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India’s airliners, airports get ready for Operation Covid Vaccine Delivery

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BY S VENKAT NARAYAN,

Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, November 21:

Indian airliners and airport operators have started preparing for the mammoth task of taking Covid vaccines across this sprawling country of 1.38 billion people.

While meeting Pfizer’s minus 70 degrees Celsius requirement for its vaccines will be “difficult”, they are gearing up to set up cold chain storage for the jab job that needs to be done on an unprecedented scale of several million shots to even begin with.The GMR Group, which operates Delhi and Hyderabad airports, says the air cargo units of both these places are getting ready to “play a pivotal role in the distribution of vaccines through state-of-the-art time and temperature-sensitive distribution system” with cool chambers ranging from +25°C to -20°C.

Budget carrier SpiceJet’s cargo arm SpiceXpress has tied up with global cold chain solution providers to perform seamless cold chain operations and offers cargo shipment with controlled ambient temperature between +25 degrees Celsius to -40 degrees Celsius.

Many other airports and airlines are also learnt to be preparing for vaccine transportation — possibly the largest ever air cargo opportunity so far.Delhi Airport has two cargo terminals that can handle over 150,000 metric tonne (1 MT is 1,000 kg), and has “temperature-controlled zones with separate cool chambers ranging from +25°C to -20°C, which will be extremely conducive for distribution of Covid 19 vaccines,” said a spokesperson.”There are cool dollies at the airside that ensure unbroken cool chain during temperature-sensitive cargo movement between terminal and aircraft. The terminals have separate gates for fast movement of vehicles carrying vaccines in and out of the airport. Delhi Airport has set up a dedicated ‘transshipment excellence centre’ on airside that will help in fast movement of vaccines through transshipment,” he added.A Hyderabad airport spokesperson said the GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) is located in the epicentre of India’s vaccine production region. GHAC has India’s first pharma zone with certified temperature-controlled facility for handling temperature-sensitive cargo.

“The terminal is equipped with various temperature zones from -20 to +25 degrees Celsius … The freighter parking stands are just 50 metre away from the terminal, thereby minimising ramp exposure timing … we recently launched latest cool dollies — mobile refrigeration units for airside transportation designed to eliminate any temperature excursions and to maintain the unbroken cool chain,” he said.

The GHAC claims to have “one of India’s largest storage facility for cool containers … We are also upgrading infrastructure to double the capacity on both landside and airside to handle the upcoming surge in volumes,” he added.

A SpiceJet official official said: “SpiceXpress offers cargo shipment with controlled ambient temperature between +25 degrees Celsius to -40 degrees Celsius. The service is suitable for sensitive drugs, vaccines and blood samples. To suit the need of the cargo, containers can (be given) extra protection of thermal blankets if required. There are transit points with chillers to replace the gel packs and ensure real-time temperature monitoring with alarm system to ensure stability.”

The SpiceXpress’ cold chain management is synchronized with end to end logistics and that shipment of cargo is completely temperature controlled right from the warehouse to the aircraft hold area, he added.

The budget airline, which has operated over 10,000 flights carrying more than 80,000 tonnes of cargo from march 25 till date, says it has “sufficient capacity to cater to the rise in demand for the Covid-19 vaccine shipments. We have been transporting vaccine shipments to various international as well as domestic destinations. A lot of things that we carry like blood samples need a temperature-controlled environment and today we have that facility both in our planes and our ground support vehicles.”



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Galadari Colombo awarded ‘SLIM People’s Hotel Brand of the Year 2021’

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The Galadari Colombo was given a thumbs up from the people as the People’s Hotel Brand of the Year for the second time running at the recently concluded SLIM (Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing) People’s Awards 2021.

The uniqueness of the SLIM People’s Awards is the fact that it is awarded by the public which shows the popular choice of the Sri Lankan people.

This is the 15th successful running of the much-anticipated event conducted by SLIM in association with Nielsen which is globally renowned for its measurement and consumer insights.

Having stood the test time of time in the hospitality industry for more than 3 decades the Galadari Colombo is hopeful to remain in the hearts of its people as a brand that is trustworthy and dedicated to service.

