Dhaka, 17 March : Kazi and Kazi Tea has entered the Japanese market as first exporters of tea from Bangladesh, an official said Tuesday. KK Tea's chief executive officer Kazi Anis Ahmed told reporters at a news briefing that this was the first and only tea from Bangladesh to enter the premium segment of world tea market. He added they already had orders to export 4500 kg tea to Japan. KK Tea is the first organic tea in Bangladesh, Ahmed said.
According to Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh exported tea worth $ 14.89 million last fiscal year.
Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and Afghanistan are the main market of Bangladesh tea. Bangladesh also exported a little to Germany, Greece, Italy, UK and USA.
Kolkata, 17 March : Nothing is constant in politics and if it came to the Third Front grabbing power at the Centre, the Left may join the government. CPM veteran Jyoti Basu said this at his Salt Lake residence on Tuesday.
Basu's comments came a day after CPM general secretary Prakash Karat left it to the party central committee to take the call. In 1996, CPM had refused to let Basu take the PM's oath at the head of a United Front government, something he later termed a "historic blunder". According to party insiders, the CPM patriarch hinted at this possibility only to reassure the Left-of-the-Centre voters in West Bengal that the Left would take more responsibility, rather than acting as "watchdogs" from outside, a CPM leader said.
"The Third Front's forming a government is difficult. Yet the Third Front is a viable alternative. And if it is able to form the government, the Left may join this time. We could not do it last time," the CPM patriarch said with a tacit reference to 1996, when Basu was prevented by the majority in the CPM central committee. Thirteen years ago in 1996, Basu's "historic blunder" statement kicked off a fierce debate following which the CPM updated its party programme at a special Party Congress held in 2000. The revised clause (Section 7.17) leaves an open-ended option of "forming governments".
Kolkata, 17 March : He sang, danced to a tune on Nandigram, showed his fists and crooned "Jai Mamata!" An enthusiastic crowd cheered and clapped with him to the new slogan. Attending his first meeting with Trinamool Congress workers on Tuesday, Jadavpur Lok Sabha candidate and maverick 'Jibanmukhi' musician Kabir Suman didn't strike a single wrong note. And sitting by Suman's side, a benign Mamata Banerjee smiled and played along.
Mamata, according to Suman, represent Motherland and he appealed to all Trinamool workers to greet each other with "Jai Mamata!" when they meet. But there was much more that song, dance and bombast at the meeting held at Jadavpur stadium. Knowing that Jadavpur had slipped into the CPM grasp in 2004, Suman left it to Mamata's charisma to inspire party activists to thwart the "CPM machinery" and swing the poll battle in his favour. Especially since his main opponent from the seat, CPM's Sujan Chakraborty, is an old political warhorse.
Warning party supporters against taking the easy path of character assassination of rivals, Suman said that CPM leaders in the state were no longer Marxists, but opportunists. "Cockroaches can't be birds and fly. They are ruined, we just need to throw them out of power," Suman said.
Kolkata High Court ordered...
15-year-old Buses, Taxis, Autos
Must be off the roads by 31 July
Kolkata, 17 March : The Kolkata High Court on Tuesday directed that 15 year old diesel buses, taxis and two-stroke autos must go off the roads in the metropolis by 31 July.
Vacating a restraint order on seizure of polluting two-stroke auto-rickshaws, a division bench comprising Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice P C Ghosh allowed West Bengal government's pea for for extension of the time limit for conversion and phasing out of the vehicles till 31 July.
Vacating the January nine restraint order on the government on seizing polluting autos, it directed the administration to take strict action against those who don't comply.
12 Militant Outfits Active in Bangladesh
PM Hasina Demands Details and Action
Dhaka, 17 March : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demanded more details and action on a home ministry report that 12 Islamist militant outfits were working unhindered in the country. Hasina was ‘disappointed’ and in the cabinet meeting she sent back the report asking for more information about such organisations and their network.
Information was sought on their operations, funding and links with political organisations and the report did not have “vital information”, the newspaper said.
Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder placed the report that named 12 militant outfits - Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI), Hizbut Towhid, Ulama Anjuman al Bainat, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Islami Democratic Party, Islami Samaj, Touhid Trust, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, Shahadat-e al Hikma Party Bangladesh, Tamira Ar-Din Bangladesh (Hizb e Abu Omar) and Allahr Dal.
Trinamool to fight against Congress in Tripura
Agartala, 17 March : Though it has a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress party in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress said Tuesday it will put up its own candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in Tripura.
Tripura Trinamool Congress chairman Arun Chandra Bhowmik told reporters: ‘We will fight the Congress and the ruling Left Front in Tripura and we are likely to form an alliance with tribal based parties.’
Meanwhile, the tribal-based Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) and the Party for Democratic Socialism (PDS), a local party formed by breakaway leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), have announced their support to the Congress.
‘We have discussed with the Congress central leaders our support for their candidates in both the Lok Sabha seats as they will in turn support us in next year’s election to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC),’ said INPT general Secretary and former minister Rabindra Debbarma.
Two other tribal based parties, Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the Nationalist Council of Tripura (NCT) are also holding talks with various parties to fight unitedly against the ruling left parties. ‘If the major parties do not form alliance with us, we shall field candidates separately in both the Lok Sabha constituencies,’ said a leader of one of the parties.
Elections to the two Tripura Lok Sabha constituencies would be held 23 April.
"Open Pit Mining Must Start in Phulbari" say Blog
Posted by phulbarinews on 17 March : Prof Hossain Mansur of Geology Department of Dhaka University said that appropriate initiative must be taken without delay to explore and exploit coal as alternative fuel to ensure the required power generation in accordance with the election pledge of Awami League. For this, he said, the decision for open pit mining to extract coal from Phulbari is required to be taken on priority basis. To read more CLICK.
Water crisis in West Bengal's Hills deepens
Darjeeling, 17 March : Darjeeling Municipality is finding it difficult to supply potable water to citizens of the Hills, as rainfall has eluded the hill town for the past five months and reservoirs in Senchel near Jorebunglow are near-empty.
The South Lake reservoir in Senchel is empty and the North Lake has only about 8.7 feet of water. There has to be minimum 12 feet water for adequate supply, said sources. The situation could turn grim if there is no rainfall soon, feel civic officials. "We normally depend on winter rainfall and water tapping by conduit lines. But with no rain for five months, the rivulets too, are drying up," assistant engineer of the waterworks department C Mukhia told Bengal Newz today.
At present, the municipality is supplying water to the public every 15-20 days to prolong distribution from the reservoirs. People are being compelled to buy water for their daily needs, paying hefty amounts. The less fortunate ones are having to travel miles to collect water from rivulets.
Flights to Assam delayed by Dust storms and Fog
Kolkata, 17 March : Three flights from Kolkata to Guwahati and one flight to Silchar in Assam were delayed today morning due to poor visibility caused by dust storms and fog here.
Kolkata-Guwahati flights of Jetlite (S2361), Air India (IC229) and Kingfisher (IT4569) did not take off from the Netaji Subhas International Airport here due to poor visibility at the Guwahati airport, airport sources here said. The Kolkata-Silchar Alliance Air flight (CD 7705) with 45 passengers on board returned here after failing to land at Silchar. The flight again took off from here at 9.45AM, sources said.
The problem at the Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati has been compounded by suspension of the Instrumental Landing System (ILS) which enables aircraft to land when visibility is poor due to various reasons, the sources said. Guwahati has been experiencing dust storms following a dry spell for over four months.