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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CBI takes over Sardiha' Gyaneshwari Express derailment probe

Kolkata, 9 June : Indian CBI today took over investigation into the Gyaneshwar Express train derailment in West Midnapore by registering a case in connection with the 28 May rail disaster that had claimed 148 lives.
"The Central Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation into the incident and has registered a case," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said. The Central government had on 3 June issued a notification for a CBI probe into the tragedy. Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had demanded a CBI probe after claiming that there was a "political conspiracy" behind the derailment. The West Bengal government has said the derailment was an act of sabotage by the Maoists. The state police has also made some arrests in the case.
The CBI said the West Bengal government had also issued a formal notification permitting it to investigate the train disaster. File Photo

'Mother's Language Lovers' delegation calls on PM Hasina
Dhaka, 9 June : A delegation of the Advisory Committee of the Mother's Language Lovers of the World, Bangladesh Chapter led by Prof. Dr. Anisuzzaman today called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office.
During the meeting, the delegation members thanked the Prime Minister for her enormous contribution in achieving UN recognition to make the 21st February as the International Mother Language Day. They proposed holding an international conference in Dhaka on the International Mother Language Day together with the expatriate Bangladeshis, who contributed a lot to achieving recognition of the International Mother Language Day.
Sheikh Hasina appreciated the proposal and assured them of providing necessary government cooperation to this end, Prime Minister's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad told newsmen after the meeting The Prime Minister advised them to hold the conference in next February, the Month of the country's Language Movement. Photo : BSS

World Bank loan to improve West Bengal gram panchayats
IANS, Washington, 9 June : The rural poor in West Bengal stand to benefit from a $200 million (Rs.9.4 billion) World Bank credit that the state will use to improve the effectiveness of service delivery by Gram Panchayats, the lowest level of government in India.
The World Bank Tuesday approved the West Bengal Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayats Project, designed to bolster the institutional capacity of Gram Panchayats in the state, enabling them to improve service delivery and governance in rural and peri-urban areas, where most of the poor in the state reside. The loan from the International Development Association (IDA), a lending arm of the Bank, has a 35-year maturity, including a 10-year grace period.
Over the past decade the West Bengal government has moved to decentralise service delivery and governance responsibilities and resources to Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs), the bank said. Aggregate funding flows to these entities have increased significantly and Gram Panchayats now have the authority to directly employ workers in certain sectors.
The project will add substantially to the resources available to Gram Panchayats through supporting an annual, performance-based block grant to 1,000 Gram Panchayats within 9 districts for expenditure on local infrastructure and service delivery.

No night running of trains in West Midnapore dist till 14 Jun
Kolkata, 9 June : Running of passenger trains during night on the Kharagpur-Rourkela and Kharagpur-Adra sections in West Midnapore district would remain suspended till 14 June due to security reasons in the aftermath of the Jnaneswari Express disaster.
Passenger train services in these two sections would not be operated between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am, South Eastern Railway sources said today. While several mail and express trains to and from West and Central India have been rescheduled, three trains would remain cancelled till 14 June, the sources said.
Floods hit 'Kaziranga park', forest guard feared drowned
Guwahati, 9 June : Assam's Kaziranga National Park, home to highly endangered one-horned rhinos, was facing a serious flood threat with half of its area submerged by rising waters of the Brahmaputra in which a forest guard drowned today.
Officials said guard Mahendra Karmakar fell off an elephant while crossing a river at Betkhati under Kohora range of the park and was feared drowned. Meanwhile, nearly 50% of the about 800 sq km park was under water of the river Brahmaputra due to onset of monsoon and heavy rainfall during the past week.
21 WB's marriage party killed in road mishap in Jharkhand
PTI, Dhanbad, 9 June : Twenty-one members of a WB's marriage party were killed and 20 others injured when their bus rammed into a tree near Grand Trunk road in Dhanbad district today.
The bus was returning to Salanpur, near Asansol town when the driver lost control over the vehicle at Barwa near GT road and hit a tree, killing 18 people on the spot. Three passengers died at a local hospital, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sanjay Ranjan told PTI.
The marriage party had gone to Munda Basti in Gobindpur and was returning home when the mishap occurred at 6.30 am. All the injured have been admitted to a hospital. Photo : AFP
Japan Govt to assist Bangladesh set up cyclone shelters
Dhaka, 9 June : Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Tamotsu Shinotsuka has handed over the key of multi-purpose cyclone shelters to AKMA Awal, a lawmaker.
The handing over ceremony was held in Jugkhola Muria Government Primary School in Pirojpur district here recently, said a Japanese Embassy release here today. These cyclone shelters will be used for 'Sidr'-affected areas of the country. Tamotsu said Japan's experience in natural disaster risk reduction can be a good example for Bangladesh.

W Bengal govt mulling 'hi-tech ration cards' to prevent fake
Kolkata, 9 June : The West Bengal government is planning to introduce hi-tech ration cards to prevent circulation of fake ones, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said yesterday.
"These cards will be difficult to duplicate. State IT department has agreed to help in its introduction," Dasgupta told reporters after attending a meeting on prevention of fake ration cards. He said the government will submit this plan to the Calcutta High Court which had wanted to know its plans in preventing the circulation of fake ration cards. There are 2.64 crore BPL and over six crore APL cardholders in the state, he said.
Tripura govt seeks more security along border with B'desh
Agartala, 9 June : Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has urged union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to deploy more security on the India-Bangladesh border along the northeast region to check the movement of militants.
‘Bangladesh-based northeast terrorists are using the Tripura border as their corridor. Hence, four more battalions of Border Security Force (BSF) should be deployed along the border with Bangladesh,’ Sarkar told reporters Wednesday after returning from New Delhi.
He met Chidambaram Saturday and discussed various security-related issues, including curbing of terrorism in northeast India. ‘Many camps of northeast militants still exist in Bangladesh,’ the chief minister said. Sarkar, who also holds the home portfolio in the state, said there were 16 battalions of the BSF currently guarding the 856-km Tripura border with Bangladesh. One BSF battalion has nearly 1,100 security personnel.
He told Chidambaram that to maintain effective vigilance on the border, the distance between border out posts (BOPs) of the BSF should be cut from the present 4.5 km to 2.5 km, keeping in mind the region’s topography. ‘Chidambaram has responded positively to these demands,’ he said. The chief minister also requested the union home minister to allow the Tripura government to raise two more Tripura State Rifles (TSR) battalions to deal with the separatist outfits.