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Monday, November 22, 2010

CBSE question leakage reported in Sikkim ... Kalimpong's photo selected for film festival .. Tea estates in hills shut for Morcha meeting

KalimNews, Prabin Khaling, GANGTOK, November 22: The State human development department has postponed the final year examinations of two remaining subjects of Class IX in 247 junior high schools across the State due to suspected leakage of the question papers.“We received complaints from various quarters including the media that the question papers of Social Studies examinations due tomorrow for Class IX students have been leaked. We are postponing the examinations of this subject along with English subject paper next week. We have not received complaints for the English subject paper but we are not taking any chances. The new dates will be announced in a day or two”, said State education director CS Rao to Media.
The Social Studies paper was due tomorrow while the English paper was scheduled on November 24.
>Exams for Science, Mathematics and language subject have already been held even there have been unconfirmed reports that question papers for these subjects have also been leaked.
However, the department so far has not received any complaints on these subjects and the examinations of these subjects stand, said Rao.
Rumours that Social Studies question paper was leaked had reached media here who then enquired with the education authorities at Tashiling Secretariat about the complaints. The media also managed to get hold of a set of question papers of Social Science, English and Science, said to be leaked copies of the examination question papers.
Unconfirmed reports have also come up stating that the question papers for all the five subjects of Class IX final year examinations had been compromised and copies of the leaked papers are in wide circulation.  There are around 6,500 students appearing for their Class IX final year examinations in the State.
Kalimpong's photo selected for film festival
KalimNews, Kalimpong: 2 photos of Samiran Paul a freelance photographer and official photographer of KalimNews has been selected for the 5th Nazariya Films for PEACE Festival to be held from November 23 to 25 at Natarani, Usmanpura of Ahmedabad. The festival is organised to promote and encourage awareness, appreciation and understanding of PEACE through films. During this festival, powerful films produced in every part of the world will be presented. 
This Festival also promotes youth to raise their concerns of PEACE. This entire film festival will be designed and organised by the young people of Ahmedabad in which photo exhibition is also organised. Of the total 15 entries selected on the adherence to the theme, visual appeal , technical skills two are selected from Paul's 3 entries. Kalimpong News and Kalimpong Press Club congratulates Samiran and wishes him the best.
Rally to counter rival hold- Tea estates in hills shut for Morcha meeting - Letter to CM with relocation plea
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Nov. 22: A Gorkha Janmukti Morcha meeting to “educate” garden workers on the interim set-up turned out to be a show of strength at a time when its rivals have started mobilising their supporters in the hills.
Four-five of the 80 gardens in the Darjeeling hills were open today with the management of Longview estate asking the 41 workers who had reported for duty to take leave.
The pre-scheduled meeting organised by the Darjeeling Terai-Dooars Plantation Labour Union at Chowk Bazar was part of the party’s continuous campaign to “educate” its supporters on the need to include the tauzi department and the Terai and Dooars in the proposed set-up.
The meeting assumed importance as both the Democratic Front, an anti-Morcha conglomeration, and the GNLF have recently started increasing their activities.
Most of the gardens were closed today, barring a few where supporters of the CPRM and the GNLF reported for work. “About four to five gardens reported partial work today,” said Sandeep Mukherjee, secretary of Darjeeling Tea Association.
Sources said in a couple of gardens in Kurseong subdivision’s Sonada Valley, about 10 per cent of the workforce reported for duty. The valley is a traditional CPRM bastion.
However, much of the drama was confined to the Longview tea garden, about 70km from Darjeeling where the GNLF had formed its unit recently. The sources said the Morcha supporters did not want the management to blow the siren, a report-for-duty order, in the morning. Instead, the party had demanded that the workers should be allowed to take a leave.
“Supporters of the GNLF, however, wanted the siren to be sounded as they wanted to join work. But the management decided not to blow the siren in the morning,” said a source.
Of the 1,200-odd workers, 41 reported for work, despite the siren not being played. But the Morcha affiliated union leaders told the management that if these workers were paid, all others who had gone on leave should also be paid their wages.
“Ultimately, the management asked the 41 workers to take an off while assuring them that they would be paid their wages,” said the source. Addressing the meeting at Chowk Bazar, Morcha general- secretary Roshan Giri took a dig at the GNLF.
“We have raised the issue of a separate statehood in Parliament but what have the previous MPs done?” He said in 1988, the formation of the DGHC facilitated the formation of the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad. “There is no mahakuma parishad in the country and the formation was facilitated (by the GNLF) by the creation of the DGHC,” Giri said.
Left wants offices shifted to Siliguri

