World
China shuts Tibet border, Mansarovar pilgrimage hit
Over 25,000 foreign tourists planning to visit Kailash Mansarovar through Nepal were forced to change their itinerary after the Chinese government shut down all border points in Tibet citing the recent earthquakes in the Himalayan nation, media reported on Monday.
 
Reports in the media here said the Nepali tourism and civil aviation ministry has asked the foreign ministry to raise the issue with the Chinese side. 
 
However, the Chinese side has not made any comment over the shutdown. These 25,000 foreigners booked their tours for Kailash Mansarovar through 38 tour and travel companies in Nepal.
 
No tourist has, however, cancelled bookings so far, the Karobar national daily on Monday cited Kailash Tour Association chief Prakash Shrestha as saying. 
 
Tourism entrepreneurs have demanded that the tour should be allowed even by opening the Hilsa point in Humla district. Shrestha says taking 25,000 foreigners to Kailash Mansarovar through Nepal will be a huge relief at a time when the tourism sector has been hard-hit by the recent earthquake. 
 
The entrepreneurs have informed the culture, tourism and civil aviation ministries in this regard but there has been no breakthrough so far. "A total of 25,000 tourists are still ready to come once we give them the time-table," an entrepreneur said.
 
China has closed border points at Tatopani, Rasuwa and other places stating that there can be landslides and it would be difficult to travel or trek. 
 
Shrestha said the entrepreneurs have urged the government to take initiative to allow tourists to visit Kailash Mansarovar by helicopter or on foot from Nepalgunj-Surkhet, the western part of Nepal that was close to the Hindu pilgrimage site. 
 
Indian, Russian, Malaysian and other European tourists have booked fir the Kailash Mansarovar tour. Around 80 percent of tourists going to this area are Indians -- around 40,000 visit Kailash Mansarovar via Nepal every year.
 
The May-July period is considered the main season to visit Kailash Mansarovar. Nepali tourism entrepreneurs make all arrangements for tourists to visit Kailash Mansarovar. 
 
Around 80 percent of these tourists remain in Nepal for 7-10 days while the remaining 20 percent stay for 4-7 days. Tourists visiting Kailash Mansarovar spend the most after those coming for mountaineering.
 
Entrepreneurs claim that over 100,000 people will get employment if these 25,000 tourists were to come to Nepal immediately. "The government must, therefore, facilitate it," said an entrepreneur. 
 
Tulasi Gautam, director general of the tourism department, said initiative was being taken at the level of the minister. "The road to Tatopani has already been opened. We are trying to bring these 25,000 tourists to Nepal by any means," he said.

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SC stays order barring new Reliance Jio towers in Jaipur
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the operation of the Rajasthan High Court order that had directed the authorities to dismantle allegedly unauthorised telecom base towers erected by Reliance Jio Infocomm in Jaipur for starting its 4G services.
 
Putting on hold the May 22 order of the high court, the apex court bench of Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Amitava Roy posted the matter for further hearing in the first week of July, and provided interim relief to Reliance Jio till then.
 
“Towers that were already installed should not have been asked to be un-installed in an interim order,” the court said, while posting the matter for further hearing for July 3. But the bench did not stay the high court order on a bar on the installation of more towers by Reliance Jio.
 
This was after senior counsel for Reliance Jio Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that they had been served a copy of the petition at 10.30 a.m. on May 22, and by 11.00 a.m. the matter was taken up and the order under challenge was passed. 
 
While suspending the interim order, the apex court also issued notices to Justice I.S. Israni (retd), Satya Narayan Singh, and the central and the Rajasthan governments. Justice Israni and Singh had alleged adverse impact on people's health due to radiation from telecom towers.
 
Singhvi sought to address the "purported public health risks” on account of telecom radiation, and told the court: "The Permissible radiation levels in India are 10 times more stringent than the corresponding international norms.”
 
Assailing the direction on taking into consideration some objections from people living in the vicinity of the site where the towers were proposed to be erected, he told the court that this would result in comtempt plea being moved by the individuals every day.
 
The apex court was told that the Reliance Jio Infocomm counsel who was present in the Rajasthan court was not even given time to take instructions from his client to file a reply. The order, he added, was passed despite a batch of petitions being listed for hearing three days later.
 
The Rajasthan High Court had said since hundreds of towers had already been erected and 1,800 more were in the pipeline in the city, it was found appropriate to bar further installations, except where permissions has been given under the by-laws in consultation with citizens.
 
To this, Reliance Jio had said that no norms had been flouted.
 
"New towers are the only way to obviate the menace of call drops, call failure, interminable buffering of data and video," a spokesperson for the company had said, reacting to the court's order.
 
"While achieving this matter of great public interest, Reliance Jio remains committed to conform to all regulatory requirements and a country-wide broadband network aligned to the government's vision of digital India," the spokesperson added.
 
"Towers (of Reliance Jio) meet and exceed rigorous national and international standards and statutory requirements as mandated by law. Being next-generation and battery-operated, they require very little space on the ground compared to conventional mobile towers."
 
According to available information, new towers are being erected in 2,100 places in the city and some 1,400 of them had already been commissioned. Also among them, while 1,200 towers had formal permissions, 200 towers were deemed to have been approved.
 
The petition mentioned that as per an order issued by the city's urban development ministry in February this year, permission for tower erection would deem to have been given, if the matter was not disposed of within 60 days. The period was reduced to 45 days later.
 
Reliance Jio said, besides conforming to the norms, the towers were actually also "green" as they do not require accessories like generators and diesel storage. "Also, the towers can be used for vital public infrastructure such as area lighting, public messaging and security."

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COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Why does Reliance Jio NOT talkabout 24x7 invisible radiation longterm health/side effects in exact facts and figures? They say it is better than others in the world but which WORLD are they talking about - the advanced or the least progressive of the countries, Pl find solutions BETTER than the BEST in the world, pl.

Brand ambassadors under Consumer Protection Act?
There is a need to fix the liability of Brand Ambassadors for the claims they make while endorsing products, charges a traders' body
 
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has asked all brand ambassadors who endorse a product, and thus influence choice of customers and promote sales, to be brought under the gambit of Consumer Protection Act.
 
CAIT, in a letter to Ram Vilas Paswan, union minister for consumer affairs, said, "There is a need to fix the liability of Brand Ambassadors as well for the good claims made by them in their endorsements for the product. Brand Ambassadors act as service providers in entire sales mechanism and therefore they become subject to Consumer Protection Act. In addition, the money taken as consideration by the Brand Ambassadors is generally accounted in the cost of product and that is why the notice issued to Madhuri Dixit by Food Department is a correct step in right direction."
 
The CAIT has also demanded formulation of specific guidelines for endorsement of products since such endorsements have direct impact on consumers. The CAIT has taken this step following issuance of notice by Food Department to Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit for making claims in endorsement of Maggie. 
 
"Engaging Brand Ambassadors for promotion of product has become a fashion in the Country and often the Consumer is trapped by such endorsement irrespective of quality of the product. Therefore, in order to protect Consumers, there is a need to bring Brand Ambassadors under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act," the traders’ body said.
 

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