To contact us CLICK HERE
View Kalimpong News at
Citizen reporters may send photographs related to news with proper information to

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two national highways paralysed Direct road link to Dooars snapped
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 6: Traffic on NH31 has come to a halt because of a damage inflicted by landslides at two points of the highway near Sevoke, snapping direct road communication with the Dooars and the Northeast.
This is the second national highway in north Bengal to be out of order, the other being NH55 that connects Siliguri to Darjeeling.
Heavy vehicles stopped plying the route three days ago, forcing drivers to take a detour of two hours more, and an extra 20km for those destined for western Dooars — a significant distance on hilly terrain.
On Wednesday afternoon, police officials of Siliguri and Bhaktinagar alerted vehicle owners about the state of the national highway at the PCM Terminus from where buses leave for Malbazar, Samsing, Nagrakata, Hasimara, Birpara and Jaigaon — all destinations in the Dooars. They requested the transporters not to access NH31.
“Since then, our buses are plying the Gajaldoba-Odlabari route, and crossing the Teesta at the Teesta Barrage in Gajaldoba. We have come to know that the PWD has taken up some repair but no major improvement has been reported so far. For the turnaround through Gajaldoba, each bus has to travel around 20km extra,” said Uday Ghosh, the secretary of the Siliguri Dooars Minibus Owners’ Association.
Around 60 buses ply between Siliguri and the Dooars everyday, added to hundreds of trucks bound for north Bengal and the Northeast and the light vehicles. But more than half the vehicles are travelling through Jalpaiguri, which means an extra two hours. Prabhat Dey, the convener of Dooars Samannoy Committee, said: “Landslides have become regular, causing us inconvenience because of which we need to take the Gajaldoba route or travel through Jalpaiguri, which means an extra time of at least two hours.”
Officials at the state PWD department (NH Division IX) said the highway suffered the damages on the stretch between Coronation Bridge and Mongpong, where the hilly terrain ends and the road enters the Dooars. The first damaged site is 30km from Siliguri.
“At the first site, 45 metres on the side of Teesta has slid down into the river, leading to reduction in width of the highway. After a gap of 90 metres where there is no damage, there is another stretch of 62 metres where the highway has sank 1.3 metres, leaving it precarious and undulating,” said Dhrubajyoti Chakraborty, the superintendent engineer of PWD (NB Division IX). “It is natural that the road would deteriorate by the day because of the rainfall. Our men have gone to the site for repair.”
The traffic disruption has led to resentment among the residents of Dooars, who have accused the alleged laid back attitude of the Centre and state for the state of affairs.
“We have been demanding an alternative road bypassing the hills, with a bridge over Teesta. However, despite many correspondences, nothing has been done till date by any of the governments,” said Dey of the Samannoy Committee.
Environmentalists said consistent increase in traffic led to such landslides. “These roads, be it NH55 or NH31, were built several decades back by the British and since then, nothing much has been done for their preservation, except minor works of widening,” said Animesh Bose, the programme coordinator of Siliguri-based Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation. 
World Bank funds for NH repair
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 6: The Union ministry of road transport and highways has decided to bring NH55 under a special project that entails development of the Darjeeling- Siliguri highway with assistance from the World Bank.
R.P.N. Singh, the minister of state for road transport and highways, in reply to a question from CPM MP Sa-man Pathak said keeping in mind the damage the hill roads are prone to and the importance attached to Darjeeling, the highway has been included in the World Bank project.
“The Union minister also mentioned in his reply that to carry out repair and development on NH55, consultancy services have been sought from experts and instructions have been given to prepare a detailed project report,” said Pathak, the Rajya Sabha member from Darjeeling, over the phone from Delhi today. “We want the ministry concerned to take up the issue with priority and once the DPR is prepared, it must initiate the task to repair the road which is defunct now.”
