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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Will Kolkata Municipal Corporation get its first woman mayor ?

Kolkata, 3 June : Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is worried even after her landslide victory in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections. Who should she pick as mayor from her legions of followers ?
Choosing a mayor wasn't supposed to be a problem. Though not projected as such, Javed Khan, who was opposition leader in Kolkata Municipal Corporation, was the front-runner for the post. Javed's loss to Congress' Shammi Jahan was a shock. As soon as the news reached 30B Harish Chatterjee Street, Mamata started holding marathon meetings with senior Trinamool leaders to solve the leadership crisis. Three names are doing the rounds Firhad Hakim, MLA and borough chairperson, former mayor-in-council member Sovon Chatterjee, and Sashi Panja, late Ajit Panja's daughter-in-law.

According to sources, if everything goes well, the city will have its first woman mayor. More than Hakim or Chatterjee, Panja, a gynaecologist by profession, is said to be the Trinamool chief's choice for the coveted chair.
Sovon Chatterjee, though a Mamata loyalist, may not be chosen as mayor because of controversies surrounding him. Trinamool MP Kabir Suman had cast aspersions on Chatterjee's integrity. Party insiders said Mamata wants a person with a "clean image and a good academic background" in the mayor's chair. Hakim, who is popular among the party rank and file for his proven track record as councillor of Ward 82, may ultimately be left out because of his low profile.'
The only hurdle that Sashi Panja may face is her political and administrative inexperience. Though she hails from a political family, she herself is a greenhorn in politics. A first time councillor, she needs to learn the ropes of civic administration to run a body like KMC. Sources say that the Trinamool chief plans to around the problem. Photos : AP, Indrajit Dutta, Avijit Mondal
BD plans to establish Bangabandhu Safari Park in Gazipur
UNB, Dhaka, 3 June : Bangladesh government has revealed plans to set up a safari park named after the country’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the reserved forest area in Gazipur, the Bhawal National Park, in an effort to maintain the environment of the area’s unique coppice shal forest (shalbon).
State Minister for Environment and Forest Dr Hasan Mahmud made an announcement to this effect at a press conference on the occasion of the ‘World Environment Day’ at his office on Thursday noon

CRPF praised for role in anti-Maoist ops in West Bengal
PTI, Kolkata, New Delhi, 3 June : Praising the role of CRPF in anti-Maoist operations in the state, West Bengal's police chief has recommended that the paramilitary personnel be given "suitable reward" for their courage and admirable support to the state police force.
"Effort of the CRPF personnel is praise-worthy and they deserve suitable reward for their courage and admirable support to state police force during jungle operation conducted against Maoist," Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh wrote in a commendation letter addressed to CRPF DG Vikram Srivastava here.
Impressed by the CRPF's role during the operation jointly conducted with the state police to flush out Maoists in West Midnapore district between 1 April to 3 April, Singh asked the central force to suitably reward the 45 personnel of the 184 Battalion.

Mamata will request EC to prepone WBengal Assembly poll
Kolkata, 3 June : Buoyed by her party's massive victory in the just-concluded Kolkata civic polls, Mamata Banerjee today said she would request the Election Commission to consider holding Assembly elections in West Bengal along with Bihar and other states due in October.
"I am not in favour of imposition of President's rule or dismissal of the state government. I will prefer an early election. I will request EC to consider holding Assembly election along with Bihar and some other states due in October," she told a press conference here.
She said election in the state could be held six months before the scheduled date and any such decision lay within the jurisdiction of the EC.

Bangladesh's exports to India to touch USD 1billion by 2011
PTI, Dhaka, 3 June : Bangladeshi exporters have chalked out a plan to get a bigger pie of the Indian market to achieve an annual USD 1-billion earning target from exports by 2011.
Bangladesh has a tiny share of USD 500 million of the over USD 250-billion India export market. However, exports to India have grown by over 100 per cent in the past three years from USD 230 million in 2007 because of reduction in tariff and non-tariff barriers for Bangladeshi products.
"We expect to fulfill the target of exporting our apparels in increased volumes. We are also exploring ways to be engaged as partner of India's Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector for our export promotion," India- Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) president President Abdul Matlub Ahmad told PTI.

