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Curfew in Kashmir’s Buddhist Town

Monday July 22nd, 2013 in India, News, Travel Tips | Be the first to Comment »

SRINAGAR: A curfew has been imposed in Zanskar town of Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir following clashes between members of the majority Buddhist community and police.

The Buddhists are fuming over the elopement of a girl of their community with a Muslim boy.

The duo were captured by the police in Srinagar, nearly 200 kms away from their home.

Today, while the police took the girl back to Zanskar, a mob of around 500 people stopped the vehicle at Padam, demanding that she be handed over to them.

The police used force to disperse them. The girl was later handed over to her parents.

Later hundreds of protestors gathered at Phutang where they again clashed with the police. Two protesters were wounded, one of them having received a bullet.

Senior officers of the district administration have rushed to the town.

Tension has prevailed between the Buddhists and the minority Muslim community in Zanskar since a few Buddhist families converted to Islam last fall.

Source: Free Press Kashmir


Flying abroad? Not declaring goods may land you in trouble

MUMBAI: After angadias emerged from anonymity following a recent raid on trucks filled with cash, gold and diamonds, people have been asking if a person carrying a lot of money and valuables can be pulled up for doing so, especially if one is flying. Can a flyer be refused security clearance for carrying cash and valuables above a limit? The rules are different for international and domestic travel.

As per customs rules, for carrying gold and expensive items from India to other countries, one needs to procure a certificate from the precious cargo complex a day in advance.

For travelling abroad, one needs to be careful about one’s baggage. It is usual for one to carry jewellery, cash and expensive gadgets, but unless one declares the goods and their value before leaving, one can fall into customs’ net upon return. As per customs rules, for carrying gold and expensive items from India to other countries, one needs to procure a certificate from the precious cargo complex a day in advance. Upon return, the certificate can be shown to customs to claim duty exemption. “The traveler can thus leave the airport without any hassle,” said an officer from the Air Intelligence Unit.

What about bringing home goods bought abroad? “One needs to pay duty if one brings into the country things that cost more than a certain limit,” said a customs official. The duty is 36% for goods worth more than Rs 35,000. For gold, the duty regime is more liberal for women, the allowance being amounts costing up to Rs 20,000. For men, the limit is Rs 10,000. Amounts of gold above these limits attract a duty of 36%. As for cash, one is allowed to bring into the country $5 000 and an equal amount in traveler’s cheques (above what one declared at the time of leaving India).

Customs officials say travelers should never knowingly hide valuables to escape duty. “If discovered, they need to pay a fine apart from duty. It could also lead to an arrest and a court case,” said an official. “In 20-30% of the cases, the intention is not smuggling, but the cases are classified as such.”

What about domestic travel? Well, there is no rule on carrying cash, gold, jewels or gadgets, which means one can carry whatever one feels like and in any quantity. “We do not set limits on such items as they do not pose a haz ard to aircraft security,” said an official of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

But then the income tax department comes into the picture. “If the department receives a tipoff that someone is carrying a huge quantity of cash, its officials can stop and interrogate the flyer,” said an officer. “If one can produce a receipt or otherwise show the origin of the cash, there is no problem.”

Source: The Times of India


Tactile Paving For Visually Impaired

If you have traveled in Delhi Metro, you must have noticed a yellow pavement with raised oblong lines (see the image below) at the Metro station. The last time when I was at the Metro Station, I heard an announcement asking people to stay away from the central yellow line. That made me wonder if there is more to it than meets the eye. I did some research on the net and what I found is quite interesting!

This yellow pavement is called Tactile Paving or Guiding Tiles and are used at stations, airports, sidewalks etc. to guide or warn the visually impaired pedestrians. The one that you see in the picture above serves as a pathway for the blind and disabled people. They are located midway on the platform, and lead directly to the lift, and then to the exit.

There are two types of patterns used in these blocks- the oblong raised pattern indicate places, and in what direction, it is safe to walk confidently. The “warning” blocks with the round raised dots indicate edges, corners or other places where greater care or caution is required. So, these tactile cues help everyone stay clear of train platform edges, crosswalk dropoffs, and other related hazzards.

The original tactile paving was developed by Seiichi Miyake in 1965. The paving was first introduced in a street in Okayama city, Japan, in 1967. Its use gradually spread in Japan and then around the world and has now become a standard. The color is chosen in a way that it contrasts visually with adjacent walking surfaces, either light-on-dark, or dark-on-light.

Here is an example from the internet which shows both the “safe” and the “warning” tactile paving together.

So, next time when you see a tactile paving, stay away from it so that visually impaired people can use it.

Source: Knowledge Hub


Emirates to introduce shisha lounges onboard A380 fleet

DUBAI: Emirates has announced that it plans to trial new shisha lounges aboard its A380 fleet. In a statement released this morning, the Dubai-based airline revealed that the lounges would be available to business and first class passengers on several of its long-haul routes flown using Airbus’ superjumbo, starting from next month.

Premium passengers will be able to order a shisha from their seat, before retiring to the Signature Shisha Room where it will be prepared by an expert. Pictures: Emirates

 

“Alongside unique offerings such as our Signature Spa and Onboard Lounges, with our new Signature Shisha Rooms premium customers will be now be able to relax amid luxurious surroundings with a traditional waterpipe,” the airline said in a press release.

“This new service will provide our Middle Eastern passengers with the sort of home comforts they’ve come to expect on our award-winning airline, while presenting those flying to the Middle East for the first time with the opportunity to sample one of the true tastes of Arabia before they’ve even landed.”

According to the statement, passengers will be able to pre-order a shisha from the onboard menu while at their seat and retire to the lounge after the main meal.

Emirates added that, should the trials run smoothly, it hopes to have the shisha service operational across its entire fleet of A380s by the year end.

Source: The Pan-Arabia Enquirer