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Friday, April 8, 2011

Corruption hurting inclusive growth, says FM Pranab Mukherjee

PTI, New Delhi, 8 April : Admitting that the benefits of high growth have not reached a large section of the country, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said inclusive growth cannot be achieved without removing corruption.
"Governance failures and corruption in the system affect the poor disproportionately. An inclusive development agenda cannot succeed without addressing these issues," Mukherjee said while addressing the CII National Conference and Annual session here.
He said the benefits of economic growth are not reaching all sections of society and there is need to address the gaps in the system for overall development.
"It is evident that the fruits of growing prosperity are not being enjoyed equally by all our citizens. There are gaps in our development efforts and in our governance practices across sectors and in different regions and segments of the country," Mukherjee added. Photos : AFP, Reuters
Bangladesh, Russia discuss cooperation in gas, oil and NP
Dhaka, 8 April : Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni had a meeting with chief executives of State Atomic Energy Corporation ‘Rosatom, the largest oil and gas exploration company Gazprom in Moscow.
Gazprom chairman Miller Alexey Borisovich appreciated the recent developments of the negotiation in engaging Gazprom in the modernization of the power plants built by the Russians immediately after Bangladesh’s independence.
TMC minister Trivedi offers to quit govt to support Hazare !
PTI, New Delhi, 8 April : Senior Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi today sprang a surprise by offering to resign as Union Minister in support of Anna Hazare, telling the Gandhian that he was "ready to do anything" to strengthen the fight against corruption.
Trivedi told PTI today that he had written a letter to Hazare on 5 April, hours after the anti-corruption crusader began his indefinite hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar here. The offer by the 61-year-old Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare came in the midst of the West Bengal assembly elections.
Paresh Baruah should be roped in for talks : Chidambaram
Guwahati, 8 April : Indian Home Minster P Chidambaram today said that anti-talk faction of the ULFA led by its 'military chief' Paresh Baruah should be roped in for negotiations.
"Paresh Baruah is neither in Bangladesh nor Myanmar and we in the government seriously do not know where he is. But he should be in the (peace) process," he told reporters at the state Congress headquarters here.
Bangladesh relaxes norms for India to erect border fence
IANS, Agartala, 8 April : Dhaka has allowed New Delhi to erect fencing along the 'zero line' of the international border so that Indian homes and farms located close to it are not impacted, a Tripura minister said here Friday.
The Indian government has been erecting the barbed wire fence along the 4,095-km India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram to check trans-border movement of militants, prevent infiltration and prevent border crimes. As per international norms, the barbed wire fencing has to be built 150-yards inside India from the zero line of the border.
"For erecting the fence (at 150-yards from the border line) along the 841-km of the 856-km India-Bangladesh border with Tripura, over 8,730 Indian families' homes, paddy fields, lands, farms and other assets had fallen outside the fence (making them) vulnerable," Tripura Revenue and Finance Minister Badal Choudhury told reporters.
Bangladesh highly vulnerable to tremor due to its geological structures, tectonic set-up
UNB, Dhaka, 8 April : Although Bangladesh bears no relation with the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the country is highly vulnerable to tremors due to its geological structure, tectonic set-up and geographical location.
According to a geologist, Bangladesh is located in the northeastern part of the Indian sub-continent at the head of the Bay of Bengal. Tectonically, it lies on the northeastern Indian plate near the edge of the Indian carton and at the junction of three tectonic plates - the Indian Plate, the Eurasian Plate and the Burmese microplate.
Dr Syed Humayun Akhter, Professor of Geology, Dhaka University, said these form two long active tectonic structures where plates converge - the India-Eurasia plate boundary to the north forming the Himalaya Arc, and the India-Burma plate boundary to the east forming the Burma Arc.
“Bangladesh and Japan are situated in two distinct geological and tectonic locations separated by the 5000 km wide Eurasian plate. There is no link between the Japanese earthquake and the seismicity in Bangladesh.”
The geologist, however, said the Indian plate is moving 6 cm each year towards the northeast, and sub-ducting under the Eurasian plate at 45 mm and the Burmese plate at 35 mm in the north and east respectively each year. This continuous motion is taken up by active faults.
Mamata calls up Pranab over rebel Congress candidates
PTI, Kolkata, 8 April : Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today called up senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee to express "displeasure" over the entry of the rebels as independents against the TMC nominees in the West Bengal Assembly polls.
"Mamata has telephoned Pranabda to take up the matter," senior Trinamool leader Sudip Bandyopadhyya told PTI.
