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Monday, November 30, 2009

န Top Bengal News Of The November, 2009

36 beaches to be developed in Andaman & Nicobar islands
IANS, New Delhi, 30 November : To promote eco-friendly tourism, the Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) government has decided to develop 36 beach sites on the islands.
“Action has been taken to develop three sites in outer islands - Hut Bay, Neil island and Lalji Bay under PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode,” Lt. Gen. (retired) Bhopinder Singh, the lieutenant governor of the union territory, said in an official statement here. He also announced setting up of the country’s first ever marina in A&N islands.
“The islands administration has started some unique projects like introduction of seaplane service launched for the first time in India. The administration will set up canopy walkways, luxury cottages, and procure luxury boats to attract high-end tourists. Plans are afoot to start more sound and light shows and setting up de-compressions chambers for scuba drivers in the islands in the near future,” he said.
Singh informed that ITDC (India Tourism Development Corporation) has submitted a detailed project report to connect Port Blair-Havelock-Baratang islands, work on which will start next year.
Central team arrives in West Bengal for assessment
Kolkata, New Delhi, 30 November : A three-member central home ministry team, led by union Additional Secretary (home) D.R.S. Chowdhary, arrived in Kolkata Monday on a two-day fact-finding mission to West Bengal in the wake of recurring political violence.
The issue led to adjournment of both houses of parliament in the day after the Left parties protested the home ministry’s move. Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said the visit was not aimed at imposing president’s rule in the state. The central team is to meet senior administration and police officials at the state secretariat Tuesday. Top state government bureaucrats, including Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty, Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen and Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh, will brief the team about the law and order situation.
The team is expected to tour some of the violence-prone zones in Hooghly, Burdwan and East Midnapore districts before returning to Delhi Wednesday.

Bengal strike gets partial response, Hooligans run amok
BJP on the rampage in Kolkata
Kolkata, Howrah, 30 November : Protests rocked West Bengal's Howrah as BJP workers went on rampage, taking to the streets protesting against rising price issues such as hike in power tariff on Monday. Public life was disrupted as BJP agitators ran amok in Howrah and North Kolkata, after calling for a 12-hour bandh to protest on the price rise issue.

BJP hooligans reportedly clashed with police, damaged private vehicles, blocked roads, disrupted train services and even stopped people from going to work. An effigy of the PM was also burnt on Howrah bridge. A government bus was torched to the ground at 6 am in the morning on the busy VIP Road connecting the Kolkata airport, police said, adding bandh supporters put up a blockade on that road. Three other private vehicles were also damaged in the area following which police baton-charged the protesters, they said. In neighbouring North 24 Parganas, roads were blocked at Kharda area, while the Gangasagar Express was also held up at Agarpara station. In Howrah district, 12 city-bound buses were set afire allegedly by bandh supporters, police said.
Train services were also disrupted at Howrah and Sealdah station as protesters squatted on tracks and threw bananas on the overhead section in the districts. Photos : Avijit Mondal, PTI
7 killed as two buses collided at Sherpur UZ in Bogra
BSS, Bogra, 30 November : Seven people were killed and 10 injured as two buses collided head-on at Chhankar Biroil in Sherpur Upazila, Bogra, on Monday.
Sherpur police chief Amirul Islam said the accident occurred at 5pm(BDST) as a Dhaka-bound bus hit another coming in the opposite direction on the Dhaka-Bogra highway. The Dhaka-bound bus sped right after away the accident, he added. Witnesses said relatives took away the other bodies before police arrived on the scene. The injured were taken to a local health complex, he added.
Canada to deport presidential assassin : Bangladesh
AFP, Dhaka, 30 November : Canada has moved to deport a former army colonel convicted of the 1975 assassination of Bangladesh's founding president, Dhaka's law minister said Monday.
Noor Chowdhury was among 12 men convicted in 2001 of murdering Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, better known as Bangobondhu, who had led Bangladesh to independence in 1971. "Canada has rejected his request for refugee status and ordered he should be deported to Bangladesh. They seized his passport and returned it to our embassy in Ottawa," law minister Shafiq Ahmed told AFP. Bangladesh's Supreme Court this month rejected appeals by five of the other army officers convicted of killing Sheikh Mujib, paving the way for their execution.
A total of 20 people, including Sheikh Mujib's wife and three sons, were killed when the officers stormed his house in a coup that brought a new government to power.

No scope for Article 356, Chidambaram assures WB
IANS, New Delhi, 30 November : A proposed visit to West Bengal by a fact finding team of the union home ministry is intended to assist the state government maintain law and order and not to invoke Article 356, Home Minister P Chidambaram assured MPs here Monday. Article 356 is invoked to impose president's rule in a state.
"There is no scope for invoking Article 356. It (the central teams' proposed visit to West Bengal) should not e viewed through the prism of Article 356. It is to assist the state government," Chidambaram said in Lok Sabha as the house discussed the matter briefly during zero hour.
Chidambaram, who said that he had a good working relationship with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, added that he had suggested to the chief minister "a team of officials from centre be sent to the state for discussions with his team of bureaucrats".

