Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tiger Population on the Up

The recent tiger census has registered a 30% increase in India’s tiger population in three years.  In 2011 there were 1,706 tigers and in 2014 there were 2,226.  The census is carried out every three years and in 2008 there were 1,411 so this is great news for India’s tigers as the numbers are falling in other parts of the world. 

What is interesting is the distribution of India’s tigers as it is generally thought that South India is not the place to see them - but Karnataka has the highest number of tigers in the age group of 1.5 and over.  The state has 408 tigers in that age group followed by 340 in Uttarakhand, 308 in Madhya Pradesh, 229 in Tamil Nadu, 190 in Maharashtra, 167 in Assam, 136 in Kerala and 117 in Uttar Pradesh.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bars in Kerala opening again

Further to the Update Blogs I have been posting over the last few months I think this one will bring to a close the ‘saga’ regarding the Kerala Liquor ban.  The policy envisaged the closure of 730 bars and a total prohibition within a decade.  But bribery charges against one of the ministers involved, the back-lash from the hotel/tourist industry and the loss of jobs made them re-think.  It was estimated that 20,000 bar workers would lose their jobs and a dozen of those who had already lost their job had committed suicide.  The Catholic Church was a major supporter of the new policy and had threatened to ‘pull down’ the government if they re-opened the bars – but they have not said anything since the ban was reversed. 

So following all the changes the rules on alcohol in Kerala they are pretty well back to how they were before – the only difference is that the licencing hours are fractionally shorter on a Sunday.  A full licence is very expensive so not all hotels apply – but as a visitor you can expect to find a full bar in most top quality hotels and a beer and wine licence (which is cheaper) in most mid-range hotels.  Properties near a school or place of worship may not be successful I obtaining one and establishments concentrating on Ayurveda generally do not apply.  Small hotels, guesthouses and homestays do not normally apply for a licence as they would never cover their costs - so visitors cannot expect to buy alcohol at these establishments.


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