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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Groundwater level in northern and eastern districts falls by 10 f

And the blame goes to Climate Change...
Dhaka, 12 December : Groundwater level in the country's both northern and eastern districts has dropped by about 10 feet over the last decade, according to a study of Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS). Water expert and Executive Director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) Dr Atiq Rahman attributed the falling water level in the region to decline in river flows and inadequate rain caused by climate change, and heavy withdrawal of groundwater for irrigation. READ FULL STORY

Maoists demand autonomy for 3 WestBengal districts
PTI, Kolkata, 12 December : A demand for autonomy for three tribal-dominated districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia in West Bengal was today made by a top Maoist leader, who also justified the Gorkhaland statehood issue.
"We demand autonomy for the three districts on the lines of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council," Maoist leader Kishenji told PTI from an undisclosed location. He alleged that the West Bengal government had denied the legitimate rights of the people of the districts. "We demand autonomy to protect the language, culture and religious beliefs of tribals." Asked if he meant statehood, he replied, "the people of the three districts are not yet prepared for statehood."
Queried if it was part of the demand for a 'greater Jharkhand', Kishenji said, "That demand is no longer relevant. The scenario has changed. "Moreover the formation of Jharkhand has not solved any problem.

Cyclonic storm “Ward” hoists signal No 2 at ports
UNB, Dhaka, 12 December : The cyclonic storm “Ward” (with ECP 1000 HPA) over southwest Bay and adjoining southeast Bay moved slightly northwards over the same area on Saturday. It was centered about 1585 kms south-southwest of Chittagong Port, 1515 kms south-southwest of Cox’s Bazar Port and 1480 kms south-southwest of Mongla Port, said a Met Office special bulletin at 4:00pm(BDST). “It is likely to intensify further and move in a northwesterly direction,” the bulletin said. Maximum sustained wind within 54kms of the storm centre is about 60kph to 80kph in gusts/squalls. Sea will remain rough near the storm. Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Mongla have been advised to keep hoisted distant warning Signal no 2.
All fishing boats and trawlers over the north Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution until further notice.

Demand doesn't mean new states everywhere : Pranab
Barasat, 12 December : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said that the demand for smaller states does not mean that new states would be created everywhere.
“The demand for Telangana is 60 years old. This does not mean everywhere new states are to be created,” Mukherjee told reporters after inaugurating a new hospital here in North 24 Parganas. He said that so far Telangana was concerned Home Minister P Chidambaram had made a statement that “there were stages for formation (of a state). These are preliminary stages".
A state, he said, has to express its views because the President would like to know it before recommending a Bill to be considered in Parliament, he said.

4 rebel called for tri-nation series
Dhaka, 12 December : The four ‘rebel' Bangladeshi cricketers for the first time, after lifting the ban against them, was given the opportunity to play for the national team.
They were included in the 26-member squad in the upcoming tri-nation series in a bid to play for the national team. The four are Shahriar Nafees, Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali and Dhiman Ghosh. Host Bangladesh is scheduled to play against India and Sri Lanka in the tri-nation series beginning from 4 January next year.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Cricked Control Board has lifted the banned it had imposed on the 14 'rebel' cricketers following their departure from the Indian Cricket League.

Maoist-backed group observes shutdown, torches truck
Midnapore, 12 December : Activists of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) Saturday torched a truck on the National Highway-6 while observing a 24-hour shutdown in three western districts of West Bengal, police said.
Police said the incident took place near Lodhashuli forest area in trouble-torn West Midnapore district Saturday morning as a group of PCAPA activists stopped the vehicle on the highway and set it on fire. The truck was carrying vegetables. Meanwhile, the joint forces personnel also recovered a landmine from Dharampur region in the district. They also detained a villager on suspicion of links with the Maoist ultras, police said.
The shutdown was called in the West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts to protest the death of a PCAPA supporter in police firing at Satpati area in West Midnapore.

Construction of Airport near Durgapur from next Jan.
1,000 crore investment was expected in steel sector in next five years
Kolkata, 12 December : Construction work of a greenfield airport near Durgapur in Burdwan district would start from January, 2010, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) Managing Director Dr Subrata Gupta told Bengal Newz.
The airport would be set up along with a township, IT and logistic hub. The work of the project had been deferred as the state government had to enter into a dialogue with Coal India Limited, which had raised objection to the project as the area was falling on a coal reserve worth Rs 2,40,000 crore. He also told, that the goverment was giving emphasis on investment in sectors like petrochemicals, steel and food processing in West Bengal, he said more than Rs 1,000 crore investment was expected in steel sector in the state in the next five years.
The WBIDC had taken the decision to set up industrial parks across the state in the next few years to provide a filip to different industrial sectors, he added.
Tourists leave Darjeeling as Gorkhaland movement gains momentum
Siliguri, 12 December : Hundreds of visitors scrambled to leave the tourist resort of Darjeeling Friday as pro-Gorkhaland activists began a hunger strike and took out rallies in northern West Bengal to push for creation of a separate state.
Youth activists of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) began a hunger strike for what they called indefinite period in the hills and plains of Darjeeling district demanding the creation of a separate Gorkhaland state. Their action came a day after the GJM announced massive protests to push for their goal. The activists were spurred with the central nod to a separate Telangana state in Andhra Pradesh.
Tourists began winding their way down the hill resort in cars, jeeps, trekkers and buses and long lines of vehicles could be seen on National Highway 55 that connects Siliguri with Darjeeling. The GJM has announced a four-day shutdown in the hills 14-17 December. File Photo

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