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Monday, March 29, 2010

Accusing party leaders of misusing development funds allocated

Jadavpur' Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman quits party
Kolkata, 29 March : Singer-turned-Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member Kabir Suman on Monday night expressed a desire to resign from parliament and the party in an SMS to Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee.
"I am resigning my AITMC (All India Trinamool Congress) membership and Lok Sabha membership at once. Good luck to you all," Suman said in the SMS, which he also sent to Trinamool chief whip in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay. Though Suman did not spell out any reason, the SMS comes months after his frictions with the Trinamool which had prompted Banerjee to describe the popular poet-singer as a "guest" in the party. Acknowledging receipt of the SMS, Bandopadhyay said: "His actions had put us in discomfort. We are now awaiting a formal letter of resignation from him".
Suman, known for his Maoist sympathies, won the Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat in 2009, but drew Banerjee's ire late last year for accusing a section of party leaders of misusing funds allocated for development work.

Bangladesh Army to help ease water crisis from 1 April
Dhaka, 29 March : Bangladesh government will deploy army personnel from 1 April in aid of Dhaka Wasa to help ease the unbearable water crisis in the capital.
“Like other years, they will help the Water Supply and Sewerage Authority maintain security and water management at every zone and pump station across the city,” Wasa Managing Director Taksim A Khan told Bengal Newz.
8 more body recovered, toll in Stephen Court fire rises to 42
PTI, Kolkata, 29 March : Eight more bodies were on Monday recovered during the clearing of debris at the landmark Stephen Court building which had caught fire on 23 March, raising the death toll to 42.
Two of the bodies were found in the early hours, Commissioner of Kolkata Police Gautam Mohan Chakraborty said. "Six more bodies were found during the day from the fifth floor of the building," Additional Director General (Fire Service), Debapriya Biswas told PTI.
Police said there could be more bodies buried in the debris. "The search operation is on. I cannot say right now whether this is the total figure. There is every possibility that some more bodies are lying under the debris," Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Jawed Shamim said. The bodies were sent for post-mortem, he said. The police commissioner had said earlier that FIRs were filed for 37 missing persons.
Over 100 workers of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation were engaged in clearing the debris. Photo : Getty Images

Solar energy tapping provision to be mandatory in Agartala
Agartala, 29 March : In a bid to make Agartala a solar city, the Tripura government has decided to make solar energy tapping provision mandatory in buildings.
'The existing building rules would be modified soon to make solar energy tapping provision mandatory in every building for reducing dependency on conventional energy,' Tripura Science, Technology and Environment Minister Joy Gobinda Debroy told reporters here Monday. 'The proposed compulsory provision would be applicable for both private, government and commercial buildings,' he said.
'Union ministry of non-conventional and renewable energy had decided to make sixty cities across India 'solar cities' during the next few years, which includes all northeast state capitals. The necessary survey would be undertaken in Agartala next month to make a detailed project report (DPR) for the solar city plan, the minister added.

War trial Bangladesh’s internal matter : US Congressman
UNB, Dhaka, 29 March : US Congressional delegation leader David Price on Monday said the trial of 1971 war criminals is an “internal matter” of Bangladesh that needs to address the issue in its own way.
“This is a difficult matter…We’re not obviously in a position to judge ongoing internal matters of another country and it is not our role,” he said at a conference at JATRI on the last day of their 3-day visit to Dhaka. Two other Congressmen Stephen Lynch and Jeff Fortenberry were present.
During their stay here, the Congressional delegation met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia.
Congressman Jeff said the House of Representatives passed a strong resolution on Bangladesh’s return to democracy, observing that it recognised continued relationship between the United States and Bangladesh.
PM Hasina seeks more US investment for power, energy
UNB, Dhaka, 29 March : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday sought more investment from the United States in the country’s thrust sectors like power and energy, and infrastructure.
The appeal came when a US delegation led by Congressman David Price called on the prime minister at her official residence Ganobhaban. Hasina said the stance of Bangladesh against terrorism and extremism is very much clear and her government would not allow any sort of terrorism and extremism in the country.
Battle over resort 'threatening Andamans islands tribe'
BBC News, New Delhi, 29 March : The Indian Supreme Court is currently considering whether a controversial tourist resort in the Andaman islands should close. The resort is near a forest reserve, which is home to the endangered Jarawa tribe. The BBC's Geeta Pandey, who has visited the area, reports from Delhi. READ FULL STORY
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha delegation in New Delhi to discus
Siliguri, 29 March : A six-member Gorkha Janmukti Morcha team led by its General Secretary Roshan Giri is in New Delhi to discuss certain points on autonomy at a tripartite meeting with West Bengal government representatives and Union Home Secretary G K Pillai.
"We are not supposed to disclose everything to the press whenever we go to Delhi," Giri, who left for the Union capital yesterday, said when asked about the tripartite meeting since political level talks are scheduled to begin only on 14 May. Party chief Bimal Gurung at a public meeting at Kurseong yesterday said that the delegation was sent to Delhi to discuss the main issues for an interim arrangement in the Darjeeling hills till 2011 when assembly elections are due in West Bengal. He claimed that the interim arrangement would be as good as a separate state of Gorkhaland. "Only the name will be different."
A GJM source said that a demand has been placed for autonomy of 102 departments and some more would be sought.

