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Monday, September 14, 2009

Vehicles to ply without escorts on Assam-Agartala highway

PTI, Agartala, 14 September : With insurgency on a decline in Tripura, the state government today withdrew the 16-year-old system of escorting all vehicles plying through the Assam-Agartala National highway, considered to be the lifeline of the state.
"Decision to withdraw the system of providing escorts to the vehicles plying on National Highway-44 was taken last week following review of security situation by a high level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar," Director General of Police, Pranay Sahaya told reporters. Security escorts for vehicles on the highway was made mandatory in 1993 following attack on vehicles by insurgents. "Central paramilitary, CRPF which was providing security escorts to the vehicle was given the responsibility of keeping the highway incident free," DIG CRPF, M S Sekhawat said.
"Patrolling on the roads were intensified and many traffic posts were set up to control reckless driving," he added. Photo : AFP

BD's Currency notes to have portrait of Bangabandhu
Dhaka, 14 September : The Bangladesh government has moved to have the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on currency notes, Finance Minister AMA Muhith informed the Parliament today while replying to lawmakers’ queries.
He said the currency notes inscribed with the portrait of father of the nation will be available in the market soon.

Half hartal in Dhaka to protest gas exploration deals
Dhaka, 14 September : A half-day hartal enforced by a citizen's committee in Bangladesh's capital city Dhaka on Monday to press for scrapping the government's gas exploration deals with two foreign companies was observed peacefully except for some stray incidents of violence.
The hartal, the first since the country's present Awami League-led government came to power in January, was convened on 10 September by the citizen's committee the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports.
The strike was observed from 6:00 a.m. local time. Several hundred leaders and activists of the committee with banners and placards in their hands brought out professions parading the main city thorough fares while chanted slogans in support of their demands that include cancellation of the deals. Photos : Mustafiz Mamun

Sourav Ganguly to play Ranji Trophy for W Bengal
Sourav ruled out the possibility of "joining politics"
Agartala, 14 September : Former India captain Sourav Ganguly today reiterated that he has decided to play Ranji Trophy matches for Bengal again.
"I will play IPL tournaments, so for fitness, I may play Ranji trophy also," Ganguly, who has retired from international cricket, told in Meet the Press organised by Tripura Sports Journalists Club here. Ganguly also supported the new 25-25 format proposed by Sachin Tendulkar to revive ODI cricket. "It is a good proposal and there would be no dearth of sponsors for this format," he said. Ganguly emphasised that Test cricket will always remain and it was necessary for the survival of other formats of cricket.
He ruled out the possibility of joining politics. "I do not see any possibility of joining politics and even I do not think of joining politics," he said. Photo : Parthajit Dutta

79session of National Academy of Sciences in Kolkata
PTI, Allahabad, 14 September : The National Academy of Sciences India (NASI) is set to host its 79th annual session in Kolkata this year from 14 to 17 December, where a galaxy of scientists, educationists and experts will discuss various developments in the field of both pure and applied sciences.
Giving this information, NASI secretary MS Sinha said that it has been a tradition to select venue of the session on the basis of its importance in the field of science and its development. Following the invitation extended by vice-chancellor of Kolkata University, consensus emerged to host the session in Kolkata.
He said that during the session, a national symposium on 'Science and technology and the young (Career, creativity, excitement)' will also be held. The symposium would be aimed to prepare a draft on status of science in the country. The draft will comprise a detailed overview of ways and methods to ignite scientific temperament among youth.

Maoists kill CPM leader in Lalgarh
Midnapore, 14 September : Suspected Maoists today shot dead a CPI(M) leader at Salbani near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district.
The police said Maoists called 35-year-old Shambhu Mahato, Secretary of CPI(M)'s Salbani Branch office, from his home at remote Guripal village this morning and shot him from close range. He died on the spot, police said. The insurgents also killed a shop-keeper and CPI(M) member at Aandaria bazaar in Binpur last evening.
Sheikh Bakul was killed when he had gone to market to buy medicine. Photo : R Shaw

Illegal tree-felling ruins Bangladesh’s famous beach
Dhaka, 14 September : A 10 km stretch of Teknaf beach in southeastern Bangladesh has turned barren after over 30,000 trees were felled in the last seven days. The forest department remained “a silent spectator of the mindless tree felling”, The Daily Star said Monday.
The stretch in Cox’s Bazaar from Shahparir Dwip to Baharchhara of the upazila (sub-district) runs a high risk in any natural disaster like cyclone and tidal surge common in this area. Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), police and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in joint raids Sunday recovered about 7,500 felled Jhau trees from nearby villages and arrested a man. Coastal forest department sources said about 500,000 Jhau trees were planted on 700 acres of sandy beach on a stretch of about 10 km in 1995 to save people living along the Teknaf coast from erosion.
In the course of 14 years, the trees became big and formed a dense forest. Thousands of Jhau trees act as a wall to save the coast during tidal surges or cyclones. But for the last few months these trees are being felled.