RS adjourned briefly over West Bengal violence
PTI, New Delhi, 30 November : The Rajya Sabha was today adjourned for 15 minutes following uproar over Centre sending a team to West Bengal to go into political violence in the state.
Demanding suspension of Question Hour, Sitaram Yechury CPI(M) said the decison to send the Home Ministry team to study the situation in the state was "unconstitutional". Supporting him, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said the UPA was sending the team perhaps under pressure from its allies - a reference to Trinamool Congress. As noisy scenes prevailed, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prithviraj Chavan assured the House that he would convey the sentiments of the members to the Home Minister.

Andaman's MP raises several important issues in LS
UNI, Port Blair, 30 November : Lone Member of Parliament from Andaman and Nicobar Islands Bishnu Pada Roy, while participating in the debate in Lok Sabha recently, raised a number of important issues pertaining to the working class of these islands.
During the debate, Roy urged the concerned minister to raise the minimum wages of those working in these islands besides streamlining the procedure for their engagement so that they are not deprived of their minimum rights of EPF, bonus, gratuity and medical benefits. ''I have urged the minister to raise the amount of compensation to Rs five lakh in case of death or permanent disability of the workman,'' Mr Roy told UNI today at Port Blair.
The MP also highlighted the need to reimburse the airfare from Port Blair to the mainland for stretcher-bound patient for urgent medical evacuation which at present is about Rs 92,000.

RM Garments unit to be set up in Chittagong EPZ
Chittagong, 30 November : Bangladesh-based ‘Pitam Garments Limited’ is planning to establish a garments and accessories manufacturing industry in Chittagong EPZ. The company will invest US $3.4 million for this establishment.
This garment factory will offer employment to around 4,500 Bangladeshi nationals.
An agreement was signed between Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) and Pitam Garments, pertaining to setting up of this unit. Moyjuddin Ahmed, Member of Bepza, and Md Khondoker Mahbubur Rob, Director of Pitam Garments, represented their respective organizations during the signing ceremony.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mamata lays foundation for perishable cargo centre in Singur

Singur, 29 November : Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday laid the foundation stone for the railway's first perishable cargo centre to benefit farmers in Hooghly district, where she had led a agitation against the Tatas' small car project.
The centre is part of Banerjee's 'Kisan Vision' project that provides for setting up production clusters for perishable products like fruits and vegetables and ferrying tehse to consumer centres in air-conditioned containers by special trains. Dedicating the Rs.3 crore centre to farmers, Banerjee said: "This is a pilot project. If it is successful, we will launch similar projects across the country. Among other places where we have plans to set up such centres are Nashik, Mandi, Delhi, New Jalpaiguri, Dankuni and Mecheda".
Banerjee said every year Rs.35,000 crore worth of fruits and vegetables get decayed due to lack of proper storage facilities. The Kisan Vision project will be implemented in the public-private participation model by Container Corporaiton of India, a railway PSU. Photo : Sanjay Bhaduri

9 killed, 30 injured in road accident in Mymensingh
Mymensingh, 29 November : Nine persons were killed and 30 others wounded in a road accident at Bangladesh's Bhaluka sub-district of northern Mymensingh district, at early hours on Sunday, police said.
Police office of the sub-district Abul Bashar told Bengal Newz by telephone that the accident happened as a Myensingh-bound passenger bus from the capital Dhaka lost control as it veered at high speed to avoid a truck coming from opposite direction. The bus then slipped off the road and hit two roadside trees.

