According to a message received from the expedition base camp at Solo Khumbu in Nepal, team leader Basanta Sinha Roy and another member Debashis Biswas reached the top of the world's highest mountain at 7:40 am (IST). The message said the two had set out from the summit camp at South Col above 26,000 feet at around 10:00pm last night and reached the top after a gruelling climb of about ten hours. The expedition organised by MAK which left for the mountain on 4 April had initially planned to climb through the Rongbook glacier, North Col and North East ridge route in Tibet, but were disallowed by the Chinese government. The expedition members then decided to climb from the traditional Khumbu Glacier, South Col, Southeast ridge route in Nepal.
The expedition members set up their base camp at Solo Khumbu at 16,000 feet on 14 April . They set out from the base camp for the final push on 13 May. န Photos : AP, Pranab Debnath (More photos at www.facebook.com/bengalnewz )
Kolkata, 17 May : India’s monsoon, which accounts for four-fifths of the nation’s annual rains, set over the eastern coast three days ahead of schedule, boosting prospects for an early planting of crops.
Conditions are ‘favorable’ for advance of monsoon rains over some more parts of Bay of Bengal, the south Andaman Sea and Nicobar islands in the next 48 hours, the India Meteorological Department said in a statement on its website today.
IANS, Agartala, 17 May : The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has begun preliminary work to upgrade the Agartala airport to an international airport to boost the region’s connectivity with southeast Asia, officials here said Monday.AAI’s Agartala airport officiating controller R.C. Das said the decision to upgrade the Agartala airport was taken as part of the India’s Look East policy.
“As part of the plan, the terminal building, air traffic control tower, runway and other necessary infrastructure would be expanded and further strengthened,” Das told IANS. A state government official said the AAI has sought 200 acres of land “to build additional infrastructure”. The official said the chief ministers of Tripura and Meghalaya had been demanding introduction of direct flights between Agartala, Shillong and Dhaka to boost trade and economic activities between Bangladesh and northeast India.
“If the Agartala airport is made an international airport, the airway communication between India and southeast Asian countries would be easier and it would help in boosting trade and economy of the region,” said the official.
BSS, Seoul, 16 May : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday sought more South Korean investment in power, gas, infrastructure, shipbuilding, IT, automobile and agro-based industry sectors of Bangladesh.
Mentioning huge unexplored potentials for investment in Bangladesh, she urged the Korean entrepreneurs to expand their investment in Bangladesh considering a market of 160 million consumers, abundant cheap skilled laborers, inexpensive transport system and favourable investment policy.
The prime minister said Bangladesh and Korea have already signed an agreement on Investment Promotion and Protection, and an Agreement on Double Taxation to facilitate your investment. She also said the two-way trade between the two countries has crossed the billion-dollar mark in 2008 with the balance heavily in favor of the Republic of Korea. န Photo : PID
UNB, Comilla, 17 May : Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion members and police again seized 1,974 rounds of bullet at Shilmuri village in Barura upazila of Comilla Monday morning.
Being informed by local people, a RAB team and police recovered the bullets of Self-Loading Rifle (SLR) and machine gun kept in two sacks in an abandoned condition near a graveyard of the village. With this, a total of 10,164 rounds of bullet were seized from the same village in four phases.
Dhaka, 17 May : Five people, including a child and a woman, were killed and two others injured when a lightning struck them in Nageshwari Upazila of Kurigram district Monday morning.
Police and locals said five day-labourers were working on a paddy field adjacent to Badiar's house and when rain started suddenly, they took shelter in the house. During the rain, the lightning struck Badiar's house around 8:30am, leaving five dead and two others injured, the sources added. Officer-in-charge Manjur Rahman of Nageshwari Police Station confirmed the deaths.
IANS, Shillong, 17 May : Meghalaya is set to see three shutdowns in a row beginning from Tuesday to protest police firing that killed four people at the disputed Langpih village.
While the Khasi Students' Union has called for a shutdown on Tuesday, the United Democratic Party has annouced a 12-hour statewide strike on Wednesday. The outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has called for a separate dawn-to-dusk shutdown on Thursday. National Highways No.40 and 44, the lifelines for landlocked Mizoram, Tripura and parts of Manipur and southern Assam, are likely to be affected by the shutdowns.
Chittagong, Natore, 17 May : Seven people were killed and at least 24 others injured in four separate road accidents in Chittagong and Natore on Sunday night and Monday. Of the total, five people were killed in Chittagong and two in Natore.
In Chittagong, a city-bound bus rammed a CNG-run auto-rickshaw on the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Highway at Naya Hat in Patiya upazila around 10:00am on Monday, leaving its passenger, dead on the spot and injuring four others.
In other accident, an unidentified woman, aged about 65, was run over by an unknown vehicle at Chittagong Export Processing Zone Intersection in the early hours Monday.
The pre-monsoon rains accompanied by strong winds and hailstorm Sunday night damaged more than 1,000 houses and killed many cattle in western and southern Tripura. "Three people, including a woman, were killed in separate incidents of wall collapse and lightning at Teliamura in western Tripura," a relief department official told reporters. Ten people who were hurt in these incidents have been shifted to government hospitals, the official said.
Hundreds of trees, telephone and electric poles were uprooted in the squall, badly affecting the movement of vehicles on Monday. "Civil defence workers and district officials are busy providing relief. Telecommunication and power corporation personnel are working to restore communication lines and power supply," the official said.
Similar cyclonic rainstorms accompanied by heavy lightning since March have also killed 15 more people in Tripura, damaged 15,000 houses and caused large scale destruction.