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Sunday, August 9, 2009

WB Tourism dept boost to pandal-hopping this Durga puja

Kolkata, 9 August : West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC) has started pandal-hopping packaged tours for foreigners and locals this Durga puja, said state tourism minister Manab Mukherjee.
To have direct access to the pandals along with a guide, the whole-day package will cost Rs 400 per head for non-AC buses. For AC buses, a premium charge of Rs 650 has been fixed. The tour to puja pandals on the city's outskirts will cost anything between Rs 700 and Rs 1,000 per head. WBTDC had arranged 64 AC and non-AC buses to conduct the packages in collaboration with Surface Transport Corporation.
WBTDC will also organize a puja on a floating deck on the Hooghly. A special boat package will be operated by the WBTDC as well to take tourists to the floating deck. "Around 25 % of the total seats for the pandal-hopping project have already been booked," said WBTDC managing director TVN Rao. Photo : Indrajit Dutta

Heroin worth Rs. 80 million seized in West Bengal
Kolkata, 9 August : Heroin worth Rs. 80 million has been seized from a goods train in Malda district of West Bengal, an excise department official said Sunday. The seizure was made Saturday night at Malda Court station. The recovery followed a tip off from New Delhi.
Eight rare monkeys stolen from Kolkata's Alipore zoo
Kolkata, 9 August : Eight Brazilian monkeys found in only two Indian zoos were stolen from Alipore Zoological Gardens on Saturday night. The theft of the Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) -a midget-sized simian species measuring 14-18 cm was detected on Sunday morning when at least 2 ft of the thick iron net of their cage was found sheared open.
Worse, this was not the first attempt to steal marmosets from India’s oldest zoological park. Thieves had targeted the monkey enclosure in March, but were chased away by guards. The theft has now cast a cloud over security arrangements at the zoo, which was handed over to a private agency four years ago. The involvement of zoo insiders has not been ruled out.
This is the first theft of monkeys from an Indian zoo. The species is in high demand for research in reproductive biology and endocrinology abroad (for their genetic proximity to human beings). A pair would fetch $3,000. The three adult males, three adult females and two babies would be a lucrative catch and a collector looking to add the species to his menagerie could also have organized the theft, said police. Photo : Avijit Mondal

Tripura put on Swine Flu high alert
Agartala, 9 August : Tripura has been put on swine flu alert to prevent outbreak of the H1N1 virus and observation centres were set up at seven entry points to the state, official sources said.
A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar reviewed the situation last night and an alert was sounded. He instructed the officials to remain prepared to prevent any outbreak of the infectious disease, they said, adding, the officials who attended the meeting included Principal secretary (health) Y P Singh and director of preventive medicine R K Dhar. "As part of preventive measures, seven observation centres were set up at strategic entry points to the state including all the check-posts along Indo-Bangladesh international border," Dhar said last night. One hospital each in the four districts of the state including has been equipped to treat the patients infected with N1H1 virus, he said.
"Enough medicines and equipment are available even as there is no report of infection of swine flu in the state," Dhar said, adding, Health department officials are also keeping watch on the foreign tourists and the residents of the state who recently visited European countries. He said Eighteen laboratories in the state are equipped to examine blood samples of suspected swine flu-affected persons. Photo : PTI

Jharkhand Party activist shot at by suspected Maoists
Midnapore, 9 August : Suspected Maoists on Sunday shot at an activist of Jharkhand Party (Naren) in West Midnapore district.
The incident happened at Chakadoba village near Lalgarh in the district. The activist, identified as Manik Mondal, was shot at by Maoist cadre at his residence, police said. Mondal was rushed to Jhargram hospital where his condition was stated to be critical, they added.

BBC Sanglap : Tipaimukh a violation of human rights
Dhaka, 9 August : Three out of four panellists Saturday expressed concern over the Indian project to construct dam and hydroelectricity plant on the cross-border River Barak at Tipaimukh, terming the twin-project a serious violation of human rights. They said the implementation of the project would cause eviction of crores of people both in the upstream and the downstream of the trans-boundary river which is divided into two rivers Surma and Kushiara flowing down through the Sylhet region of Bangladesh.
Former Bangladesh minister and a leader of the BNP Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, principal director of Angikar Bangladesh, a non-government organisation, Muhammad Hilaluddin and Professor Amena Mohsin of Dhaka University, among the panellists at the discussion organised by BBC Bangla at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka, asked the government to resist the Indian project, which, according to them, would adversely affect the lives, livelihood and biodiversity in vast areas of both the countries.
They also expressed concern over the ‘aggressive attitude’ of Myanmar in exploration of mineral resources in the Bay ignoring the maritime boundary.

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