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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rs 251 Cr approved for railway track between Agartala-Akhaura

PTI, Agartala, 21 May : Indian Railway Ministry has approved an outlay of Rs 251 crore for laying 14 km railway track to connect Agartala with Akhaura (via Gangasagar) in Bangladesh, official sources said today.
Northeastern Frontier Railway (NFR) is likely to undertake work for laying tracks by October next year, Kishore Ambuly, Special Secretary to Transport department said here. While the Department of North Eastern region (DoNER) ministry would pay Rs 105 crore for construction rail link on the Indian side, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will provide Rs 146 crore to carry out the project on the Bangladesh side.
He said that another round of joint survey would be conducted next month to officially notify the proposed alignment. Earlier, a joint team comprising representatives from both sides had conducted joint survey in November last year.
Sources in the NFR said, the Detailed Project Report (DPR) was almost ready and would be submitted to the Ministry of Railways and Railway Board for final approval. The railway extension work from Agaratala to Udaipur in South Tripura district is expected to be completed by December 2012.
The conversion of Broad-Gauge (BG) line from Lumding to Badarpur in Assam has already started and after that BG line would be extended from Badarpur to Agartala. The NF railway is also conducting a survey to extend railways up to Sabroom, southern border town of Tripura for setting up connectivity with Chittagong Port in Bangladesh, which is just 70 k.m from there. File Photo

Midterm election public demand : BNP chairperson Khaled
UNB, London, 21 May : BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia said here Saturday the holding midterm election has now become people’s demand in the wake of the government’s ‘failures’ in all fronts.
Talking to reporters at Heathrow International Airport before flying for New York concluding her seven day visit in London, she said the government should quit power to hold the snap polls accepting the public demand to uphold democracy. Khaleda also said they had offered cooperation but the government did not respond to it; rather pushed them to street for movement.

Practically no work was done by Left Front govt in WB : CM
PTI, Kolkata, 21 May : Taking stock of the functioning of various departments, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today attacked the Left Front rule in West Bengal, saying "practically no work" has been done.
On her second day in office, Mamata Banerjee said, "I called all the departments, particularly health, land and land reforms, power, agriculture and education. It has become clear after having detailed discussions with the secretaries of the departments that practically no work has been done over many years during the Left Front''s rule."
Getting down to business, the 56-year-old chief minister asked the battery of waiting cameramen not to follow her and allow her to work. "I have to do a lot of work. What is the use of taking so many pictures of me?" she asked lensmen while entering her office accompanied by city Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.
Arriving at the Writers'' Building at 12 noon, she held a series of meetings with the departments she holds to get a first-hand knowledge of the state of affairs in the administration. The chief minister will look after the portfolios of home, land and land reforms, power, agriculture, hill affairs and minority affairs.
Mamata Banerjee, who has stated that she will have a Chief Minister''s Office on the lines of the PMO, said the CM''s secretariat would be expanded to facilitate speedy work. The chief minister has convened a meeting of all DMs and SPs on Tuesday afternoon to review the overall law and order situation in the state..... READ FULL STORY @
Four UPDF activists shot dead in southeastern Bangladesh
UNI, Dhaka, 21 May : Four activists of the United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), including its central committee member Animesh Chakma, were gunned down in Bangladeshs southeastern hill district of Rangamati today.
UPDF has been opposing the peace accord with the government and demanding full autonomy of the tribal dominated Chittagong Hill Tracts comprising Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagracchari. The PCJSS led by Shantu Larma signed the peace accord with the Bangladesh government on 2 December, 1997 ending two decades bloody bush war in the countrys hilly region bordering India.
Police sources said the gunfight between the pro and the anti-peace accord occurred at Mitingacchari village in Borkol sub-district this morning.
Three other victims were identified as Pulak Juti Chakma, Krishna Bhusan Chakma and Sukrasen Chakma. Police recovered the body of Sukrasen Chakma. Police and army began operation in the area to recover the remaining bodies.