Three die, six taken ill from food poisoning in Kolkata
Kolkata, 29 November : Three people a woman, a girl child and a teenaged boy died and six others were critically ill in two incidents of suspected food poisoning in Kolkata Sunday, police said.
According to police, the woman and her niece died in a government hospital Sunday after they ate biryani at their Samsul Huda Road residence in South Kolkata’s Park Street area Saturday. Two other members of the family are in hospital and their condition is said to be serious. The second incident was reported from Canal West Road in north central Kolkata’s Rajabazar area, where a 15-year-old boy died and four other members of his family were battling for life in a government hospital.
Crucial CPIM state committee meeting begins today
Kolkata, 29 November : In a bid to retrieve lost ground in West Bengal where it suffered successive poll setbacks, the CPI(M) is holding a two-day state committee meeting from today to discuss issues affecting the party's fortunes.
Attended by party general secretary Prakash Karat and politburo member Sitaram Yechury, the meeting would chalk out a future course of action to regain the turf it lost to the Congress-Trinamool Congress aliance in West Bengal where the party has been ruling since 1977. A state secretariat meeting was held last evening which was attended by Karat, Yechury and S R Pillai.
A report with regard to the state party unit, that was adopted earlier by the politburo and the party's central committee, is to be placed at the meeting today by Karat.
Maoists kill Jharkhand Party's tribal leader in Lalgarh
Jhargram, 29 November : In escalating Maoist violence in West Bengal’s Lalgarh belt, a tribal leader was found murdered in West Midnapore district Sunday. Meanwhile, gunbattles broke out between the joint security forces and Maoist rebels in several areas in and around Lalgarh in the morning.
The death takes to seven the number of people killed in Lalgarh since Friday. While six of them were killed by the Maoists, one Maoist supporter died during an exchange of fire with the security forces. The body of Dhanapati Murmu, a member of the Jharkhand Party (Aditya), was found lying on the road near the Labkush jungle Sunday morning. He had been abducted by suspected Maoists Sunday night from his village in Ramgarh.
Climate change threatens to push more B'deshis into India
Sahil Makkar, IANS, Dhaka, 29 November : Many people from coastal areas of Bangladesh forced out of their homes by the effects of climate change have started migrating towards already over-populated and infrastructure-crippled cities - and to India for their survival.
“The climate refugees are moving towards cities. After Cyclone Aila in May 2009 many from Khulna (one of Bangladesh’s coastal districts) have moved to Dhaka and India,” Ainun Nishat, senior climate change adviser and one of those who drafted the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy And Action Plan 2009, told IANS in an interview.
“Another impact of climate change would be in the form of increase in river bank erosion. This will also push people out of their original settlements. For a densely populated country like Bangladesh, any further concentration of population in safe areas will not be desirable. Thus migration, first within the country, then to areas far beyond, is not to be ruled out,” he said.
Siddarth Shankar Ray to write to centre on Lalgarh
Kolkata, 29 November : Former West Bengal chief minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray will write to Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram suggesting the central government involve social bodies for the welfare of the people Lalgarh, who are reeling under acute poverty and underdevelopment.
'My analysis about the whole situation is that the tribals are very dissatisfied with various issues such as underdevelopment in the region. There's has been no development in all three tribal-dominated districts of the state - Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore. 'I suggest that social welfare bodies like Ramkrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha should be involved carrying out massive developmental works in tribal-dominated areas. And the centre should take the entire expenditure for that,' 89-year-old Ray said in an interview on a Bengali television channel here.

Andaman's pristine beauty on display
PTI, Ahmedabad, 29 November : Noted landscape photographer and bureaucrat Varun Maira will put up an exhibition Andamans A Transformed Legacy' to launch with a specially choreographed dance drama showing the transformation of Kaala Paani' into India's most exciting beach destination, on 1 December.
His photographs to be on show at Hutheesing Visual Arts Centre will have all the facets of Andamans beaches, forests, mangroves, backwaters and spectacular sunsets over the Indian ocean. This is Maira's 17th solo show. Strung along the aquamarine waters of the Bay of Bengal, the An-daman & Nicobar Islands weave a magical spell on visitors. Its isolation enhances the mystery that surrounds the emerald archipelago of 572 islands, islets and rocks in the Indian Ocean.
In British times, the Andaman Islands acquired the notoriety of Kaala Paani' where Indian freedom fighters were condemned to be incarcerated in the cellular jail where they were subjected to the most horrific forms of torture, cruelty and injustice known to mankind.
Female bison mowed over by speeding train in Jalpaiguri
Jalpaiguri, 29 November : A female bison died on the spot after being mowed down by a speeding train passing through the Chapramari forest range in Jalpaiguri on Saturday.
The incident took place at 9 am in the morning in Jalpaiguri district. "The bison collided with the speeding train and was thrown 19 meters away due to the impact. It died on the spot," said Sudhama Oraon, member of the forest protection committee. The forest officials also blamed the callousness of the train drivers for repeated accidents. "It is written here that trains have to slow down when they reach this area. This is the third bison killed like this in this year," said Dhoni Oraon, beat officer of Nagrakata.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina grieves at ferry deaths

Dhaka, 28 November : Bangladesh Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in Port of Spain attending the Commonwealth summit, expressed her grief at Friday's launch disaster and ordered speedy rescue operation and investigation into the accident.
The president also expressed his sorrow at the tragedy and condolences for the grieving families. Hasina has sent condolences to the families of the victims, her deputy press secretary Mahbubul Huq Shakil said in Dhaka.

At least 32 killed after Bangladesh ferry accident
Launch sinks tragedy strikes Bhola on "Eid day"
Reuters, Dhaka, 28 November : Rescuers have retrieved 32 bodies, including at least 12 children, and are searching for scores of people missing after an overcrowded ferry sank in a river along the Bangladesh coast, police and witnesses said on Saturday.
They said the ferry M.V. Coco-4 was sailing to the coastal town of Bhola, some 300 km from Dhaka, on Friday night with around 1,500 people on board - about three times the number it was registered to carry. The death toll late on Friday had been put at five. Many of those on board were going home to celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival on Saturday. Media at the scene reported the ferry started taking in water after it hit a raised section of the river bed in heavy fog. Most of those on board swam to safety but up to 80 may still be missing, one survivor said. The ferry was listed with a capacity to carry about 450 people.
Officials and transport operators said they were still waiting for a rescue vessel to arrive. An investigation into the sinking has been ordered, the communications ministry said. Hundreds of people die every year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, but no major ferry disasters have happened in the past two years after stricter enforcing of safety rules. Photos : AFP, Reuters
Mamata lays foundation for country’s first auto logistics hub in Howrah
Howrah, 28 November : Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the country’s first automobile logistics hub near here and announced that nine more such centres will be set up at different places.
“After this, we will set up automobile hubs at Siliguri, Guwahati, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kerala, Bangalore and Delhi as a pilot project in collaboration with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM),” Mamata Banerjee said while laying the foundation stone near Shalimar railway station.