Movement of vehicles and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train has halted on NH55, also known as Hill Cart Road, since June 16 after around 50 metres of the stretch caved in because of incessant rainfall at Paglajhora, around 30km from here.
Since then, the state PWD had taken up repair but could not finish it because of minor landslides everyday coupled with rains. “We need to construct a vertical column from below so that the stretch that had caved in, can rest on it,” a senior PWD official said. “However, consistent sliding of debris is making it tough for us to build the structure which is why the gap could not be bridged.” The damaged road has also prompted the DHR authorities to halt the toy train service between New Jalpaiguri and Kurseong. Given the precarious condition of the track because of the road over which it is laid, it is not possible to resume services till the highway is re-built.
Vehicles that have been forced to take a detour through NH31A and Mungpoo because of the state of NH55 are having to spend extra time and money on the road.
Pathak said he would keep a close watch on the initiatives of the Union ministry and ask for regular updates. “We appreciate the Centre’s move of rendering priority to the highway but the problem needs to be mitigated with urgency,” the MP said.
Mini plants to light up hill homes
TT, Gangtok, Aug. 6: Over a dozen villages in North and East districts of Sikkim will be self-sufficient in power supply by next year with the Union ministry of new and renewable energy sanctioning 13 micro hydel power projects for the hill state. financial assistance from the ministry for the 13 power projects with a proposed combined generation capacity of 1,070kw comes to over Rs 10.8 crore.
“The total cost for setting up the projects will be around Rs 17.34 crore according to our detailed project reports and we have approached the North Eastern Council to fill the gap,” said I.P. Kharel, the chief engineer (civil) of the state power and energy department.
He said the tender process for setting up the projects had been completed and ground work would start within a month or two.
Of the 13 projects, seven will be set up in East Sikkim and six in North district (see chart).
The targeted power generation of each project has been calculated from the water discharge strength of the rivers at every site, said Kharel. The setting up of the plants seeks to prevent transmission losses in remote areas.
Kharel said the companies selected after the tender process would install the micro hydel plants and run them for one year before handing them over to villagers under the care of the local panchayat. The youths in villages would be trained to maintain and operate the plant.
“The villagers themselves will collect revenue from the power consumed and will use it for maintenance of the plants. The excess power from the hydel power plants will be sold through the power grid,” the chief engineer said.
The government believes that such arrangement of maintaining and operating micro power projects by the local people will be a first in the country.
“We have already talked to the local panchayats and they have responded well. The panchayat members convinced the villagers to get no objection certificate for the private land on which the projects will come up,” said Kharel.
Lower Dalapchen panchayat member Narendre Chettri said the proposed project would greatly benefit his village that has around 50 households.
“We are presently getting power supply through the transmission lines but the supply is irregular. Once the project is set up here, we are hopeful that we will have smooth supply,” said Chettri. 
Blockade with body to press for arrest 
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 6: The relatives and neighbours of the realtor who was found shot dead at a hotel yesterday blocked a busy intersection of Siliguri town this afternoon with the body demanding arrest of the culprits.
Police suspect that since Tapas Jha was in the real estate business, financial transactions could be a motive behind his murder. A team of finger print experts is expected here tomorrow.
Jha’s family members demanded that the hotel be sealed and the owner should be arrested.
“We have given to the police the names of the suspected murderers of my brother. Now, the police should intensify its investigation and arrest the culprits,” said Tapan Jha.
Dilip Rathore, a neighbour of the late businessman, expressed shock that even after 24hours of the incident, the police failed to catch the criminals. “The police have not sealed the hotel nor have they arrested a single person after a complaint was lodged,” he said.
Around 4pm, the protesters set up the blockade at Sevoke More, an intersection of Sevoke Road and Hill Cart Road, the two busy thoroughfares of the town, while returning from the North Bengal Medical College, where the post-mortem had been done. The blockade was lifted an hour later after senior police officers assured the protesters of action.
Sources said the police got a few more names besides the proprietor of the hotel during the investigation.
