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Friday, July 30, 2010

CEC Quraishi rules out advancing assembly polls in West Bengal

PTI, New Delhi, 30 July : India's Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi on Friday said there was no question of advancing Assembly elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu as time for the polls was still away. "Nothing in the radar. We come into the picture only six months before the due date. Before that we have no locus standi at all." the CEC said when asked whether the poll panel would advance elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
Quraishi also said, Assembly elections in West Bengal are due on 11 June, 2011. "Before 11 December, we are not in the picture at all," he said.
Though Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has been insisting on early polls in West Bengal citing "breakdown" of law and order. A File Cartoon By CPI(M)

After food & fuel prices, Power bills to soar after tariff hike
Kolkata, 30 July : The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) announced a hike in power tariff on Friday. An average urban household consuming 200 to 300 units in the CESC area will have to shell out between Rs 30 and Rs 61.50 more. The hike in state electricity board areas is higher, with the extra charges varying between Rs 162 and Rs 267. This includes arrears WBERC allows the utilities to realise from consumers within eight months. The hike is effective from April 2010.
In the process, the CESC will mop up Rs 150 crore and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd a whopping Rs 600 crore in the 2011-12 financial year. The hike in the state electricity board area comes to an average of 44 paise per unit. The 25 lakh-odd CESC consumers in Kolkata and parts of Howrah and Hooghly will have to bear an average tariff hike of 17 paise per unit.

Bangladesh defence team visit Ind's Western Air Command
New Delhi, 30 July : A 28-member Bangladeshi defence college team today visited the Western Air Command (WAC) headquarters at Subroto Park to study the command structure, roles and responsibility of the IAF's sword arm.
Led by Bangladesh National Defence College Chief Instructor of Armed Forces War Course Wing, Brigadier General Sohel Ahmed, the delegation met WAC chief Air Marshal N A K Browne and held discussions on areas of mutual interest, training and cooperation. "The delegation was also briefed on the roles and responsibilities of Western Air Command," an IAF press release said here.

RM garment workers riot over wages
AFP, Dhaka, 30 July : Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers who stitch clothes for top Western brands blocked highways, attacked factories and looted shops in Dhaka on Friday, after rejecting a government wage hike.

Violent protests - including widespread looting and arson - broke out in multiple locations across the capital, police said, forcing factories to close as riot police struggled to disperse crowds with baton charges and tear gas. In the central district of Mohokhali around 3,000 workers attacked police, stoned factories and blocked a flyover, said local police chief Abdur Rob. "We have the situation under control, but there are still protests erupting in other parts of the city," Rob said, adding that several factories in his area had been seriously damaged.
On Tuesday, the government said it would raise the minimum monthly wage for garment workers from 1,662 taka - the lowest industry salary worldwide - to 3,000 taka (43 dollars). Some unions had demanded 5,000 taka.
Thousands of workers also blocked the city's main Tejgaon link road. They pulled down steel gates protecting nearby factories, smashed windows and machinery and vandalised cars, police said. At least 5,000 protestors rampaged through Dhaka's up-market Gulshan area, where many embassies and foreign aid groups have their offices. Photos : Reuters, AP READ BBC STORY

Fundamental principles of policy to return after SC verdict
UNB, Dhaka, 30 July : Bangladesh Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed has said fundamental principles of the State as envisaged in the Constitution would return with the Supreme Court verdict that scrapped of the 5th amendment as illegal.
“People were inspired to join the liberation war to establish non-communal society and secularism was the main pillar of the four State principles,” he said at the biennial conference of Mahanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee in Dhakeswari Jatiya Mandir premises.
Landmine blast in Assam, Five troopers killed, 41 injured
Guwahati, Kolkata, 30 July : At least five paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and 41 injured, four of them critically, in a powerful landmine explosion on Friday in Holmari in Assam's Goalpara district. Militants, suspected to be from the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), triggered a landmine blast around 8 am when around 20 CRPF troopers were returning in a bus from an anti-insurgency training camp. Though BBC have reported that Assam's main rebel group, United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), has claimed responsibility. From Guwahati, our correspondent Chinmoy Roy said, ULFA’s Publicity wing’s member Anu Buragohain claims the responsibility of the blast.
The landmine was planted in the middle of a road surrounded on either side by thick forests in Goalpara district, about 130 km from Guwahati. Photo : Chinmoy Roy READ BBC STORY