Bangladesh's clothing sector upset with power & gas crisis
Fibre 2 Fashion, Dhaka : The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders recently stated that, Bangladesh’s biggest export oriented garment industry is experiencing severe power and gas crunch, which is decelerating production.
Owing to the gas and power crisis, several factories have been lying inoperative for long, which may affect their growth prospects, the BGMEA leaders said.
The garment industry each day requires around 710 megawatt (MW) of power. However, units in the industry have been experiencing power outages of five hours per day.... READ FULL STORY

Mamata Banerjee allocates portfolios to council of ministers
Kolkata, 21 May : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today allocated portfolios to her newly sworn-in council of ministers, keeping to herself nine departments, including Home, Land and Land Reforms.
Her other departments are Information and Cultural Affairs, Health and Family Welfare, Agriculture, Hill Affairs, Minority Affairs and Madrasa Education, Personnel and Administrative Reforms and Power.
Besides Banerjee, 35 ministers from Trinamool Congress and two from the Congress took oath on Friday. While both the Congress MLAs Manas Bhuniya and Abu Hena, hold Cabinet ranks, four TMC legislators have been made Ministers of State.
Economist and former FICCI general secretary Dr Amit Mitra was allocated the departments of Finance and Excise, while Mamata Banerjee's close associate Partha Chatterjee was allocated Commerce and Industries, Public Enterprises, Industrial Reconstruction, Parliamentary Affairs and Information Technology.

Election Commission to collect voters’ Phone No. in Tripura
Agartala, 21 May : State’s Election Commission in a unique idea will collect the phone numbers of all electors across the state to maintain contact, said an official here on Saturday.
"The Central Election Commission in the recent time has directed all the States' Election Commission to store the phone numbers of all voters", said the top official.
“Acting on it, State’s Commission has served a notice to all the Sub-Divisional Magistrates for collecting the mobile numbers”, he added.
“Booth Level Officers’ will be engaged in the process shortly", stated the official. The collected numbers, however, will be preserved in the safe custody of the State’s Election Commission’s data store instead of being published in the photo electoral roll’.

3 bodies recovered, Narayanganj trawler capsize toll hits 5
UNB, Narayanganj, 21 May : Rescuers and fishermen recovered three more bodies from Meghna River in and around Bishnandi village in Bishnandi union under Araihazar upazila on Saturday.
With these death toll in Friday's trawler capsize rose to five till filing this report at 8pm(BDST) on Saturday. At least eight more trawler passengers were still missing and feared to have met watery grave. A Bishnandi-bound trawler capsized and sank in Meghna off Bishnandi Ghat with 35 passengers on board after a sand-loaded bulkhead (goods carrying vessel) hit it at 6pm(BDST) Friday.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee Friday breaks an '18-year vow'
PTI, Kolkata, 21 May : Eighteen years after she vowed never to set foot again in Writers' Building from where she was forcefully evicted while on dharna with a rape victim before Jyoti Basu's chamber, Mamata Banerjee today stepped in as Chief Minister.
Mamata, then a Union minister of state and a Congress leader, had sat on a three-hour long dharna before Jyoti Basu's chamber with a deaf and dumb rape victim from Nadia district, claiming the rapist had not been arrested because of his political affiliation.
"Jyoti Basu had on that day left Writers' without meeting Mamata," the then deputy commissioner of police (central) Abani Mohan Joardar, now a Trinamool Congress MLA told PTI. "Her appointment was cancelled and the CM showed no inclination to speak to a Union minister. This infuriated Mamata," he said.

He said Mamata Banerjee was physically removed from the state secretariat and the then DC DD Goutam Mohan Chakraborty had taken Mamata Banerjee to the police headquarters at Lalbazar, a short distance from the state secretariat and kept her in the lockup even though she was a Union minister.
"I do not know what procedure was followed. She refused to take bail. In such cases a person is produced in court the next day," Joardar said.
"Mamata was initially reluctant to leave the lockup. She did so only when I spoke to her. When I escorted her out of Lalbazar, Youth Congress supporters were teeming outside.
"They started brickbatting the police. Mamata personally intervened and stopped them. She was later driven home by the police. On the way, she spent some time alone at the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road crossing," he said.
Breaking her vow after 18 years, Mamata entered Writers'' Building as the new chief minister after orchestrating the demolition of the Left Front citadel of 34 years in the Assembly elections. Photos : Rupak De Chowdhuri, Avijit Mondal