Tripura bans mobile in schools, Meghalaya in vehicles
Agartala, Shillong, 28 November : Tripura government has banned the use of mobile phones by students and teachers in schools across the northeastern state, an official said here Saturday. The Meghalaya government has banned the use of mobile phones by drivers.
The Tripura cabinet took the decision in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. A Tripura education department official said: "If a student up to Class 12 is caught using a mobile in the school premises, he or she would be punished." He added that a notification to the effect is being issued. The official told reporters: "The Central Education Department issued the ban (to be applicable in all central government control and aided schools) a couple of months back and sent an advisory to all the state governments across the country to consider the issue."
Tripura School Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty said: "To maintain discipline in schools the ban on mobile phones was necessary." The minister urged parents and guardians of students not to give mobile phones to their schoolgoing children.
Interlocutor for Gorkhaland talks to visit Kolkata this weekend
Kolkata, 28 November : Vijay Madan, who has been appointed as the interlocutor in the talks between the WB state government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is coming to Kolkata on 29 November. The next day he will have talks with senior officials of the state government including chief secretary Ashok Mohan Chakrabarti and home secretary Ardhendu Sen. On 1 December, he will have talks with Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi. The tripartite talks between the Centre, GJM and the state government will be held on 21 December in Darjeeling.

Maoist leader Bikash call for 'dialogue' over phone
Kolkata, 28 November : Renewing the call for dialogue, Maoist leader Bikash today told Bengal Newz the central and West Bengal governments should stop the anti-Moists operations in West Midnapore and begin talks to resolve the problem.
"At this moment, the people want a solution through dialogue," Maoist leader Bikash said. He claimed that resistance was continuing since the central and state governments did not show willingness for peace by accepting demands for release of those arrested in West Midnapore.
The Maoist leader also said 'people's problems' would not be discussed in the forthcoming session of the state assembly beginning 30 November, but the tussle between the CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress and Congress would occupy the centrestage. File Photo : Arpan Mukherjee
Eid celebrated across the Bengal
Children enjoy rides at Shishu Park in Dhaka on Eid Day >
Dhaka, Kolkata, 28 November : Muslims across the Bengal were celebrating Eid-ul-Azha on Saturday with prayers and sacrifice. Dressed in festive clothes, Muslims thronged mosques across the Bengal Saturday to pray on Eid.
The main Eid congregation in Bangladesh was held at the National Eidgah in Dhaka at 9:00am(BDST), attended by President Zillur Rahman among others. And in Kolkata thousands of devotees gathered to offer prayers at Road road. The celebrations began with millions of Muslims offering prayers at mosques and eidgahs throughout Bangladesh, West Bengal, Assam and Tripura for peace and prosperity.
The prayers were followed by the sacrificing of animals. Consequently, it has become a tradition to slaughter livestock and feed the poor to mark the occasion. Photos : Firoz Ahmed, Avijit Mondal

India won't be affected much by Dubai crisis : Pranab
Reuters, Chandigarh, 28 November : Dubai's debt crisis will not affect India much but the government is keeping a close watch and will act to prevent any fallout, the Indian finance minister said on Saturday.
"The impact cannot be much as our stake is so small and the amount involved compared to the world economy is miniscule," Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in Chandigarh, where he was delivering a lecture. "Watchful and effective intervention at the appropriate time can avert some immediate crisis," he said. Indian stocks and the rupee were rattled on Friday after Dubai's woes stoked fears over corporate exposure to a key trading partner and that foreign funds would lose their appetite for risk.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Dubai is part, is the second-biggest export destination for India and accounts for 10-12 % of India's inward remittances. Mukherjee said the emirate's problems could force a return of Indian citizens, who make up more than 40% of the UAE's population.

India-Bangladesh talks from Monday
New Delhi, 28 November : India and Bangladesh will explore the possibility of signing an extradition treaty soon when the home secretaries of the two countries begin their three-day talks here on Monday.
Cross-border terrorism, infiltration, smuggling of fake currency and activities of north-east militants will also be high on the agenda. The Indian delegation, led by Indian home secretary G K Pillai, will seek cooperation from Bangladesh (led by home secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder) to deal with security issues, especially anti-India jehadi organisations and north-east militants operating from its soil, sources said.
Though the proposal to sign an extradition treaty has been pending for long, New Delhi hopes to break some ice with Dhaka to finalize it quickly considering the positive signal given by the Sheikh Hasina government over the issue.

