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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Centre's nod for anti-insurgency school in West Midnapore dist

Kolkata, 12 August : The proposed Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorist (CIAT) school at West Midnapore has got a go-ahead from the Centre. Health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra had mooted the proposal on behalf of the state government at a meeting with state heads in New Delhi.
The school is expected to come up in Salua, but the state government is yet to earmark the land for it. The Centre will be partly funding the school and has already allocated Rs 1.5 crore for it. State home secretary Samar Ghosh said the school is expected to start soon. The state is expected to get three more CIAT schools.
The purpose of these schools is to enhance combat skills of jawans and enable them handle sophisticated weapons to tackle Maoists and terrorists. Army officials will oversee the training programmes. An army officer at the rank of a colonel is expected to head the school at Salua. The Centre however is yet to give clearance to the other schools, one of which is to be set up in Jalpaiguri. Photos : PTI, Demotix
Bangladesh to shut natural gas stations amid power crisis
BBC News, Dhaka, 12 August : Bangladesh has been suffering power problems for a number of years The Bangladeshi government has ordered the partial shut-down of natural gas stations in and around the capital to counter a growing power crisis.
Filling stations in and around Dhaka will be closed for six hours a day from 16 August for about a month. READ FULL STORY
'All India Radio' Silchar completes 38th year of broadcast
Silchar, 12 August : In Assam, the All India Radio, Silchar completes 38th year of broadcast. It was on 11 August, 1972 that the station started broadcasting programmes.
AIR correspondent reports that the Bangladesh crisis in 1971 and anti-India propaganda from across the border has prompted the government of India to set up a radio station at Silchar. A cultural programme will be held on 13 August to mark the occasion.

Bangladesh earns 33.5 mln USD by exporting software
Dhaka, 12 August : Bangladesh earned 33.5 million US dollars by exporting software and the IT-enabled service (ITES) in the last 2009-10 fiscal year (July 2009 to June 2010), which is slightly up from that of the previous fiscal year.
"The country fetched 33.5 million U.S. dollars by exporting software and ITES in the last fiscal year, which is 500,000 US dollars higher than the 2008-09 fiscal," Mahbub Zaman, president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services ( BASIS), was quoted as saying by national news agency BSS.
He said though the country's earnings from software and ITES slightly increased but not to the desired level as the sector suffered a setback due to global economic recession.

WB govt gives consent to CBI probe into Sainthia accident
PTI, Kolkata, 12 August : The West Bengal government on Wednesday gave its consent to the Union Home Ministry for a CBI inquiry into the 19 July Sainthia rail accident in Birbhum district that left 66 passengers dead.
"We have sent our opinion to the MHA saying they can go ahead with the CBI probe into the Sainthia rail accident if they wanted. The state government will have no objection though the CID investigation ordered by the state government has already progressed a lot," Home Secretary Samar Ghosh said. The Ministry of Home Affairs in a recent communication had sought the state government's opinion on a CBI inquiry into the accident as demanded by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Bangladeshi farmers use frog weddings to combat drought
AFP, Dhaka, 12 August : Farmers in a parched district of northern Bangladesh are marrying off frogs in a desperate bid to bring on monsoon rains and protect their crops, local officials said.
Bangladesh suffered its driest July in decades, prompting farmers to turn to the centuries-old rain-making ritual of celebrating frog marriages, officials say. “There have been lot of frog marriages as there has been hardly any rainfall here even though it's monsoon season,” Sadullahpur district government administrator Ariful Haq said.
At a frog wedding in Ramchandrapur village, 300 villagers dressed in their best clothes attended the festivities, said Tajul Islam, who was at the wedding. “The frog bride and groom are highly decorated with a red streak of colour on their forehead and carried in a special basket to a banana-leaf stage,” he said. “Villagers sing songs, make offerings of rice and grass, then after the ceremony the married frogs are released in the village pond,” he said, adding that all the village children then got traditional sweets.
Monsoon rains normally sweep Bangladesh from June to September, with the country receiving more than 75 percent of its annual rainfall during this period. Photo : AFP

Five Maoists arrested from Ayodhya Hills in Purulia dist
Purulia, 12 August : Five Maoists have been arrested in Purulia district, police said Thursday. According to police, five Maoists Ananda Kumar, Bhabataron Mahato, Umacharan Mahato, Gobordhon Mura and Manasa Ram Mahato were arrested late Wednesday night from Ayodhya Hills.
Purulia district's Superintendent of Police Rajesh Yadav said: "Acting on specific intelligence inputs, the joint forces comprising state police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel conducted a raid in the Ayodhya Hills and arrested the five Maoists Wednesday night. They were presented before the Purulia district court Thursday afternoon."

No diesel cars in North Bengal forests
Ajanta Chakraborty, Kolkata, 12 August : Come September, no diesel-driven cars will be allowed in the Gorumara National Park and the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. Enthused after the two parks were recently acknowledged as the country's best protected areas, the state forest department is working on a detailed upgrade plan for them. It wants to begin with stopping the access of vehicles that have turned out to be a real threat to the forest's fragile environment.
Thus, only petrol-driven, specially designed vehicles as prevalent in other national parks and sanctuaries in the country will be allowed inside Gorumara and Chapramari. These vehicles have been assembled in accordance with norms set by the ministry of environment and forests.
Forest officials claimed the ban would help restrict the number of vehicles plying inside the park. Only six people will be allowed to travel in these specially designed vehicles. Officials said these vehicles are being created with the chassis of Maruti Gypsy cars spared by the Army. And it's this part of the government order that has invited flak from local youths and tour operators. Kedar Gupta, secretary, Gorumara Parjotone Unnayan Committee, said: "We are not against the banning of polluting vehicles. Let the order be implemented in phases so as not to deprive tour operators. The committee will hold a meeting at Dooars on Friday to discuss the issue."
Forest minister Ananta Roy, though, is bent on banning the diesel-run vehicles. "The most polluting factor in these two biodiversity-rich and ecologically sensitive protected area are the vehicles," he said.