Spectrum inks DGH reprocessing deal for Andamans
Scandinavian Oil-Gas Magazine, 14 September : Spectrum has signed an agreement with India’s Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) to reprocess up to 10,100 line km 2D of their seismic data offshore the Andaman Islands frontier on the East Coast of India, and to license the results to third parties.
The new agreement follows the Indian government’s launch of the NELP VIII Licensing Round that comprises 8 blocks offshore Andaman Islands. Many of the lines proposed by Spectrum for reprocessing cross this frontier area. READ FULL STORY
Gorkhaland by '10 if December talks fail, warns GJM
Siliguri, 14 September : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, fighting for a separate state in the Darjeeling hills, has warned that it will unilaterally form 'Gorkhaland' if the next round of tripartite talks scheduled in December failed to deliver "justice".
GJM chief Bimal Gurung told a central convention of the 'Yuba Morcha', the youth wing, in Darjeeling yesterday that the fourth round of tripartite talks between the Centre, the GJM and the West Bengal government to be held on 21 December were "vital" for the Gorkhas and Gorkhaland. "In no case Gorkhas will continue to live under West Bengal government," he said. Gurung said that the GJM would also raise a special force of 500 youth to be named after 'Durga Malla', a Gorkha freedom fighter who was hanged during the British rule in 1944. The GJM chief said that 50 youth each from Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik and Dooars would make up the Durga Malla force and would be imparted guerrilla warfare training.
The force would also be provided with arms training, but 'with government permission', he said. Photo : Himalaya Darpan
Hilsa & duck eggs, Sourav laps up Tripura CM's menu
Agartala, 14 September : Hilsa fried and steamed and egg curry kept gourmet Sourav Ganguly busy at Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar’s residence yesterday before the Bengal southpaw could get down to the usual business of cricket.
Ganguly was specially invited by the chief minister’s wife, Panchali Bhattacharya, for lunch through Arindam Ganguly, the secretary of the Tripura Cricket Association. As Panchali took up the ladle to serve the guest herself, Ganguly thought it fit not to disappoint her. “There were duck eggs and Sourav had four of them. He did not have much rice though,” an aide close to the chief minister said. Of course, there was dal to accompany the rice a meal the cricketer later described as “very homely food”. The “homely” touch was only natural. The Tripura chief minister is a known cricket lover and a big fan of Ganguly.
Digging into the hilsa, Ganguly could not help lamenting the unavailability of such “tasty fish” in the Kolkata markets. “Sourav absolutely relished the hilsa,” the aide said. Sources in the chief minister’s office said the hilsa was specially ordered from one of the biggest fish exporters of Agartala.
Unlike in other parts of the country, people in Agartala get to savour fresh hilsa as the place in Bangladesh where the fish is loaded for export is only around two-and-a-half hours’ drive from the Tripura capital.
Kolkata National Library’s Alipur heritage building
To be used for cultural activities at Bhasa Bhavan
Kolkata, 14 September : The Kolkata National Library, the largest library in India, and an institution of National Importance has shifted most of its collections from the heritage building Belvedere to the newly constructed Bhasa Bhavan located at the same complex.
A Committee for the Heritage Building of the National Library has been constituted by the Union Ministry of Culture to recommend the most appropriate utilization of this architectural marvel. The constraints and stipulation that are essential for the preservation of heritage buildings in India will be kept in mind. The main feature of this building is the grand flight of steps with a carriage portico below somewhat similar to that in Government House, Kolkata. These steps lead to the vestibule, a tastefully decorated room from which the large hall is reached.
The 15-member Committee is headed by Prof. Barun De, Chairman, West Bengal Heritage Commission. Other members have been drawn from different fields such as art and architecture, theatre, archaeology, literature, history etc. The Committee will consult various stakeholders and concerned groups and submit its report within a period of six months.