Monday, August 29, 2011

Carlson Hotels to open 100th Park Plaza in India

Carlson, a leading global hospitality and travel company, will open its 100th 'Park Plaza' brand hotel in India by 2015, with its capacity touching almost 10,000 rooms by then, a top company official said. The company launched its 40th Park Plaza, with 107 rooms, in Coimbatore on

"With the launch of the 40th Park Plaza, the total number of rooms have gone up to 4,027, across the country. With franchisees, another 6,000 would be added in another four years," Carlson Hotels, Asia Pacific, Executive Vice-President (South Asia) K B Kachru told PTI.

Talking about its Tamil Nadu plans, Kachru said Carlson has three hotels in the state and with another City Centre being opened in Chennai soon, the number would go up to eight in Tamil Nadu and increase by another six across India by this year-end.

The company would launch a facility in Bangalore in the middle of 2012 and also has plans to tap the potential in the temple town of Madurai and Munnar in Kerala, he said.

When asked about the estimated investment on the upcoming hotels in the country, he said negotiations are still going on with franchisees, though he added the Coimbatore project that was set up in partnership with Sabari Group involved an expenditure of Rs 8 crore.

Stating that the hospitality sector has huge potential in India, particularly in two-tier cities, Kachru said that Carlson will focus on the mid-market segment in particular.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dindigul-Kovai Road to be four-laned - TOI

To enable better flow of traffic in the region, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is proposing to expand the Dindigul-Coimbatore-Hasanur portion of the NH-209. The 268km project will cost 1,150 crore. But officials say projects like this one run into red tape, often delaying them for years. They blame lack of transparency in the process for inordinate delays.

The project was envisaged by NHAI in August 2010. The state highways department had initially proposed a two-lane road, but the project was later handed over to NHAI and changed into a four-lane scheme. The Dindugul-Coimbatore portion of the road, which is a 154.4km-long stretch, will be separately executed and the rest will be a two-lane road. Twenty-three km of this stretch will be a ghat road running through Bannari.

Six bypasses, six rail-over-bridges and two major bridges will be part of the project to ensure smooth flow of traffic. The bridges will run over Shanmuganadi river near Palani and Amaravathi river near Madathukulam. The feasibility study for the project is over. Pedestrian, passenger and vehicular underpasses will be part of the project. Service roads, rest areas and bus bays will provided.

The NHAI has held several public meetings in Udhumalpet, Pollachi and Kinathukadavu to get to know public opinion. People have sought a bypass in Kinathukadavu and the demand is being considered. However, a Highway Traffic Management System (HTMS), an advanced way to monitor traffic, will not be part of the project. The Dindigul-Coimbatore-Hasanur Road runs through Ottanchanthiram, Palani, Udhumalpet, Pollachi, Annur and Satyamangalam. The bypasses will be built in Ottanchattiram, Chatrapathi, Ayakkudi, Madathukulam, Udhumalpet and Pollachi.

But officials admitted that ambitious projects like the four-laning of a significant portion of NH-206 generally runs into red tape. "There are too many steps before a project finally gets clearance. The proposal goes to the Union highways ministry, cabinet, Parliamentary Committee on Highways and Planning Commission. We need Union finance ministry and Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approval also. All of this takes time. We get fed up by the time the project finally gets approval. Now, a new proposal to clear the project based on surveys conducted is being planned," said an official.

The land acquisition process, which is done under the National Highways Act, 1956, is also a cumbersome routine. "Many projects are delayed due to the time it takes to acquire land," an official said.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coimbatore comes up with Vasan Institute of Ophthalmology and Research - Indianinfoline

Vasan Eye Care, the super specialty eye care hospital from the Vasan Healthcare Group today officially inaugurated the Vasan Institute of Ophthalmology and Research at a grand function in Coimbatore. The institute was inaugurated in the presence of Mr. Dwarakanathan, Executive Director, Vasan Institute of Ophthalmology & Research and Mr. Sudheer S, Director, Vasan Eye Care. Smt. R Nandhini, Managing Director, Chandra Group - Coimbatore was the chief guest.  Guest of Honour, Honorable Vice Chancellor of Bharathiar University Dr C Swaminathan lighted the Kuthuvilakku symbolically inaugurating the institute.
The Vasan Institute of Ophthalmology and Research would offer the following courses in optometry (primary eye care profession) and hospitality management (for all service industry) through its Chennai, Trichy, Bangalore and the newly launched Coimbatore centre:

    A four-year B.Sc. Optometry course, affiliated to Bharathiar University, Coimbatore.

This course aims to raise qualified optometrists to cater to primary eye care needs in eye hospitals.

    1 Year PG Diploma in Hospitality Management affiliated to Bharathiar University, Coimbatore

This course exposes students to professional education in service management in any service industry like Hotels, Travel and Tourism or hospitals.

    6 months certificate course in ophthalmic assistance.