Bangladesh's DAE promotes jute's Ribbon Retting Method
Fibre2fashion, Dhaka, 30 July : Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has planned a program to promote the Ribbon Retting Method amongst farmers so as to separate ribbon from jute sticks and rot the same in holes, to get the desired golden fibre.
As per DAE around 75,000 jute farmers will be roped under this program and they would be given 7,500 ribbon retting machines, required basic training, financial assistance, equipments and technological support.
Further explaining the process, a DAE official said that, firstly raw ribbon will be separated from the jute sticks with the help of ribbon retting machines. Then the separated ribbon will be soaked in water in polythene to rot it properly. READ FULL STORY

Centre should hold talks with other parties in Darjeeling
PTI, Siliguri, 30 July : The Centre and the West Bengal government's move to hold tripartite talks with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha would not solve the Darjeeling problem, as it was not the sole authority, a political party opposed to the GJM said today.
Central committee member of the All India Gorkha League Pratap Khati told reporters here that the Centre should hold talks with his party and others active in the hills if it was interested to establish peace.Instead, the Centre and state government were holding talks with those named in the FIR in the killing of the party's leader Madan Tamang, he alleged.

Urgent need to improve tea quality in Tripura: Atonu Baruah
Agartala, 30 July : There is an urgent need to improve the quality of tea produced in Tripura if local planters want to tap its full potential, Atonu Baruah, Managing Director of Associated Brokers Private Ltd, said.
Baruah, who is here to conduct first ever Tea Tasting Session here today, said that finished tea in Tripura is good but it still lags behind when it comes to quality. In Assam and Cachar region, tea planters stress on quality to catch the national and international markets. But here, I found planters focus on appearance instead of quality, he pointed out. Baruah said the need of the hour is to produce quality tea so that planters could get good price of their products. If the planters get good price, the beleaguered industry will get a new lease of life, he said.
On organizing first ever Tea Tasting Session here, Baruah said that the main objective is to exhort the planters about their shortcomings in products and how they can improve the quality.

World Cup Football star Diego Forlan arrives in Kolkata
Kolkata, 30 July : Wildly cheered by hundreds of football fans, Uruguayan star footballer Diego Forlan, the golden ball winner in the recently held World Cup - arrived in the city Friday on a three-day tour to take part in a soccer reality show organised by a private channel.
Forlan, who played a stellar role in carrying two-time World Cup champions Uruguay to their first World Cup semi-final in four decades, touched down at the NSC Bose International Airport in the morning to the cheers of soccer aficionados, who patiently waited for hours for a glimpse of the Athletico Madrid player.
The 31-year-old Forlan, who struck five goals in the South Africa World Cup, would take part in a football talent hunt show to be aired by the Mahuaa Bangla channel. While Kolkata has hosted legendary footballers like Pele, Diego Maradona, Lothar Matthaus, Oliver Kahn, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Gerd Muller, Romario and Branco in the past.
Bangladesh, India join global move to save 'Bengal Tigers'
Dhaka, 30 July : Bangladesh and India, home to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, will attend the 13-nation Tiger Conservation Summit in St. Petersburg in September to plan out urgent measures to save the species.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may attend the meeting of the Tiger Range Countries (TRC) - Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, The Daily Star reported Friday. Currently, half of the entire Royal Bengal tiger population of over 2,000 is in 56 forest areas in India.

The tiger is treated as one of the most critically endangered animals fast disappearing from the world. If all the six sub-species are taken togther, there are estimated to be just about 3,200 tigers left, down from around 100,000 in 1900. Experts, however, predict tigers will be extinct in the next century if strong measures are not taken to save them. The Balinese tiger, Javanese tiger and Caspian tiger have already become extinct. Now there are six sub-species: Amur, Indochinese, Malayan, Royal Bengal, South China and Sumatran.
Despite frequent natural calamities, worsening environment and growing salinity in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh is the only country now that claims the number of tigers has recently risen in the forests. The Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans, a stretch of 6,017 sq km of forest, is officially home to 450 tigers.