Life returns to normal in Assam's North Cachar Hills
ANI, North Cachar Hills (Assam), 28 November : The surrender of ‘black widow’ militants has created a positive influence in North Cachar Hills district of Assam, and there has been a gradual improvement in the security scenario.
The markets are now flooded with people, railway services have resumed and rock concerts are drawing a huge number of people. No untoward incident has been reported in NC Hills since 2 October this year, when Jewel Garlosa faction of Dima Halim Daogah or ‘Black Widow’ laid down their arms. Businessman and traders are happy as markets are filled with customers, which earlier remained empty because of frequent militant attacks. People along with their families do not hesitate anymore to move of their homes for night stroll. Besides, the night trains have resumed service and work on Lumding-Silchar railway gauge project has commenced.
A rock concert organized by a local musician Morningkey Phangso in the Valley attracted large audiences. With the situation improving in the region, people are beginning to enjoy life.

Maoists kill gram panchayat leader in W Midnapore
Jhargram, 28 November : Suspected Maoist guerrillas gunned down a local CPI(M) leader in trouble-torn West Midnapore district, police said Saturday.
According to sources, the incident took place Friday night in Jhargram sub-division's Jitushol area in the district when a group of unidentified miscreants killed Karuna Mahato. 'Mahato was a CPI(M) gram panchayat member in Shalboni region. The Maoist ultras called Mahato from his residence late Friday night and took him to a nearby forest. He was found dead this morning on National Highway-9 near Kalaboni forest region,' a district police officer said.

Forward Block demand renaming of Andaman Island
Port Blair, 28 November : The State Conference of All India Forward Block was held recently at Delanipur community hall. It was inaugurated by Naren Dey, Secretary, AIFB and Minister of Agriculture and Consumer’s Affair, Govt. of West Bengal. In his address, the Minister urged the party workers to work relentlessly to attain their democratic and fundamental rights.
The conference also passed a resolution to press their demand for renaming Andaman & Nicobar Islands as ‘Shaheed and Swaraj Dweep’ as named by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. It also declared 23rd January, the birthday of Netaji as Netaji Jayanti/ Desh Prem Diwas. Besides, other issues for the development and welfare of the islanders were also discussed in the conference. Earlier, a district conference was held at Billiground.
A State Committee was constituted in the conference with Lingamayya as Chairman and A Pandyan, General Secretary besides five office bearers and eight committee members.

Friday, November 27, 2009

At least two policemen killed in Lalgarh landmine blast

Kolkata, Lalgarh, 27 November : At least two policemen were killed in a landmine blast triggered by suspected Maoists in Lalgarh region Friday, an official said.
A police officer said the explosion occurred at Burishol near the Pirakata police outpost under Lalgarh police station of West Midnapore district around 3 p.m. as the security personnel were patrolling the area. "As the team of policemen neared the spot leading to the forest, the Maoists triggered the blast. There may be more than one explosion, thought it is yet to be confirmed. The number of injured policemen may also rise," the officer said.
The police outpost was set up after the state government began a massive security operation with central paramilitary troopers and state armed forces personnel to flush out from Lalgarh.
At least 14 killed in Bangladesh road accidents
Dhaka, 27 November : At least 14 people were killed and 100 injured in four road accidents during Eid-ul-Azha as people rushed home to celebrate the festival with their families.
The accidents occurred in Rajbari, Tangail, Pabna and Madaripur Friday, Star Online reported. In all the cases, the drivers of over-crowded buses lost control. According to media reports, there is a huge rush for train and bus tickets as thousands of people leave Dhaka for their villages during the festival.
New Tripura governor Dr. Dnyandeo Y Patil sworn in
Agartala, 27 November : Dr Dnyandeo Yashwantrao Patil was today sworn in as Governor of Tripura at a simple ceremenony at the Dubar Hall of Raj Bhavan here.
Chief Justice of Guwahati High Court, J Chelameswar administered the oath of office to the 74-year-old Patil, who took over from Dr Kamala, the first woman governor of the state and has been appointed Governor of Gujarat. Patil, a Padma Shri awardee, has founded several educational and health institutions in Maharashtra. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, his cabinet colleagues, leaders of political parties and top bureaucrats and army and police officials were present at the oath-taking ceremony.
Nabard sanctions Rs 159.86cr for rural Infrastructure
Kolkata, 27 November : Indian National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned Rs 159.86 crore under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) XV to the government of West Bengal. This includes an innovative Heifer Production Project (Rs 8.61 crore) at Kalyani in Nadia district. The project would generate and supply good quality crossbred cows and buffaloes throughout the state to boost the present milk production. The project is expected to generate recurring employment of 1,000 jobs per year and non-recurring employment of 3.40 lakh mandays.
Other projects sanctioned include 18 rural road projects (Rs 70.26 crore), six rural bridge projects (Rs 35.10 crore), improvement of navigability (Rs. 11.76 crore), fishing jetty (Rs 9.32 crore), six rural markets (Rs. 8.80 crore), 19 block livestock development office projects (Rs 8.52 crore), and three flood protection projects (Rs. 7.49 crore).
Presence of army in Chittagong Hill Tracts is 'Acceptable'
Chittagong, 27 November : Speakers at a roundtable in the city yesterday expressed the view that the presence of the Army in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is acceptable but the administration must be run by civilians.
The discussion titled 'A Decade of Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord: an Evaluation' was organised by the daily Bhorer Kagoj at its office marking the completion of a decade of the CHT peace accord, reports UNB. Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on CHT Affairs Ministry Shah Alam MP presided over the function.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bengal marks 26/11 with flowers, candles and peace concerts