This course opens up avenues for students with a basic degree to pursue clinical support services which are in great demand across the country
Chennai, Trichy and Bangalore campuses offer the following courses in the same syllabus.

    A three-year B.Sc. Optometry Technology course, affiliated to Tamil Nadu Dr.MGR Medical University, from Chennai campus.
    A two-year Advanced Diploma in Optometry affiliated to Hindustan University

Students who have cleared their 12th / 10th examinations with a good score and have had a science background are eligible to apply for the courses. All Admissions would be based on an entrance test and aptitude test.
Commenting on the launch of the new institute, Mr. Dwarakanathan, Executive Director, Vasan Institute of Ophthalmology & Research said, “This is a proud moment for all of us! With the launch of this new institute, we now extend the famous and trusted Vasan legacy to the aspiring young generation who want to build a career in the healthcare industry. Our experts, having years of practical experience in the field, will train and mould students to meet the growing industry standards and demands.”
The unique feature of the institute will be the DNA of the education which focuses more on behavioral, and personality grooming along with core medical education
Mr. Sudheer S, Director, Vasan Eye Care said, “Optometrists are the primary contact point for every patient who walks into any super specialty eye hospital and are thus a crucial link in the process of comprehensive eye care. Vasan foundation intends setting up such institutes across the country to help meet the growing demand for quality eye care professionals.”

Implementation of Kovai master plan soon - IBN Live

The State government has accepted the Master Plan for Coimbatore and it will be implemented soon, R Vaithilingam, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, told the Assembly on Wednesday. On the discussion on demand for grant to several departments, including Industries, CPI floor leader M Arumugam (Valparai) said the Coimbatore Master Plan was last approved in 1992. Taking into account the huge changes that the city has witnessed, the new plan should be approved now.
Intervening, Vaithilingam said the government had given its nod for the plan and it would be implemented soon.
Earlier, welcoming the proposed new Land Policy of the State, Arumugam wanted the government to take tough measures to ensure that the legislative ceiling of 15 standard acre was followed rigidly.

From SSC-CBE Forum

Monday, August 15, 2011

Circular rail link suggested to decongest roads in city - The HINDU

Nine arterial roads reach out to different areas in this thickly populated and growing city. But, these stretches remain congested because of inadequate link roads. Even as the demand for link roads is being made consistently, the other option is to have a rail network that can reduce the burden on city roads.
A circular rail network and shuttle train services are being suggested whenever the city's chaotic roads come up for discussion. The Coimbatore Railway Passengers Association has come up with a suggestion for reviving a small stretch of railway line that could make the much awaited circular rail a reality.

N.V. Nagasubramanian, President, and S. Vaidyanathakrishnan, Secretary of the Association suggest that the Vellalore link – between the old Singanallur station and Coimbatore Junction – can be revived. It had existed up to 1952, till the laying of single line between Coimbatore and Irugur. The first unopposed MP of Coimbatore in the first Parliament T.A. Ramalingam Chettiar was instrumental in getting the first single line laid between Coimbatore and Irugur and after which the Vellalore link was unused and later removed.
Relaying the Vellalore line between Singanallur and Coimbatore Junction will not involve a huge financial burden, the association claims. As the land on which the railway line was then laid still remain unused, there will be no expense on land acquisition. They also say the people of Coimbatore should oppose the move of the Railways to lay a second line between Podanur and Irugur as this may lead to more trains skipping Coimbatore Junction.

The encroached railway lands on either side of the erstwhile track i.e., the Vellalore line, can be retrieved and a new railway terminal can be constructed closer to the city. Links from here can be established with both Coimbatore and Podanur stations.
The circular railway line will help run through Coimbatore Junction, Podanur, Vellalore, Irugur, Singanallur, Peelamedu and Coimbatore North (see map). This will certainly help decongest the city roads, Mohammed Jameel of the association points out. A senior official with the Salem division says if the revival of an old line can bring about so many benefits, it can be considered. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New star hotel launched in Coimbatore - TOI

In a major boost to the hospitality industry in Coimbatore, International hospitality major Auromatrix launched its new four star hotel `Aloft' at Singanallur here on Wednesday.

Announcing the launch, Auromatrix managing director Udday Kumar Krishnan told media persons that the hotel would help boost Coimbatore's possibilities in tourism and IT fields. Located close to Coimbatore Airport and Tidal Park, the new hotel has 167 guest rooms. The hotel is coming up in Coimbatore after launching similar ventures in Chennai and Bangalore.

The hotel has all modern facilities including swimming pool, spa, gym and a unique restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisines. According to Krishnan, the hotel is mainly targeting both business and leisure travelers. ``Coimbatore is poised for a rapid growth in all spheres. The airport expansion and medical tourism would attract more visitors to the city apart from the IT sector,'' he said. Special provisions are in the hotel to meet needs of business travelers and there is even a special counter to provide quick meals and snacks to businessmen in a hurry, he added.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011