"The ministry has taken some initiatives to boost domestic tourism like skill upgrade and skill development apart from organising domestic roadshows and regional conferences," minister of state for tourism Sultan Ahmed told Bengal Newz on the sidelines of the inauguration of East and North East roadshow. The ministry is planning to develop three niche products- wellness tourism, caravan tourism and helipad tourism this year, he also said.
The additional director general of the tourism ministry, Devesh Chaturvedi, , said "The foreign tourist inflow started declining in November 2008 after the Mumbai attack. Till 2007, the tourism industry had a growth rate of 14.3 per cent. In 2008, the annual growth rate of tourism industry was 5.6 per cent. From November 2008, decline in foreign tourist arrival started. There was a decline of 17 per cent in December and till May 2009, there was a cumulative decline of 10 per cent over the same period last year".
This increase in foreign tourist specialy in the East and North East states arrival in July has had a positive impact on foreign exchange earnings. There was a 24 per cent increase in rupee terms over the corresponding period last year, he informed. န Photos : Indrajit Dutta
Khudrun (Burdwan) 11 August : Mamata Banerjee today declared she would now focus her energies on “rescuing” restive Mangalkot, clubbing it with Singur and Nandigram.
“From now, Mangalkot will be my target,” Mamata said at Khudrun, the place where Trinamul Congress supporters had clashed with police last Saturday. “Why did the administration clamp Section 144 just before I came here for the meeting? We will come to the rescue of the people of Mangalkot who are being tortured by the CPI(M), just in the way we went to the rescue of the people of Nandigram and Singur.”
However, she told her supporters not to violate the prohibitory orders in Mangalkot Khudrun is about 3km from the restriction zone and warned them against provoking the police. But trouble erupted at Noapara, about 6km from the meeting site, after Mamata had left for Kolkata. န Photo : Dipankar Chatterjee
Agartala, 11 August : Tripura Chief Minister and CPI(M) politburo member Manik Sarkar lost his mother Anjali Sarkar here Tuesday. Government employee-turned-activist Anjali Sarkar (77), had been battling various diseases for the past five years. She died at the official residence of the chief minister.
“She was suffering from various old-age ailments and is survived by son Manik Sarkar and a daughter, who is a teacher in a government school,” her physician Pradip Bhowmik said.
CPI(M)'s State secretary Bijan Dhar told Bengal Newz, "Anjali Sarkar was the source of inspiration for every working people's of Tripura."
PTI, Siliguri, 11 August : A 12-hour strike called by the anti-Gorkhaland forces in Siliguri, its adjoining areas and in the Terai and Dooars region of Jalpaiguri district, which began here this morning, was peaceful.
All shops, markets and business establishments remained closed and vehicles went off the roads. Banks, post offices were closed and attendance in government offices was negligible, officials said. However, no untoward incident was reported so far and sufficient police arrangements had been made to maintain law and order in the area, Inspector General of Police (North Bengal), K L Tamta told PTI here.
The bandh was called by 'Amra Bangali', Rastriya Shib Sena and few other anti-Gorkhaland forces in Siliguri and its adjoining areas that are opposing any division of West Bengal and today's tripartite talks in Delhi on the Gorkhaland issue. The Adivasi Bikash Parishad had also called a dawn-to-dusk bandh in Terai and Dooars today. န Photo : Arnab Mitra
IBN, New Delhi, 11 August : The standoff between West Bengal Governor Gopal Gandhi and the Left Front government has spilled over to Delhi with the Governor telling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he was not interested in an extension of his term which ends in December.
In September last year the West Bengal Governor brokered peace between Mamata Bannerjee and the West Bengal government over the Singur-Nandigram agitation. The unease between Gopal Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, camouflaged then is now out in the open.
At a meeting with the Prime Minister just days after having criticised the West Bengal government in a letter for uncontrolled violence, sources have revealed that Gandhi has made it clear he wouldn’t want to go back to Raj Bhawan after his term ends.
Jhargram, 11 August : Maoists and security forces traded fire at Lakhanpur in Lalgarh police station area in West Midnapore district on Tuesday, even as an indefinite bandh began in Jhargram subdivision in protest against the arrest of two PCPA supporters.
The Maoists, who gunned down CPI(M) leader Paritosh Mishra last night at Dherua after a kangaroo court gave him the ‘death sentence’, fired at the police and Central security forces, official sources said. The security forces retaliated and also fired mortars, they said.
Meanwhile, the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities have called an indefinite bandh from tomorrow demanding release of two of its supporters arrested by police. The PCPA also dug up roads connecting the subdivision with Midnapore town, the district headquarters and also felled trees at a number of places to disrupt normal life, police said.
Admitting a setback to the operation against Maoists by joint forces in Lalgarh, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said Central security forces and police would stay in the restive area till the situation stabilises. He said the forces suffered a setback after Maoists resumed their wanton killings but hoped it would be set right in the next phase of operation which would be tactically different.
"We are not claiming full success for the anti-Maoist operation, though there was success in the initial phases," Bhattacharjee told reporters here. န Photo : PTI
Speaking after the third tripartite meeting among the Centre, the West Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Delhi, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told Bengal Newz "We are satisfied."
The party, he said, would review the talks at its central committee meeting on 17 August when a decision on the movement for Gorkhaland would be taken. On the three sides agreeing that the proposal for establishment of a Hill Council under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution would be dropped, he said this was welcome as the GJM had never accepted it.
Talking to reporters here on the sideline of a conference Mehta said, “Till now nothing significant has come out. The investigation is still on and only after further interrogation of the crewmembers we can come to a conclusion.” The Indian Coast Guard detained the ship with 39 crewmembers on board late on Friday in the Indian Ocean.
Officials at the Integrated Command and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) are investigating the ship and all its crewmembers. Some reports said Indian officials are facing difficulty in communicating with the crew because of the language problem.
According to the 2001 census, Tripura was the 12th most literate state in India with 73.66 % literacy and the second most literate state in northeast region after Mizoram, where the literacy rate was 88.49 %. According to a study by the Kolkata-based Indian Statistical Institute in 2006, the literacy rate in Tripura had risen to 80.14 %.
According to the state information department, 64,000 of the 3.8 million people in Tripura are illiterate.
Report of Tsunami warning triggers costal area panic
Port Blair, 11 August : An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale shook the Andaman and Nicobar islands early on Tuesday morning. However, there were no reports of any loss to life and property.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the quake hit the island at 1:26 am and was centered 260 km north of Port Blair city. Tremors were also felt at several places in Indian coastal areas.
Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet and the southern coastal region felt the quake at 2.55 am(BDST) local time, reported. The temblor that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale had its epicentre 980 kilometres south-southeast of Dhaka. “The tsunami alert was issued at around 4 am It was withdrawn at about 6.40 am,” Meteorologist Mominul Islam told The Daily Star newspaper.
“According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre and Japan Meteorological Agency, a devastating tsunami is unlikely to affect the coast of Bangladesh as the expected time of 6.40 am(BDST) is over,” said a bulletin of the met office.
“We are intensifying screening at its land border crossing points in the wake of deaths in India, as many people travel between the two countries,” Professor Mahmudur Rahman, president of the IEDCR said. He said more officials will be stationed at the land borders between India and Bangladesh and they are receiving training in a bid to check the pandemic.
WHO declared a global swine flu pandemic on 11 June, while the health ministry confirmed the first case in Bangladesh on 19 June. န Photo : AP