Kolkata, 26 November : People in Kolkata Thursday lit candles and paid floral tributes to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Schoolchildren, actresses, government officials, cultural activists and policemen all united in grief as also in a resolve to foil designs of terror masterminds and to protect the unity and integrity of the nation of over 100 crore people. The main function observing the first anniversary of the Mumbai killings was held near the Police Memorial in the city hub where Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi garlanded the memorial and signed the condolence register. Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty was among those present.
In the evening, candles in colours of the national flag were lit at the memorial as also the nearby Citizens’ Park amid singing of patriotic songs. A large number of school children joined the commissioner and leading Bengali film actress Rituparna Sengupta in paying tributes to those brave men and women who fell to the terrorists’ bullets in Mumbai a year back. Bollywood actress Raima Sen took part alongside a host of actors and singers in a peace concert.
Similar solemn functions were held in various parts of the city and the state.
At least 166 people were killed when 10 terrorists of the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) went on a killing spree at many places in Mumbai for three days from 26 November last year. Photos : AP, Indrajit Dutta

Tripura to start study-from-home programme for special kids
Agartal, 26 November : The Tripura government has decided to introduce a Home-Based Education Programme (HBEP) for the disabled children, who are unable to attend schools, an official said here on Thursday.
"The HBEP would be launched as part of the government programme to bring all children (aged 6 to 14 years) in learning process," Banamali Sinha, principal secretary education, told reporters. "We cannot include the differently-abled children in normal educational set-up, because the government has not yet prepared the schools with adequate infrastructure and trained teachers to take special care of those otherwise-abled children." The Tripura government has appointed some Education Volunteers (EV) to serve the educational needs of these hapless Children With Special Needs (CWSN) at their homes from the next academic session beginning from January next year. "Initially, 171 differently-abled children have been identified in different parts of the northeastern state to provide this home based education," the principal secretary said.
According to the 2001 census, Tripura has around 60,000 people with various physical deformities and a considerable number of them are under 15 years old.

Bangladesh to launch its own Satellite
Dhaka, 26 November : Bangladesh government has decided to launch own satellite into space 'very soon', post and telecommunication minister Rajiuddin Ahmed said on Thursday.
Talking to reporters at his secretariat office, he said the government has already discussed the technical aspects of the venture with some foreign countries having experience in satellite technologies.
He said: "The government has initiated the move to launch its own satellite into space, which should help the country improve its communication systems. We have discussed the technical aspects of it with a number of countries, including China and Germany."

Congress's shutdown evokes mixed response in Agartala
Agartala, 26 November : The opposition Congress-sponsored dawn to dusk shutdown Thursday in the Tripura capital to protest the killing of a Youth Congress leader two days ago saw many shops and business establishments remaining closed and attendance in offices thin.
“Around 50 Congress activists were arrested in the capital city when they tried to enforce the 12-hour shutdown,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police (central) Harimohan Debnath. The shutdown call evoked only partial response, officials said. Shops and business establishments in the capital city and on the outskirts remained closed while attendance in government offices and educational institutions was thin. Very little traffic was seen on the roads. However, no untoward incident was reported.
Tripura Youth Congress vice-president Mantu Das was shot dead by some people at his house Tuesday midnight. Photo : Parthajit Dutta

Suspected Maoists kill school teacher in Purulia dist
Purulia, 26 November : Suspected Maoist killed a school teacher in Purulia district Thursday evening, police said.
The incident took place at Arsha area where a few locals saw the body of Subimal Mali lying on the bank of Barlang river. The victim was teacher at Ranga High School. 'We received the information this (Thursday) evening and accordingly sent our force to the spot. Mali was taken to Sirkabat hospital where he was declared brought dead,' a senior police officer of Arsha police station told Bengal Newz over phone. He said the police were trying to confirm whether Mali was killed by the Maoist.

D Y Patil to take oath as Tripura governor tomorrow
Agartala, 26 November : The newly appointed Tripura Governor D Y Patil will take oath of office and secrecy tomorrow, officials said.
Patil was accorded guard of honour by security forces at the airport, shortly after his arrival in morning. The outgoing Governor Dr Kamala, who has been appointed Gujarat Governor, said, "My tenure in Tripura was for only 40 days, but I am taking with me a memory of intimacy and good hospitality.

WB offers land, infrastructure for 'Football Academy'
Burdwan, New Delhi, 26 November : The West Bengal government has offered land and infrastructural support to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to built a state of the art academy in Burdwan.
The government has proposed 17 acres of land for the academy, which will also get technical support from German giants Bayern Munich. In fact, the WB govt had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bayern in 2007.
AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta told on Wednesday that to look into the nitty-gritty of the West Bengal government's proposal, a four-member committee has been formed and they will inspect the site in Burdwan, Thursday. "The site is adjacent to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex and if needed we can also use the facilities there as well," said Dutta.