India unveils first indigenous vaccine against 'Swine Flu'
PTI, New Delhi, 3 June : India today unveiled its first indigenous vaccine against the dreaded swine flu which claimed over 18,000 lives globally and more than 1,000 in the country.
The country was earlier importing the vaccine from French company, Sanofi Pasteurs, for only health workers and other high-risk people. The vaccine, produced by Zydus Cadilla, was launched today by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who took one of the first shots.

We could partially arrest down-slide in W Bengal : CPI(M)
Kolkata, New Delhi, 3 June : The CPI(M) today said the West Bengal civic body polls showed that the Left Front has managed to "partially arrest" its down-slide though it was not able to reverse the setback suffered in Lok Sabha elections.
In an editorial in party mouthpiece ' People's Democracy ', it said the result was a reflection of "urban Bengal" and the Left Front was committed to undertake a "serious introspection" of these results. "During the Lok Sabha polls in 2009, which saw a serious erosion in the Left vote, the Left Front had a lead in 525 of the 1,766 municipal wards in the state or 29.73 per cent. In these elections, the LF has won 603 out of 1,791 municipal wards or 33.67 per cent.
"Hence, the situation now shows, at best, a marginal improvement in the performance of the Left Front.

Bangladesh housing collapse rescue operation called off
BBC News, Dhaka, 3 June : Rescue workers in Bangladesh have stopped searching for bodies in the ruins of a four-storey building that collapsed in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The collapse killed at least 25 people and injured several others. The building, constructed on the edge of a canal, fell down on top of three flimsy homes where scores of low-paid garment workers and labourers lived. Officials say the building collapsed as the owner was adding another floor to an already unsafe structure. READ FULL STORY

JSW Bengal faces no problem in Maoist-hit WestMidnapore
IANS, Kolkata, 3 June : JSW Bengal Steel said Thursday it is going ahead with its project in West Midnapore district, a hotbed of Maoist activities.
“Our project got delayed by one year due to the global economic meltdown, but now we have again started work in the project site and the work on boundary wall has progressed to quite some extent,” said Biswadip Gupta, company managing director. JSW Bengal Steel is setting up a 10 million-tonne steel plant at Salboni in the district. JSW Bengal Steel is promoted by Sajjan Jindal led JSW Steel, which holds 89 percent of the equity capital. The state government owns the balance 11 percent.
In November 2008, Maoists had detonated a landmine targeting the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and two central ministers, who were returning from Salboni after laying the foundation stone of the project. File PTI Photo

Finally catches the killer salt water crocodile from Havelock
Port Blair, 3 June : The salt water crocodile, which had attacked and killed US tourist Lauren Elizabeth Failla, in April this year at Neil Cove beach of Havelock Island was finally caught by the staffs of Andaman’s Forest Department yesterday.
Since the death of the twenty five years old US tourist Lauren E Failla the Forest Department had launched a massive operation to catch the killer croc, which was virtually taken the entire Havelock Islands tourism industry hostages since more than one month.

Kipling’s Mowgli revisited at Sunderban to save the Tiger
Scout.org, 3 June : On 1st & 2nd of May 24th Asoka Group,South Calcutta Bharat Scouts & Guides organized a camp in Sunder ban’s Bali island in collaboration with We Stand for Environment & Education (WEE). WEE is a society dedicated to environment & education to create an awareness among the local people to save the tiger in order to save Sunder ban from further demise. As a part of this programme, the Scouts & Rovers between the age group of 10 to 20 years hiked up to Ruby Hospital from Ballygunge Jagadbandhu Institution on bicycles. The enthusiastic group of young boys along with their mentors acted out a short skit dealing with the theme of awareness in the camp. Kipling’s Mowgli was enacted at the heart of the mangrove, through the play, to convey the message of conserving forests & its population. The local people had a mixed response to this message. Although they did not totally agree with the idea of saving the tiger, for the animal at times is really a menace for them, the play still managed to have an impact on them. Some of them also said that, now they do not frequent the forest for cutting wood or for collecting honey as slowly they are beginning to realize that the survival of the forest is directly proportionate to the survival of the people who depend on it. READ FULL STORY