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Friday, August 20, 2010

Release Rs 1,400 cr for drought in West Bengal : CPM to Centre

PTI, New Delhi, 20 August : The CPI(M) urged the Centre to release Rs 1,400 crore to West Bengal to meet the situation arising out of severe drought in 11 districts, saying the amount was due on account of the employment guarantee scheme.
"We are not asking for charity, neither are we seeking aid from the PM's Relief Fund. We have urged the Centre to release Rs 1,400 crore which is due to the state government on account of the national rural employment guarantee scheme," CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here. His senior colleague Basudeb Acharia said he had met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and informed him that 11 districts of the state, which is the largest rice producer, have had deficient rainfall, ranging from 35 to 55 per cent. "Agricultural workers, who have worked under the scheme, are yet to get their wages for over 20 days as the funds have not been released by the Centre so far," he said.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard and also urged Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to send a central team to assess the drought situation. File Photos

Maoists loot licensed revolvers from owners in Purulia dist
Purulia, 20 August : Suspected Maoists looted five licensed revolvers from locals of Khamar village in Purulia district, a senior police officer said today.
A group of around 20 Maoists went to a house of five persons in Khamar village last night and looted licensed revolvers from them, Superintendent of Police Rajesh Yadav. The police was investigating the matter, the SP added.

West Bengal govt Identifies Four Locations for 'NSG Hub'
Kolkata, 20 August : West Bengal government has shortlisted four locations in North 24 Parganas district for setting up the proposed National Security Guard (NSG) hub in the state, Home Secretary Samar Ghosh said.
State government officials took NSG officers to the four locations Thursday. He said: ‘We have identified four places for setting up the eastern regional hub of the NSG. All the four places were shown to them and now they will select one after considering the location and valuation of the place.’ ‘The district magistrate of North 24 Parganas has been asked to inform the NSG officers about the valuation of all the places.’
‘As soon as the NSG officers select any one of the four places and communicate this to us, we will start the land acquisition process,’ said Ghosh.

Meningitis, malaria claim 7 kids, Altogether 9 die in Tripura
Agartala, 20 August : Nine persons, seven of them children, died of malaria and meningitis last week in remote Rajdhar, Malidhar and Gobindabari villages, sources in the health department in Ambassa, headquarters of Dhalai district, said.
Dr Milton Debbarma, doctor in-charge of Chhawmanu primary health centre, said till today, two patients of malaria and meningitis, Motilal Chakma, 30, and one-year-old Dilip Chakma, were undergoing treatment in the primary health centre. “We now have all 26 seats occupied by malaria patients and two of them have been found to be afflicted by meningitis; there are also a dozen malaria patients on the corridor of the hospital building,” the doctor said. The nine patients who died of malaria and meningitis, were Dinesh Reang, Fanindra Aslong, Jamrai Reang, Kriparani Tripura, Shashi Mohan Tripura, Chandari Tripura, Kalasri Tripura, Rebanti Tripura and Raja Aslong, he said.
The district medical officer of Dhalai, Dr Subir Debbarma, said he had received reports of the death of nine persons in the remote villages.

CW's Queen’s baton relay gets huge response in Andaman
Port Blair, 20 August : It was like a dream come true for the people of the Islands who got an opportunity to participate in the Queen’s Baton relay for the 19th Common Wealth Games and associate themselves with the games.
The Queen’s Baton relay started from the historic National Memorial Cellular Jail here this afternoon by the Lt Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Bhopinder Singh, by running some distance carrying the Queen’s Baton and handing over the Baton to the first bearer Chief Secretary, Vivek Rae for forward journey of the Baton by eminent personalities and sportspersons to various parts of the town culminating at Netaji Stadium.
Citizens and thousands of children greeted the Queen’s Baton en-route with great zeal and gusto. The All India Radio, Port Blair Station was running live commentary of the Queen’s Baton Relay so that people living in remote Islands could also witness the historic moment. Photo : Courtesy
Banana growers eye bumper production round the year...
BSS, Rangamati, 20 August : Banana was cultivated on about 25,000 hectare of land in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region this year against the target of 18,275 hectare fixed up by the Agriculture Extension Department (DAE), sources said.
Now-a-days people of the region are now much enthusiastic to cultivate banana finding potential for getting yield round the year. It was a target for the Rangamati hill district to plant the crop on 7,175 hectares of land with a target to produce 1,77,940 metric tons fetching Taka 8,89,70,000 this year, Deputy Director of DAE of Rangamati Kazal Talukder told BSS recently.
International conference on Agriculture-education in Tripura
Agartala, 20 August : An International Conference on Agriculture Education and Knowledge Management will be held on 24-26 August at Agartala, being organised by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
This conference will focus on sharing experiences on the challenges facing agricultural education and knowledge management systems. It will address issues related to indigenous knowledge and knowledge generated by educational and research institutes for innovative agriculture.

B'desh customs officials seized 82 kgs of heroine at Airport
UNB, Dhaka, 20 August : Customs officials seized 82 kgs of heroine from 75 packets from cargo village at Shahjalal International airport Thursday night.
The heroine packets were concealed in covers of jeans pants packed in different cartoons. Receiving specific information from the customs intelligence, the Airport Armed Police led by ASP Shariful Huq searched the cartoons and seized the heroine. Shariful told UNB that the cartoons containing heroine was being sent to Malaysia by a Biman Bangladesh flight at 10am(BDST).
The seized heroine will be sent to narcotics department. None was arrested.

Potato research centre to be set up in West Midnapore dist
Kolkata, 20 August : A centre of the Shimla-based Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) will be set up in West Midnapur district to make quality potato seeds favourable to the state's climatic condition available to the farmers.
'A CPRI centre will come up in West Midnapore district and the Bidhan Chandra Krishi VishvaVidyalaya (Bidhan Chandra Agricultural University) has been given the task to develop the centre,' Agriculture Minister Naren De said. He said more than fifty percent of the 7.5 lakh tonnes of potato seeds required in the state are imported from outside resulting in an increase of production costs. The centre will produce potato seeds through tissue culture which will be disease-free and favourable to the climatic condition of state, he said.
'Our state is the second largest potato producer of the country. We produce around 80-85 lakh tonnes of potato of which 30 lakh tonnes is excess, so we need to use good variety of seed so that the excess potato can be easily exported and marketed in foreign countries,' he said. The minister said he will consider the proposal of forming a Potato Board comprising all the stake holders, which will look into production, storage, marketing and export of the crop. He also asked the farmers to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers to keep the soil condition intact.