Madikeri (Karnataka), Oct 17 (IANS) Amid fears of the Covid-19 pandemic and vedic chants reverberating across the Brahmagiri foothills, hundreds of devotees witnessed the annual ritual - Cauvery Teerthodhbhava - on Saturday morning at the Brhamakundike.
The Theerthodbhava, an annual ritual to mark the gushing of water from a spring in a tank - Brahmakundike - in Talakaveri, considered to be the source of river Cauveri, draws devotees from not only Kodagu, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Mandya, but also the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The Teerthodbhava occurred at 7:05 a.m. on Saturday instead of its earlier prediction of 7:03 a.m. With only 350 devotees allowed to take part in the ritual, it was the most subdued event that has been witnessed in the past several years.
Religious rituals were performed from the wee hours of Saturday morning. The priests continuously chanted vedic hymns sitting in a row near the Brahmakundike.
They sprinkled holy water on the devotees soon after the Theerthodbhava occurred. Devotees arrived with cans, pots, tins and bottles to fill them with holy water.
The police had made elaborate arrangements to regulate the movement of devotees and control vehicular traffic.
The Kodagu district administration had made the necessary arrangements and the police had deployed their personnel for security around the hill temple, with barricades put up at various points.
Dozens of CCTV cameras were installed at vantage points and movement of private vehicles was regulated from Bhagamandala to Talakaveri to ease congestion.
Due to heavy restrictions, devotees were seen fighting with the police personnel to let them witness the ritual. They received support from senior BJP legislator Appacchu Ranjan, who took initiative to break open a barricade put up by the police.
Although, it led to commotion for a while, the police brought the situation under control.
By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) Seeing a tremendous growth in the cargo segment, airline major IndiGo might add freighter aircraft in its fleet.
Industry insiders told IANS that the airline is evaluating a proposal to add freighter aircraft, which will help the company expand cargo services to China, Singapore and Malaysia in the near future.
The move to haul more cargo via freighters assumes significance as the segment has seen a massive demand surge due to the pandemic.
When contacted the company did not elicit a response.
According to industry insiders, with air passenger numbers expected to remain low, the industry is look at other avenues to augment revenues such as the dedicated Cargo services.
In the initial days of the lockdown, the sudden demand for freight and high charges allowed airlines to gain some revenue.
This trend is expected to continue.
At present, the airline continues with "CarGo in cabin" operations.
These type of services are expected to be retained even after resumption of full schedule.
Currently, the airline has 10 passenger aircraft completely deployed for cargo operations in freighter mode.
The airline has managed to earn marginally higher revenue within the last five to six months at limited capacity as compared to the last financial year.
It has already transported cargo equivalent to the loads carried in the last financial year.
Till September, the airline has operated over 1,700 cargo charters, transporting more than 14,300 MT of supplies since April 18th across 21 destinations within India and internationally, including new stations like Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Cairo in Egypt, Almaty in Kazakhstan and Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
Besides, the move allows it to become the only second player in the airline industry that has freighter aircraft in its fleet.
The proposal also provides the airline with a differentiated service standards than the aircraft belly space provide in other type of passenger planes.
Such a differentiated standard would include temperature controlled cargo service essential for ferrying vaccines and perishable items.
The airline has been an active participant in the Centre's 'Lifeline Udan' scheme.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)