 

 

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Expatriates’ organization painting competition for Sri Lankan children from care homes highlights close India-Sri Lanka ties

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Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan children from care homes converged in Colombo from all across Sri Lanka over 10-11 April 2021 for the final round of the nationwide painting competition organized by Colombo Expatriates Cultural Association (CECA) – a voluntary organization of expatriates consisting of mainly Indians – with support of the High Commission of India, Ministry of Education of government of Sri Lanka and several other partners.

Prof. G.L Peiris, Minister of Education was the Chief Guest and Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India was the Guest of Honour at the final round. Several other dignitaries including State Minister Piyal Nishantha were also present. The dignitaries lauded the effort as a shining example of strong people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka and stressed the enormous significance of the enriching experience for the children.

The competition was held in three categories – Sub Junior, Junior and Senior. The first round of the competition had seen enthusiastic participation of 4,375 students from child care homes across Sri Lanka. Contestants from all provinces who had produced sixty best paintings were invited along with one care-giver for the final round held in Colombo on April 10 at Hotel Taj Samudra. While top three winners in all the three categories were awarded SLR 100,000, SLR 75,000 and SLR 50,000 respectively in addition to various other gifts, certificates and medals, all the 60 finalists received cash awards, desktop computers, and other gifts contributed by various sponsors.

The event also formed part of ‘India @ 75’ celebrations in Sri Lanka which comprise events and activities in the run up to completion of 75 years of India’s Independence in August 2022. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had launched these celebrations in India on March 12 2021, 75 weeks before the 75th Anniversary of Independence. In Sri Lanka, formal launch of these celebrations had taken place on April 9 2021 with the inauguration of ‘India Corner’ at the Nagananda Institute for Buddhist Studies.

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Chrissworld to raise Rs. 56.25 million through IPO

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

Chrissworld Ltd. (CWL), an SME company  engaged in the provision of third-party logistics (3PL) services, is gearing to raise up to Rs. 56.25 million via an initial public offering (IPO) on the Colombo Stock Exchange, sources said.

The company plans to offer 7,500,000 Ordinary Voting Shares for subscription at Rs. 7.50 per share. The subscription will open on April 27, with Atara Capital Partners representing the company as managers to the issue.

Meanwhile, the CSE noted in a statement that it has approved an application submitted by Chrissworld Ltd. for the listing of its Ordinary Voting Shares by way of an offer for subscription on the Empower Board of the CSE.

The company,  starting off with Rs. 6 million capital in 2019, expanded its capital to Rs. 22.5 million and projects to obtain Rs. 79 million after the IPO.

Chrissworld will be earmarking milestones with the IPO as the first to be listed on the Empower Board, CSE’s newest listing platform, dedicated to SMEs. Further, Central Depository Systems (Pvt.) Ltd., a subsidiary company of CSE, will step in for the first time as the registrar to the issue.

Amid those developments the CSE  started  on a bullish note yesterday and during the latter part of the day with heavy retail investor participation the CSE witnessed a bullish trend. It is said that manufacturing sector counters became the most popular stocks during the day. Notable price appreciation was reported in Hayleys Group, Royal Ceramic Group and  Distilleries.    

Both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 100.10 points and S and P SL20 rose by 49.18 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.51 billion with a crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 1.32 million shares to the tune of Rs. 199.3 million and its share price was Rs. 151.

In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Royal Ceramic Rs. 511.2 million (1.46 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded),  Hayleys Group Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 321 million (5.5 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 290 million (1.9 million shares traded), and Haycarb Rs. 177 million (1.5 million shares traded). During the day 87.8 million share volumes changed hands in 23900 transactions.

Hayleys shares appreciated by Rs. 6 or eight percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 75.90 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 82. Royal Ceramic shares appreciated by Rs. 13.5 or nine percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 328.25 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 358.75. Expolanka shares appreciated by Rs. 2.70 or five percent. Its shares  started trading at Rs. 49.70 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs. 52.40 and Distilleries shares appreciated by 70 cent or 3 percent from Rs. 20.20 to Rs. 20.90  

Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted steady at 202.00/203 to the one month US dollar Monday, while gilt yields remained unchanged, dealers said.

The rupee last closed in the one-week forward market at 202/203 to the US dollar on Friday. Sri Lanka markets were dull as seasonal bliss kicks in.

 

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