“Apart from Jha’s hotel owner friend, we have got a couple of names, which had been mentioned by the deceased’s family in the complaint. But the family members could not give us details about them. We are now trying to locate their whereabouts,” said a police officer.
Finger print experts from Calcutta are expected tomorrow, the officer added.
Probe into school job
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 6: The state school education department has decided to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of nepotism against the Jalpaiguri primary school council in charge of recruiting primary teachers in the district.
In a letter to Jalpaiguri district magistrate Vandana Yadav, the additional state project director of the West Bengal Sarva Siksha Mission said a five-member team led by T.K. Adhikary, a joint secretary of the department, will reach Jalpaiguri tomorrow.
The letter also said the team would need the copies of the draft and the final panel of the names of selected candidates, resumes of the those whose selection has come under scanner, their answer scripts and the marksheets of viva voce, both individual and consolidated.
“I, would, now request you to be kind enough to inform chairman, DPSC, Jalpaiguri to make available aforesaid documents on 07.08.10 by 3.30pm before the enquiry committee for doing the needful…,” read the letter.
Following the publication of results to recruit 1,411 primary teachers across the district, the Trinamul Congress, the Congress and even the DYFI had launched protests, alleging that candidates close to CPM leaders have been selected and several deserving aspirants deprived.
The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad had also closed down block offices and those of the sub-inspectors of schools in the Dooars.
Armed with the letter, Nabakumar Burman, the subdivisional officer of Jalpaiguri (sadar), reached the council office and requested the Trinamul Youth Congress leaders to withdraw their sit-in which had closed down the office for the past one week.
Trinamul leaders took two hours to take a decision and finally announced that they would allow the inquiry team to enter the office tomorrow, but would not withdraw their demonstration.
With the loudspeakers blaring slogans against the government, the administration decided to arrest the protesters, and soon, more than 150 policemen reached the spot.
After the arrest order was issued, there was a minor scuffle. Around 120 protesters were taken to Kotwali police station and later released.
The Trinamul leaders later accused the police of resorting to coercion.
3 robbers lynched after firing- two injured as gangsters shoot at crowd
TT, Islampur, Aug. 6: Three motorcycle-borne youths were beaten to death when they tried to mug a trader and flee by firing at a pursuing crowd at a market near here today.
Two persons were injured in the firing.
The incident took place around 10am when Habibur Rehman reached the Panjipara Bazar, where a leather and hide market is held on Mondays and Fridays. The trader was walking to the market when one of the three men dismounted the motorcycle and tried to snatch a bag containing money from him.
Habibur raised the alarm and he and other people around managed to grab the man who had snatched the bag. The other two men in the gang fired at the crowd and injured Habibur and a paan shop owner, Naushad Ali. While Habibur was shot on the right wrist, Naushad had a lucky escape with the bullet grazing his head.
“The crowd became furious and started raining stones on the three. The gangsters were seriously injured and fell to the ground. Still, they were beaten up mercilessly. Law enforcers from the nearby Panjipara police station reached the spot and tried to save one of the men from the clutches of the crowd. But the police failed to rescue him as the people were violent,” said an eyewitness.
The Panjipara Bazar is 25km from Islampur.
The police, however, said when they had reached the market, the trio were already dead. “Two improvised firearms and four cartridges were recovered from the spot and the motorcycle with a New Delhi registration was also seized,” said a police officer.
The three were identified as Mohammed Alfaq, 35, Mohammed Tahir, 32, and Saidul Haque, 32. While Alfaq and Tahir hailed from Dhantola, Haque was a resident of Haribhanga in Islampur. All the three had charges of robberies and even truck hijacking pending against them and were on the most wanted list of the police.
Both Habibur and Naushad were admitted to Islampur Subdivisional Hospital. Lying on the hospital bed, Habibur said he had reached the market by a private SUV that ferries passengers from Gunjaria to Panjipara, a distance of 15km, just before 10am to buy leather.
