Newly married couple Prakash (L) and Sumita travel on a rickshaw at Patharpatima Island in the Sundarbans delta. Sumita and Prakash married on Monday night while cyclone hit Patharpatima Island.
Nearly 120 people have been killed by a cyclone that ripped through Bangladesh and West Bengal including the Sundarbans, which is home to the world's largest tiger reserve, 24 Parganas DM Dr Khalil Ahmed told Bengal Newz on Tuesday, while millions remained marooned by floodwaters or living in shelters.
Sliguri, 26 May : At least 12 people were killed and 21 injured following a huge landslides Tuesday at Ghoom in West Bengal's hill district Darjeeling, police said. "At least 12 people died and 21 were injured in landslides across Darjeeling district. We've also got reports that six people are missing," Darjeeling additional superintendent of police Akhilesh Yadav said. He said the army has been called in to carry out rescue operations in different parts of the hills. "Roads at Mirik, Sonada, Rohini and Pankhabari Road are closed," District Magistrate, Darjeeling, Surendra Gupta told Bengal Newz.
Nearly 500 houses were damaged due to torrential rains that started yesterday morning and are still continuing in northern parts of the state. According to sources, nearly 100 landslides took place across Darjeeling and its adjoining areas causing immense trouble to thousands of residents of the hilly region. န Photos : AFP
Mamata took over as Rly Minister at ER headquarter
Mamata announces Rs 20 monthly passes for poors
Announced Howrah-Digha Kandari Express on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Kazi Nazrul Islam Kolkata, 26 May : In a break from tradition, Mamata Banerjee today took over as Railway Minister here instead of in Delhi and announced special monthly passes at Rs 20 for those with monthly income below Rs 500, besides a new train for West Bengal.
"For the poor, we are announcing special monthly railway passes. The Railways wants to give them the economic freedom to travel by rail, especially those in the unorganised sector who have to come every day from their villages to the city," Banerjee said at the Eastern Railway headquarters here.
Banerjee also announced introduction of the Howrah-Digha Kandari Express on the occasion of the birth anniversary of rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. The express will run seven days a week.
Mamata, who was slated to assume office in Delhi today, decided to stay back saying she had to help people affected by the cyclone.
Govt to present budget in first week of July : Pranab
New Delhi, 26 May : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that budget for 2009-10 that will spell out policies and priorities of the new UPA government will be presented in the first week of July.
"I would not like to have a second batch of vote on account... The Budget will be presented in the first week of July," he told CNBC-TV18 in an interview. The minister further said that the issues and concerns about the economy raised by him in the interim budget, especially with regard to the sectors which are hit badly by the global financial crisis, would be addressed in the budget.
WBengal : Cyclone toll rises to 45, rescue ops begin
B'desh : Aila leaves at least 103 dead, 100+ missing
< People make their way from the flooded village of Minakhan in south 24 Parganas district.
Kolkata, Dhaka, 26 May : The death toll due to Monday's havoc caused by cyclone 'Aila' in West Bengal rose to 45 today. And in Bangladeash the death count from 'Aila' that flung itself to the exposal coastline on Monday has reached 103 with more than 100 missing until Tuesday evening.
In West Bengal, the highest number of 20 deaths occurred in South 24 Parganas district followed by eight in North 24 Parganas, six each in Kolkata and Howrah, three in Birbhum and one each in Bankura and Malda, official sources said. Two columns of army, one each in Sandeshkhali and Kultali of North and South 24 Parganas districts respectively, were carrying out rescue and relief operations, defence spokesman Wing Commander Mahesh Upasani said. Six more army columns were on standby, he said. Two MI-17 helicopters were air-dropping food packets in the two worst hit areas in the two districts, he said. The army would also take up operations in Hingalganj in North 24 Parganas and Gosaba, Patharpratima and Sagardwip areas in South 24 Parganas.
In Bangladesh twenty-seven people died in Khulna, 30 in Satkhira, 10 in Bhola, nine in Barisal, nine in Patuakhali, four in Narshingdi, 24 in Noakhali, seven in Laxmipur, two each in Chapainawabganj, Cox's Bazar, Rajshahi and Naogaon, and one each in Magura and Rangpur.
Razzaq, the disaster management minister of Bangladesh, said prime minister Sheikh Hasina directed the MPs to visit the affected areas. As many as 42,000 volunteers along with army, navy and coast guard members are conducting rescue and relief operations in the affected areas under local arrangements. န Photo : AFP
Ashuganj thermal power station's 6 units shut down
Brahmanbaria, 26 May : Six of the eight units of Ashuganj thermo-electric power station has been shut down by the authorities on Tuesday morning due to cyclone Aila. The shutdown caused a 428 megawatt supply dearth in the national grid.
"Electric wires and poles were damaged in different districts by cyclone Aila. Electricity cannot be supplied unless those are repaired, Besides, the demand for electricity went down because of rain." the managing director of the station, Abdul Khaleq, told reporters.
He also said Unit 3 and Unit 5 are now producing 100 and 80 megawatts respectively instead of their usual 150 megawatt each. The units shut down are 56-MW GT 1, 56-MW GT 2, 34-MW MP Unit, 64-MW Unit 1, 64-MW Unit 2 and 150-MW Unit 4. န Photo : Power Plants Around The World
Heavy rains in Aila-hit NE, situation worsens with advent of monsoon
Guwahati, 26 May : The Indian North East states experienced heavy to very heavy rainfall since yesterday under the influence of cyclonic storm ‘Aila’, with the onset of monsoon further leading to the incessant downpour.
The NE states, which had mostly recorded deficit rainfall this season, had been receiving incessant rains since yesterday, coupled with squally gusty winds at about 50-60 kmph. Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya recorded the highest downpour in the last 24 hours with 213.4 mm rainfall so far, Meteorological department sources informed.
Cyclone hits cargo operation at West Bengal ports
Kolkata, 26 May : The cyclonic storm that lashed West Bengal on Monday has hit cargo operations at Kolkata and Haldia ports, while unloading of two crude oil vessels was stopped at another port, government officials told today.
The ports handle imports of sugar, crude oil, vegetable oils, coal, cooking gas and other commodities, while exports from these ports include iron ore, tea, steel and jute. It was not clear which commodities were affected by the storm. "As many as 27 ships are at these two docks and cargo handling has been affected," said Rajeev Dube, deputy chairman of the Kolkata Port Trust.
He said 11 ships were berthed at Kolkata and the rest at Haldia, while another 12 ships bound for these ports were stranded at the sea. Kolkata port handles about 30,000 tonnes of cargoes each day, while the daily average cargoes handled at Haldia, where bigger vessels can berth, is 100,000 tonnes. န Photo : AP