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Thursday, December 2, 2010

WorldBank conditions on SCMDP loan not acceptable: WB govt

PTI, Kolkata, 2 December : Expressing strong reservation against 'draconian' conditions imposed by World Bank regarding sanction of loans for the proposed Secondary Cities Development and Management Project, West Bengal government has said it will air grievances at the JNNURM meet tomorrow.
State Urban Development Minister Asok Bhattacharya said though the World Bank was supposed to assist the state with Rs 1500 crore soft loan for implementing the project, for non-metro cluster cities, in a recent letter to Union Finance Ministry, the global financial body put certain riders.
The World Bank has asked that the Urban Land Ceiling Act should be repealed, the minister told reporters here quoting the letter forwarded by the Union Finance ministry.
The letter also made it clear that project preparation should not proceed till such action was initiated by the state government, Bhattacharya said, dubbing "such diktat" by the Bank as nothing short of "draconian".

United Nations to support Bangladesh pharma industry..
UNB, Dhaka, 2 December : The United Nations will provide training and technical facilities to Bangladesh for the development of country’s pharmaceutical industry and medical waste treatment.
Visiting UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development Affairs Jomo Kwame Sundaram gave the assurance during a meeting with Industries Minister Dilip Barua at the latter’s Shilpa Bhaban office today. “Bangladesh has a world-class pharmaceutical industry. Huge foreign exchange can be earned by expanding this industry,” Sundaram said. He hoped that the directives mentioned in the new National Industrial Policy would be of enormous help in expanding the pharmaceutical industry.
The UN official suggested infrastructure and technological development, expansion of modern training facilities and creation of skilled manpower. Issues including environment-friendly industrialization, duty-free access for pharma products, setting up pharmaceutical college and industrial waste management featured prominently in the discussion.

AIGL demands handing over Madan Tamang case to CBI
Darjeeling, 2 December : Senior All India Gorkha League leader Narayan Chettri today demanded an immediate transfer of the case of the assassination of Madan Tamang to the CBI from the CID.
Claiming that West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had pointed fingers at the GJM for the 21 May assassination at a Left Front rally in Kolkata two days ago, Chettri said, "The chief minister should prove his sincerity by arresting all those involved in the daylight murder."
EU and Bangladesh joins to protect Sundarbans Forest
UNB, Dhaka, 2 December : The European Union will support the Forest Department with a €10 million (Tk 90 crore) grant program in its efforts to protect and manage the Sundarbans Reserve Forest (SRF).
A five-year agreement to this end was signed here on Wednesday by the government and the EU Delegation, a release of the Delegation said. The project will assist communities living in the areas adjacent to the Sundarbans to improve their livelihoods and help reducing their exposures to natural disasters.
The locations of the program will be the Sundarbans Reserved Forest and communities of Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Pirojpur and Barguna.

Only 4 women lifters in Didi's All-India Railway competition
Kolkata, 2 December : The 58th All-India Railway weightlifting Championship being held here turned out to be no-contest in the women's section as only four participants competed in two sections.
Star attraction Renu Bala Chanu, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, pulled out of the meet at the last moment leaving the women's field in a total disarray. Swati Singh (North-eastern Frontier Railway) and Meenothi Shetty (Eastern Railway) competed in the 58kg category taking the top-two places respectively.
Garo militant group chairman G Momin killed in encounter
PTI, Shillong, 2 December : In a major breakthrough, Nikson G Momin, the self-styled chairman of the Garo militant outfit Liberation Achik Elite Force (LAEF) was killed in an encounter with security forces in Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district in the early hours today.
On a tip-off, a special Meghalaya police team combed the Rongsak area during which militants fired at them leading to a fierce encounter at Darugree at around 3:00 AM in which Nikson alias Dilkam and his personal security officer Rakpat were killed, Superintendent of police Sylvester Nongtnger said.
Maoist frontal group rallies against CPM in W Midnapore
Midnapore, 2 December : The People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), a Maoist frontal organisation, led a protest rally against the atrocities and illegal detention of their fellow villagers by CPI(M) in Jhargram in West Midnapore District.
"Last night a combined force raided in Asanbani, Kurasol, Garpal, Bagjhapa, Didiha, Sonamukhi villages. They were activists of CPI(M) who not only tortured innocent villagers but also tortured former police officers, old people, children and ladies as well. The combined force has taken three innocent villagers under custody," said Joydev Mahato, PCPA leader. "We want their unconditional release otherwise we will call a strike in the whole Jangalmahal district and continue our agitation till our demands are not met," he added.
"Navy" worried at unchecked entry of Bangladeshi vessels
PTI, Kolkata, 2 December : Indian navy today expressed concern at the unchecked entry of Bangladeshi ships into the Indian waters and said it has asked the customs to set up a check point at Behari Khal in West Bengal's South 24-Parganas district, from where the ships entered.
"Bangladeshi ships enter India through Bihari Khal and sail for 160 km to Diamond Harbour where they are checked by the customs. We have taken up the matter with the Customs and have requested them to set up a check point at Behari Khal," naval officer in charge of West Bengal Cmdr BA Thomas said. Pointing that nearly eight Bangladeshi ships crossed Behari Khal daily, Thomas said there was always a possibility of these ships landing unauthorised persons on the Indian territory between Bihari Khal and Diamond Harbour.
"We have been informed by the Customs that they have a staff shortage at present, but they have assured us that they would set up a check point at Bihar Khal soon," he said.
Describing the West Bengal coastline as very porus, Thomas, who took over as the state's NOIC yesterday, said his immediate priority would be to enhance seafront security.
Thomas said that in keeping with the suggestion of the navy, the West Bengal government was recruiting retired navy and Coast Guard personnel to address the problem of trained manpower for the state's Marine police wing.