“As soon as I got off the car, one person suddenly grabbed my bag and tried to run away with it. But I resisted and began shouting and others came rushing to my aid. Then, I saw another man on a bike raising a firearm and start shooting. I was hit on the wrist. When they tried to flee, the crowd caught them,” said Habibur.
The superintendent of police of North Dinajpur, Milon Kanti Das, said a murder case had been registered, though no one had been arrested.
CPM zilla parishad member and an influential man in Panjipara, Mohammed Lal, said the trio were part of a large gang that carried out robberies in the area.
“The main members of the gang are based in Bihar. The crowd lynched them in self-defence and we will protest if the police arrest anyone from the area. Illegal activities are on the rise and the police have failed dismally in tackling crimes,” he said.
Local Congress leader Shantiranjan Mridha said the people had lost faith in the police. “That is why they took the law into their own hands and beat the three to death. What they have done is right as the police cannot keep these robbers and murderers in check,” he said.
Four injured in police clash
PTI: Four persons were injured when police lathicharged DYFI supporters, who were demonstrating at Alipurduar today, police sources said. The DYFI supporters were holding a demonstration alleging that Trinamool Congress activists had set some houses on fire at Jasordanga in Alipurduar I Block in the wee hours today, the sources said.
The DYFI Jalpaiguri district secretary Arindam Chakraborty alleged that the four persons injured in the police lathicharge were DYFI supporters.
Chakraborty said they have lodged an FIR against the police sub inspector L P Bhutia who lathicharged the DYFI supporters and demanded action against Bhutia.
3 died in crash
TT, Jalpaiguri: Three persons died when the car they were travelling in rammed into a tree on the Jalpaiguri-Haldibari road at Pandapara-Kalibari near here on Thursday night. Two persons died on the spot, while another breathed his last at the Jalpaiguri District Hospital. The deceased were Dipu Roy, 24, Dikash Searkar, 32, and Aloke Adhikary, 39. 
College reopen
TT, Siliguri: Siliguri College of Commerce will reopen on Monday. The decision was taken at a meeting convened by Rajat Saini, the Siliguri subdivisional officer, with representatives of the Chhatra Parishad, SFI and the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad and the college authorities on Friday. The institution was closed after a clash between CP and SFI supporters on Tuesday evening. 
Body found
TT, Balurghat: The body of Mujibur Mondal was recovered by police from a field near Kumarganj on Friday. The 37-year-old Mondal had been missing for three days. The police suspect that he was murdered as the body had injury marks.
Track Mishap
TT, Islampur: Lakshmi Mondal, a 52-year-old resident of Karandighi, was run over by a train at a railway crossing near Suryakamal station on Friday morning. Mondal was on her way to a relative’s house when the mishap occurred.
Chopper crew falls to death from 10000 feet
TT, Itanagar, Aug. 6: A cabin crew member of a Pawan Hans helicopter fell to his death from 10,000 feet after being sucked out while trying to shut the unfastened chopper door that had flung open mid air.
The mangled body of 37-year-old Dhananjoy Roy, who hailed from Hashimara in Jalpaiguri district of north Bengal, was recovered by police from a paddy field at Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh.
The door of the 24-seater MI-72, which was flying from Namsai to Tezu in Lohit district, had probably not been fastened properly during take-off.
The chopper that began its journey from Naharlagun was to reach Anjao via Namsai and Tezu. The directorate-general of civil aviation has ordered an inquiry into the accident.
“The shocking incident occurred just five minutes after MI-72, that was scheduled to arrive in Tezu via Namsai, took off around 11.10 this morning. Soon after it was in mid-air, presumably at an elevation of nearly 3,000 metres (approximately 9,900 feet), Dhananjoy, one of the five cabin crew members, discovered the door was not fastened properly and advanced to shut it. When he tried to close the door, it suddenly flung open in a gust of wind and he fell to his death. The pilot of the chopper returned to Namsai and informed us. A police team rushed to the spot, between Lathaw and Sensat, about 8km from Namsai,” the subdivisional police offer of Namsai, Subhitya Gohain, said.