Assam-Agartala highway NH-44 is being made double-lane
Agartala, 8 April : Assam-Agartala National Highway, considered to be the life-line of Tripura would be converted in to a double lane highway, official sources said today.
Chief Engineer of PWD, Sunil Bhowmik, said, "The work for conversion of the road from single lane to double lane would be started by September."
He said that 86 km of the 333-km-long road was being made double lane earlier, but the work was stopped for long time. "A high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary, S K Panda yesterday reviewed the progress of conversion of NH-44 in the presence of the representatives from Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and state PWD,"
Bhowmik said adding that BRO would complete the work. He said, the meeting decided BRO would submit Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) to Ministry of Road Transport and Highway by August for execution and the work would be started by September.
Bhowmik said that initially the national highway would be made two-lanes and later it would be converted into four-lanes. He also stated that North Eastern Council (NEC) has sanctioned Rs 200 crore for expansion of Boxanagar-Belonia road in South Tripura district, the work for which would be started soon.
Mega lok adalat in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 9 April
Port Blair, 8 April : Andaman and Nicobar Islands' State Legal Services Authority, in association with the District Legal Services Authority, A&N Islands will hold a Mega Lok Adalat in the District Court Complex, Port Blair from 10.30 am onwards 9 and 10 April.
Compoundable criminal cases and some disputes between the BSNL, A&N Telecom Circle and its telephone subscribers at the pre-litigation stage will come up before the Mega Lok Adalat for disposal on a consensual settlement, an official communication said here today.
Assembly elections spell boom for tourism in Darjeeling hills
Darjeeling, 7 April : The West Bengal Assembly elections and the presence of central police forces have made tourists, both domestic and foreign, flock in droves to the scenic greenery of Darjeeling, giving a much-needed boost to its tourism industry.
The hill station, at an altitude of 2,050 metre, was till a few months ago bogged down by frequent strikes and blockades over demands by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for a separate state of Gorkhaland. "It is peak season with examinations of students over and lovely weather, but the elections have certainly helped as no political party here is calling a strike now," said a hotel owner on condition of anonymity. "It is both due to the strong presence of central forces here to ensure free and fair elections as also the fact that disturbing normal life and affecting livelihoods of the people in the hills can have a bearing on the elections," he said.
The Bimal Gurung-led GJM has in the past resorted to lightning strikes and blockades, inconveniencing visitors and leading to marked decrease in tourist footfall. This had not gone down well with the local populace who depend heavily on the tourism industry, apart from jobs at tea plantations.
Hundreds of jeep drivers who ferry visitors to and from Darjeeling and several other places of tourist attraction like Kalimpong, Kurseong and neighbouring Sikkim are also benefitting from the relative calm. Traffic along the National Highway which passes through Darjeeling district and Sikkim is also unusually smooth now, informed locals.
Repatriation of Bru refugees from 6 relief camps postponed
PTI, Aizawl, 8 April :
The third phase of repatriation of Bru refugees from six relief camps in neighbouring North Tripura, scheduled to begin from today, has been postponed to next Tuesday, a police official said today.
The decision was made at a meeting between state government officials and leaders of Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF) at Kanchanpur in North Tripura yesterday, said H Sangawia, Superintendent of Police in Mamit district.
Pabna in Bangladesh celebrates Suchitra Sen' 80 birthday
IANS, Dhaka, 8 April : Bangladesh's Pabna district celebrated Bengali screen legend Suchitra Sen's 80th birthday this week with a call to preseve her ancestral home as a heritage site and museum.
Suchitra Sen, now living as a recluse in Kolkata in India, turned 80 Wednesday. 'Suchitra Sen is the pride of Pabna. Her ancestral home certainly qualifies as a historical establishment. It is very unfortunate that her ancestral residence has been occupied,' Mohammed Saidul Haque Chunnu, convener of Suchitra Sen Memory Preservation Committee, Pabna told The Daily Star.
Sen was born at her maternal grandfather's residence at Bhangabari village in Pabna district. Sen, whose original name was Rama Dasgupta, started her academic career at Mahakali Pathshala in Pabna town. After her schooling at Pabna Girls School, now Pabna Government Girls High School, she moved to India following partition in 1947.
The cultural activists of Pabna town observed the screen diva's birth anniversary with much gusto. 'The cultural activists of Pabna demand an archive at Suchitra Sen's ancestral house. But the house is still occupied,' said Mostafizur Rahman Russell, secretary of Pabna Drama circle. Mohammed Sajedul Islam, an official, said that Pabna district administration served a notice to Imam Gazzali Institute in 2009 to leave the property following which the occupiers filed a case.