An Indian court has given the government in the resort state of Goa two months to begin removing the rusting hulk of a ship that ran aground on a popular tourist beach ten years ago.
Two judges at the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court told the authorities they had until June to tow away the MV River Princess, which foundered on the coast of north Goa during storms in 2000.
The giant iron ore carrier, grounded just off Calangute beach, has become a familiar sight to the tens of thousands of tourists who flock to the former Portuguese colony’s white sands every year.
Local people frustrated by previous failed attempts to remove the ship filed a petition to the court demanding its removal, expressing concern about potential damage to the coastline, marine life and tourism.
Campaigners say that the sand and silt that’s accumulated in the holed ship over the years has created an artificial sandbank, diverting tides and affecting currents, while corroded metal has been found on the shoreline.
The state government in Goa says it’s begun a tendering process for a company to salvage the ship.
by Andy Moreton
Check Luxique’s selection of five luxury hotels in Goa.
The Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the world.
You wouldn’t have thought that there was much that needed to be done to improve the sumptuous and elaborate white-domed mausoleum built in the 17th century by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz.
However, plans have been put forward to surround it with rope walks, a suspension bridge, cable cars and, wait for it … a Ferris wheel. It’s an attempt by the local state government to attract even more tourists to what is already the most visited site in India. It believes the developments would improve ‘the visitor experience’.
The building itself is protected by a 500-yard conservation zone, so the new constructions would be at a distance of 800 yards.
Even so, conservationists have branded the plans ‘the most insensitive imaginable’. O.P Jain, an adviser to the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, said he hoped India’s heritage community would be able to stop the project.
“Tourism is not everything,” said Mr Jain. “The people who come to see the Taj are not the kind of people who like to go by ropeway or see it from a Ferris wheel.”
The 19th century poet and journalist Edwin Arnold said that the Taj Mahal ‘was not a piece of architecture … but the proud passions of an Emperor’s love wrought in living stones.’ It can surely do without an adjacent theme park.
by Andy Moreton
For your visit to the historic city of Agra, we can offer one of the finest luxury hotels in India – the Oberoi Amarvilas, where you’ll have your own private view of the greatest monument to love. ‘Wake up to the glorious sight of the Taj, bathed by the first rays of dawn.’