Half of Roy’s body was trapped at least two feet beneath the muddy paddy field.
An unnatural death case under CrPC 174 has been registered with Namsai police station.
The police official said prima facie, the accident occurred because of a “technical snag”, but they were investigating if there was any “negligence” on the part of authorities that led to Roy’s death.
Suryanarayan Rao, a technician and crew member who was on board, said Roy, who was seated next to him, advanced towards the door when he found it unlatched.
He had repaired the snag and also called Rao for assistance but lost balance in the wind that rocked the chopper and fell to his death.
Nine persons, including five cabin crew members and four passengers, were on board at the time.
“If we find any negligence on the authorities’ part, we shall lodge a case under IPC. An investigation is on,” Gohain added.
An official of Pawan Hans refused to give details of the cause of the accident, saying the matter was sensitive.
The chopper remained at Namsai and suspended its journey for the day.
Freedom Fighter Helen (Savitri Devi) Lepcha's  ancestral home discovered
Sikkim Chaper of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh recently discovered the ancestral home of Savitri Devi (1902-1980) and met her family members. Helen Lepcha named by Gandhiji as Savitri Devi, a freedom fighter had helped Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to escape from his British Government's captivity under house arrest at Giddepahar of Kurseong to Germany (1939). Helen belonged to Sangmu village of Asangthang near Namchi of South Sikkim but stationed at Kurseong during the Independence movement from 1920.
Oil Subsidy by Bengal Govt
TH, KOLKATA: The West Bengal Government on Thursday announced subsidies on diesel for agricultural purposes and on power which will benefit consumers of up to 200 units of electricity monthly.
78 lakhs to benefit
While the subsidy on diesel for the agricultural sector will be one rupee per litre, nearly 78 lakh consumers of power across the State will benefit from subsidies that will cost the State Government Rs. 120 crore annually.
State Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said the subsidy on diesel for agricultural purposes would cost the State Rs. 30 crore annually. It would benefit farmers who have to depend largely on irrigation facilities and are already burdened by the rising costs of agricultural inputs.
Added costs
The announcement by State Power Minister Nirupam Sen that subsidy on power is aimed at easing the burden of added costs on consumers both in the city and districts in the wake of the rise in power tariff by the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) recently.
The WBERC had announced an increase of an average of 16 paise per unit for consumers in areas served by the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation and an average of nearly 45 paise per unit for consumers by provided electricity by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company.
There will be no increase in tariff for consumers of up to 60 units of power.
The decision to subsidise diesel used for irrigation purposes in the agricultural sector comes in the wake of appeals from various peasant organisations.
“The State Government will also provide subsidies on kerosene,” Dr. Dasgupta said.
It was announced on July 26 that the price would be slashed by 40 paise to 48 paise per litre – a move that would cost it Rs. 50 crore annually.
The Finance Minister had also told the West Bengal Assembly that the State Government would provide a subsidy of one rupee per litre on diesel for public transport which would cost it Rs. 110 crore annually.
Nepal in crisis again
PTI, KATHMANDU, 6 AUG: Nepalese parliament's fourth bid to elect a Prime Minister fell flat today as both Maoist chief Prachanda and his NC rival Mr Ram Chandra Poudyal failed to win simple majority in the 601-strong House, plunging the country into a deeper political crisis in the absence of a government.
55-year-old Prachanda, a former Prime Minister, managed to bag only 213 votes, with 99 members opposing his candidature. Interestingly, 26 Maoist MPs did not turn up for the voting, which came more than five weeks after Prime Minister Mr Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned following intense Maoist pressure.