PM's office goes Solar to encourage 'Green Energy'
Dhaka, 26 November : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has installed a solar power system at her office to encourage green energy expansion in her power-starved nation.
The country's single largest solar power system, with a peaking capacity of generating 21.6 kilowatts, is now operating on a trial basis, officials of the Power Development Board (PDB) that supervised the installation. The system has been designed and installed by a local private firm Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Ltd and now awaits formal inauguration, the officials said. The firm mainly produces dry batteries that are exported to India and several other countries.

Hooghly dist clash echoes in Parliament, house adjourned
PTI, New Delhi, 26 November : The turf war between TMC and CPI(M) in Khanakul, Arambagh and Purshura had its echo in the Lok Sabha today with the two parties clashing over fresh violence between their supporters, leading to adjournment of the House for an hour.
TMC chief whip Sudip Bandopadhyay raised the issue during Zero Hour and was supported by his party colleagues who were on their feet targeting the Left Front government in the state. CPI(M) members, led by Basudeb Acharia, immediately countered them accusing the Trinamool of being hand-in-glove with Maoists. Bandopadhyay and his colleagues demanded that a Central team be immediately sent to the state to assess the situation and submit its report. With charges and counter-charges continuing unabated, speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House for an hour.
Two jailed for beating Crocodile
Dhaka, 26 November : A court in southwestern Bagerhat district has jailed two men for severely beating a pregnant crocodile at an Islamic shrine, a news report said Thursday.
Judge Abdus Salam Khan convicted the men of torturing the crocodile and sentenced them Tuesday to two years in jail with hard labor, Dhaka's Daily Star newspaper reported. The crocodile, named "Pipil," was seriously injured and lost one eye after the men beat her with bamboo sticks at Khan Jahan Ali shrine in April this year, the prosecution said. The shrine is in Bagerhat district, 135 Km southwest of the capital, Dhaka.
The shrine has about two dozen crocodiles living in a big pond where pilgrims can feed and watch them.
SSTL to integrate its voice service with the Internet
Kolkata, 26 November : At a time when the continuing tariff war is slated to hit revenues and bottomlines of telecom companies, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) plans to integrate its voice service with the internet to drive average revenue per user (ARPU).
The company, which operates CDMA telecom services under the MTS brand, plans to offer mobile broadband services on cellphones and a host of services around it. For this, SSTL has entered into long-term agreements with RailTel, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices to lease internet bandwidth. The company also plans to roll out an array of co-branded high-end mobile phones and smartphones along with leading vendors like Samsung, Fly, ZTE and Huawei which will be configured for hi-speed internet access.
Talking to reporters in Kolkata, SSTL chief sales officer Atul Joshi said that integrating voice and high-speed internet services will be the way forward in the mobile telephony market. "ARPU of data services is at least 3-4 times more than that of voice," he said.

Bangladesh Taka appreciates against US Dollar ahead of Eid festival
Dhaka, 26 November : Bangladesh taka (BDT) has appreciated marginally by 0.17 percent against the US dollar in the last two weeks due to increased inflow of foreign exchange ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha festival.
"The local currency has appreciated slightly against the US dollar due mainly to an increase the flow of inward remittances ahead of the Eid festival," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country's central bank, told AHN Media in the capital, Dhaka. The U.S. dollar was quoted at BDT 69.03 -BDT 69.05 in the inter-bank foreign exchange market on the day against BDT 69.15 in the two weeks back, according to the central bank statistics.
One killed, five injured in Trinamool-CPI(M) clashes
Srerampore, Kolkata, 26 November : One man was killed and five others, including a police officer, suffered bullet injuries as activists of the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress clashed in several villages in Hooghly district Thursday, police said.
The clashes broke out in Majhpur, Bardighrui and Chandrabhan villages in Khanakul area, said an official at the state police control room. When a large police team reached the spot it was met with a hail of bullets, one of which hit Khanakul police station officer-in-charge Sukomal Das, the official said. Four political workers have been injured. The condition of three of them is said to be serious. The police officer and the three seriously injured activists have been brought to Kolkata for treatment.
Hooghly SP Satyajit Bondopadhaya told Bengal Newz the situation was tense but under control. Photo : Sanjay Bhaduri

Thousands leaving Dhaka to celebrate Eid at home
Dhaka, 26 November : Thousands of city-dwellers have started leaving the capital to celebrate Saturday's Eid-ul-Azha, with their near and dear ones.
With only two days left for the festival, people with or without seat-ensuring tickets are gathering at the city's railway stations, bus and launch terminals to join relatives in their village homes. The capital Dhaka experienced exodus on Friday, the 1st day of three-day Eid vacation starting from Today, although a number of passengers have already left amid clamour for seats of trains, buses and launches.
Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) said it has started special Eid service from Wednesday, which would continue for the next three days, to ply on different inter-district routes in addition to the regular services considering the demands of the homebound city-dwellers. Officials at the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority said special ferry services have also been introduced on various routes on the occasion of the festival. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Railway (BR) has said seven special trains, including four to and from the capital, would run from Wednesday for the country's different destinations much to the relief of home-bound passengers.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), police and intelligence personnel have been deployed at the railway stations and bus and launch terminals in the city to keep the black-marketers at bay and ease the situation for the home-goers. Photos : Dwaipayan Barua, Firoz Ahmed