Andaman Island's documentary film set to sail for Italy
UNI, Port Blair, 29 March : ''Beyond the Horizon'' (Amrit Jal), a short documentary film on Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has been sent to Film Caravan Imperia Travelling short film festival to be held at Imperia, Italy from 4 to 7 August next.
Bollywood actor Sanjay Swaraj of 'Guru', 'Jaal' and 'Gangajal' has played the leading role in the documentary. ''This film has already grabbed the best film award in social issues category at the Nasik International Film Festival in 2008,'' Naresh Chandra Lall, writer and director of the film, told UNI here.
The film was also screened at the seventh International Film Conference on Social Cinema at Nandan, Kolkata, in February, 2008. This is the second time when a film made on Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been sent to the foreign film festival.

Workshop calls for sensitivity on reporting HIV and AIDS
PTI, Kohima, 29 March : A day-long media workshop on HIV/AIDS has called for application of utmost sensitivity and adhering to Press Council's guidelines on reporting issues related to HIV/AIDS.
The workshop "Building perspectives on HIV/AIDS", jointly organised by Dimapur Press Club, Centre for Advocacy and Research and Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) and supported by UNDP Initiative at Dimapur yesterday also insisted that media needs updating on various issues such as sigma, discrimination, gender bias, human rights when concerning HIV/AIDS.
Highlighting on the response of media to HIV/AIDS problem in Nagaland, DPC president Dilip Sharma urged that media in the state needed to move beyond reporting on events, facts and figures on the issue.

Feni mutiny verdict on 18 April
Dhaka, 29 March : A special court has fixed 18 April to deliver the verdict in a BDR mutiny case against 58 jawans of 19 Rifles Battalion in Feni.
The three-member Special Court-3, headed by BDR Director General Maj Gen Md Mainul Islam, set the date after completing the hearing on the case Monday. Earlier in the day, 40 out of 58 BDR jawans placed their confessional statements written and orally before the court. They also appealed to the court for reinstating them in job considering financial insolvency of their families.
Earlier on Sunday, the court received statements of 18 jawans. Prosecutor of the special court Lt Col Gazi Mohammad Salauddin placed his argument before the court. On Sunday, the court finished recording the depositions of the witnesses.
The trial process started on 20 December last year.

West Bengal youth gain from Bamboo plantations centre
ANI, Siliguri, 29 March : The Taipoo Forest Beat located beyond Siliguri in West Bengal, has evolved an innovative mode of employment for the locals mostly tribals.
The project would also help to increase green cover of the degraded forestland. The credit for this innovative concept is attributed to the Conservator of Forests in West Bengal who mooted the extensive bamboo plantation under the National Bamboo Mission. The Range Forest Officer of Taipoo has set up a bamboo cultivation centre where villagers are trained to cultivate bamboo and earn a living.
A good number of these villagers are also members of the Forest Protection Committee. Alongside tending the bamboo plantations, the villagers also grow fodder for their livestock. The bamboo produce is auctioned in the market.
The villagers endeavour from the Central Bamboo Nursery plays a vital role in the enlivening the depleting forest cover and thus prevent wild animals from entering human habitations. No wonder, the National Bamboo Mission has been a boon for the villagers living in and around the Taipoo Forest Range.