Mr Poudyal, 65, also failed to touch the magic figure of 301, receiving just 122 votes in favour and 245 against, forcing the House to fix another round of voting for 18 August.
Today's election came a day after Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's special envoy Mr Shyam Saran held hectic parleys with top leaders of Nepal in an effort to defuse the political tension in the country. During the third round of voting on 2 August, Prachanda had secured 259 votes while Mr Poudyal got 124. Hours before the fourth round of voting today, a smaller Communist party having nine members in Parliament witnessed a split. 
State pulled up for rights violation
SNS, KOLKATA, 6 AUG: Following recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Union home ministry has asked the state government to explain why bodies of some Maoists, killed in a gun battle with  police inside Ranjha forest in Midnapore West on 16 June this year, were tied to bamboo poles and brought to Salboni police station.
A senior official at Writers’ Buildings today confirmed that the Centre has sent a letter to the state government recently asking it to send a report to it on alleged violation of human rights by police forces in Junglemahal. “The Union home ministry's letter came about two weeks back. The report will be sent,” the official added. It may be recalled that eight alleged Maoist cadres, including three women, were killed in a gun battle with police at Duli village in Ranjha forest areas near Salboni on 16 June. The hands and the legs of the deceased were tied to bamboo poles.
The state government had to face criticism from several quarters after pictures of bodies being carried in such a manner appeared in newspapers. Taking a strong note of such violation of human rights, the Union home ministry had sought explanation from the state government. The state government had ordered an inquiry and sought a report from West Midnapore district police authorities in this regard. A report on the incident was later sent to the Centre. PCPA activist, Trinamul men arrested
PCPA and TMC activists arrested
SNS, MIDNAPORE/BANKURA, 6 AUG: A Peoples’ Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) activist ~ Ashwini Mahato was arrested by the CBI from Muraboni in Jhargram in connection with Jnaneswari Express mishap case. Ashwini is wanted in as many as 10 cases, including murder, sedition, looting and damaging government properties in Jhargram area. With him, a total of 13 PCPA men have been arrested in the case so far.
Meanwhile, two more Trinamul Congress members ~ Mr Anil Mahato and his brother Mr Sunil Mahato ~ were arrested from Maoist infested Barikul block in Bankura on charges of having links with the banned outfit. One of those arrested is the husband of the local panchayat pradhan and the other is her brother-in-law. The ACJM Court in Khatra remanded them in five days police custody.
KalimNews: Test Examination of External Madhyamik Pariksha 2011 starts from August 17 to 20th. in two shifts 10.45 am and 1.45am Admit card and registration certificates will be issued from 9th from their respective schools
Democratic Front submitted its report to the State Government on the proposed GAA in negative. It sent a fax report to the govt that in no case it will accept the GAA as an alternative to the demand of a separate state Gorkhaland. In addition it has asked for descriptive report of the previous talks of secretarial and political levels.
ABAVP will sit today at Chalsa to discuss on the invitation letter of and relation with GJMM . In the meeting it will also discuss on the present scenario of Dooars in which PPP is formed as a challenge to ABAVP and the demand of the party to the state Government regarding the local and workers problems as well as the status of Dooars. Meanwhile ABAVP has prohibited appointment of Primary Teachers in primary schools, they allege that Primary school Board is trying to appoint Bengali teachers in Hindi medium schools of Dooars. In some schools the selected candidates were forcibly obstructed from joining the schools.
Regarding the formation of Gorkha Autonomous Authority Dooars is in turmoil. People of Dooars are having doubts regarding the inclusion of Dooars in the proposed GAA. GJMM Asst. Secretary Binay Tamang visited Central Dooars to pacify the supporters  but still they doubt about the promise of the GJMM leaders and are confused on the draft. Binay Tamang and Madhukar Thapa, Convenor of Central Dooars assured all that Dooars people should remain confident about their dream and GAA is a step  ahead towards Gorkhaland.  

No comments:

Post a Comment