2nd Sub-marine cable to be set up at Mongla : Dr Moshiur
Khulna, 26 November : Adviser for finance to the Prime Minister Dr Moshiur Rahaman said the government has already decided to set up the second sub-marine cable at the Mongla Port for connecting it to the information superhighway as part of building Digital Bangladesh.
The government also has taken a project involving Taka 850 crore for supplying gas through pipelines to the Khulna region. An IT village will be established in Khulna and preliminary work for it has already started. After inaugurating the Khulna Pedia, the adviser said a cross of people including readers, researchers, traders, tourists and all professional bodies would get the opportunity for connecting them with the modern information technology. Dr Moshiur made said this while inaugurating a day-long Khulna digital festival-2009 as the chief guest at Khulna Government Zila School maidan yesterday.
Speaking on the occasion, he also said the people would collect their necessary information relating to geographical, historical, educational, economical and business activities from now on.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

TMC not helping in forming consensus against Maoists : CM

Kolkata, 25 November : Difficult terrain, lack of operations in neighbouring Jharkhand and no consensus among political parties are the main impediments in securing total success against Maoists, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said tonight.
"After the induction of joint forces we have achieved area domination, but area domination is one thing and elimination of Maoists another," he told Bengali TV news channel '24 Ghanta'
Keeping Production of Darjeeling Tea Profitable
PIB Press Release, 25 November : The quality, reputation and characteristics of Darjeeling tea are essentially attributable to its geographical origin. It possesses a flavour and quality, which sets it apart from other teas. Pioneering work has been done to protect Darjeeling tea as a geographical indication aimed at preventing non-Darjeeling tea from being passed off as Darjeeling tea. The DARJEELING word and logo were the first Geographical Indications to be registered in India under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. Over Rs.60 lakh are spent per annum on the legal requirements to protect Darjeeling word and logo globally. READ FULL PRESS RELEASE
4 Dhaka rivers declared Ecologically Critical Areas
BSS, Dhaka, 25 November : The government has declared four rivers surrounding Dhaka City as Ecologically Critical Areas (ECA) as part of the plan to protect the rivers from encroachment as well as conservation of the biodiversity of the ancient water courses.
In September 2009, the four rivers- Buriganga, Sitalakhaya, Turag and Balu- have been declared by the Department of Environment as ECAs, said State Minister for Environment and Forests Dr Hasan Mahmud here on Tuesday. Addressing the inaugural session of a national consultation workshop on "2010 Biodiversity Target National Assessment" at LGED auditorium, Dr Hasan urged all to make their efforts to protect the country's vast wealth of genetic resources for the sake of everyone live today and for our children and grandchildren and generation to be born.
He said, Bangladesh is a biodiversity rich country and its economy, culture and lifestyle is greatly dependent on various biodiversity resources. So, the government has always been attaching importance on the involvement of mass-people in the development of environment and biodiversity.

JPDC organises Tangail jute fair
Tangail, 25 November : The Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JPDC) has organized a three-day multipurpose jute goods fair under the Ministry of Jute and Textiles. Bangladesh Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui inaugurated the fair, which was held in Tangail town.
Variety of jute products including shopping bags, ladies bags, tablemats were on display at the fair. The organizers of the fair said that, as people do not prefer using polythene bags, these days, jute-made goods are witnessing high demands. Countries such as India and Bangladesh fulfill maximum global demands for jute products.
JDPC has been organizing this fair since 2002, the year it was established, informed organizers.

Dunlop to start production from Sahaganj unit 2 Dec
Kolkata, 25 November : Famous tyre manufacturer Dunlop India would resume production at its Sahaganj unit 2 December, the company said.
‘Through a notice at the entrance of the Sahaganj plant, the management of Dunlop India has informed its employees on Tuesday that the production at the plant will resume on and from Wednesday, 2 December, 2009,’ a company release said. The Ruia Group-run company suspended work at the Sahaganj unit in Hooghly district in November last year citing the economic meltdown and recessionary pressure. It re-opened 6 March, but could not resume production as there was no power connection.
After protracted deliberation over the terms of the letter of credit, power was finally restored on 9 November.

France looks to double bilateral trade with India
Kolkata, 25 November : The French are focusing on a host of initiatives to boost Indo-French cooperation. For one, efforts are on to double bilateral trade. The target is to double the numbers from around 6-to-7 billion euros now to 12 billion euros.
Interacting with the media in the city on Tuesday, against the the backdrop of ‘Bonjour India - Festival of France in India’ which is about to unfold from the first week of December, French ambassador Jerome Bonnafont said the increase of trade figures would have been probably achieved as per the target had the recession not come in the way. "Now, we hope to achieve it by around 2012," Bonnafont said.
France is also placing thrust on collaborating with India on civilian-nuclear front. "After all, one must remember that France is a leader in the infrastructural sphere which includes the civilian-nuclear area," Bonnafont said. Dwelling on investments, he said France not only wants to invest in India, "it also wants India to route investments into France."