was not allowed to take off till we got some belts from another of our aircraft in New York," said the official.
The Aadhaar number is not mandatory for booking rail tickets, the Centre told the Rajya Sabha today. In a written reply in the Upper House of Parliament, Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said as of now, his ministry had no plans to make the 12-digit unique identification number compulsory for booking rail tickets."At present, there is no proposal to make the Aadhaar number compulsory for booking tickets for rail journey. However, with effect from January 1, 2017, the requirement of Aadhaar verification for getting concessional railway tickets for senior citizens has been introduced on a voluntary basis," he said. The minister's statement comes on a day the home ministry made the Aadhaar number mandatory for registration of death with effect from October 1, 2017. Over the last few months, the Aadhaar number has been made mandatory for a range of services and schemes -- for bank accounts, to file taxes, for tuberculosis patients to avail treatment under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), to avail the benefits under the Maternity Benefit Programme and Integrated Child Protection Scheme and other schemes for farmers, labourers, students etc.
Remember the time when a tourist wanted to book a hotel and approached a Dubai Police station? Well another tourist story has occurred in Dubai, this time in Dubai Municipality. A French man and his wife who were tourists in the city entered Al Kifaf Centre near Zabeel Park belieiving it to be a mall. It does say Centre out front which is the common name for several malls in the UAE (hint: City Centres). The couple were looking to have lunch after spending time around Zabeel Park and with Dubai Municipality's building looking every bit of fancy - it's hard not to think it is a shopping mall. The duo, however, was left surprised when officials inside the building kindly told them that it was a Municipality office and not a mall. DM's caption on Instagram attributed the misconception with their '7-star service in terms of cleanliness and high quality standards.' This harkens back to an event last month where a tourist mistook Al Muraqqabat Police Station for a hotel. He wanted to book two rooms for a month when a cop has politely told him: "Sorry sir, this is not a hotel; this is a police station," to the surprise of the man.
The number of Indians visiting Dubai has hit a new high with the Emirate saying that "India continued to top the list of traffic generators". Indian visitors to Dubai for the first time crossed the 10-lakh mark in the last six months (January June), up 21% over the same period last year. "A record total of 80.6 lakh international overnight tourists arrived in Dubai during the first six months of 2017, reflecting a 10.6% increase over the same period last year," says a statement by Dubai Tourism. "Almost all of Dubai's top 20 inbound visitor source markets saw positive or near stable year-on-year performances in first half of 2017, with five of the top 10 delivering standout double-digit growth. India continued to top the list of traffic generators.... Saudi Arabia and the UK retained their spots as the second and third largest feeder markets respectively," it added.
Dubai Tourism DG Helal Saeed Almarri said: "We are extremely pleased that Dubai has sustained the momentum of growth we achieved in the first quarter to deliver a strong double-digit performance through H1 2017... our goal now is to ensure that the city builds on this positive trajectory through not just the remainder of 2017 but also further, to get us closer to our Tourism Vision 2020 target of 2 crore annual tourist arrivals."
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