TT, Siliguri, Nov. 22: Asok Bhattacharya today demanded that the state government shift to Siliguri offices of the departments that will be handed over to the interim authority in the Darjeeling hills.
“Considering the steady rise in the population of Siliguri subdivision, it is imminent that a parallel administrative set-up with appropriate infrastructure be established here,” said Bhattacharya, the CPM MLA and urban development minister, at a media conference in Siliguri.
Bhattacharya said a letter had been sent to the chief minister on November 20 with the demand to shift the offices.
Explaining the logic of the demand, the minister said once the interim authority came into effect, new offices would take care of the subjects that would be handed over to the hill set-up and the working of the district offices would suffer.
“The activities at the district offices would take a backseat. So we want the offices to be relocated to Siliguri. Since Siliguri would be the only subdivision outside the interim authority’s jurisdiction in Darjeeling district, these offices would have to concentrate and function for the Terai and the Siliguri Municipal Corporation area,” a CPM leader said.
Bhattacharya said his party had also demanded the creation of the post of a police commissioner for the SMC area (see chart) much like Calcutta for better maintenance of law and order and formation of a separate regional transport authority (RTA).
“But we want to clarify that all these demands are not for a separate district but for better administrative infrastructure. Much like Darjeeling, we want the state government to form a separate administrative unit or a separate block, comprising the 14 added wards of the SMC and the four panchayats that are in Jalpaiguri district.”
Currently, residents of the four panchayat areas have to travel at least 45km to reach Jalpaiguri for any administrative job, the minister said.
The party has also made a list of six departments — higher education, police and administration, tea estates, judiciary, heavy industries and national highways — for the chief minister to ensure that these are not handed over to the proposed hill authority.
Bhattacharya’s party also wants a clarification from Union home minister P. Chidambaram over the conferring of Union Territory status to the Darjeeling hills. The Morcha has been claiming for sometime that after the end of the tenure of the interim set-up, the Centre would have no option but to grant Union Territory status to the hills.
“After being sidelined in the hills by common people, the Morcha leaders are now blowing trumpets on how Chidambaram has assured them a Union Territory status,” the minister said. “We don’t think he has said so but want him to spell out what exactly was discussed at the last meeting held between him and the Morcha leaders. His silence is leading to confusion and might create unpleasant situations like it had happened in the case of Telangana.”
Reacting to Bhattacharya’s allegations, Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said: “Darjeeling will continue to be the district headquarters even after the formation of the authority. We oppose any demand to relocate the government offices to Siliguri, which is only a subdivisional headquarters like Kurseong and Darjeeling towns.”

Bison gores two before death 
- Animal runs amok in garden, ‘jumbo’ kills youth
TT, Jalpaiguri, Nov. 22: Two persons were gored by a rampaging bison and two children were injured while fleeing the animal in a tea garden in Jalpaiguri district today. Later in the evening, the animal died from heart failure.
In another incident, an unidentified youth was apparently trampled to death by an elephant in a village near here.
The male adult bison which entered the Samsing tea garden around 7am gored two persons before being tranquillised by forest department’s wildlife squad and taken to the Gorumara National Park after almost six hours.
The sudden appearance of the bison created panic among the residents of the New School Line area of the garden. The animal kept running aimlessly after being chased by people from all sides.
According to garden workers, the bison had gored Indira Dorji, 32, and Ranjit Sonar, 41, when they had just come out of their quarters.
Two children, Prayas Tamang, 8, and Rita Dorji, 12, were injured when they fell into a ditch while trying to flee.
While three of them were released after first-aid, Indira had to be admitted to subdivisional hospital at Mal with serious injuries. The garden is 80km from Jalpaiguri.
The ranger of the wildlife squad at Khunia, Nripendranath Saha, said the bison had emerged from the forests at either Jhalyung or Champramari, located close to the estate.
“We had fired a tranquillising dart at the animal at 10am and again at 11.30am. But the animal didn’t fall and ultimately, a third dart immobilised the bull around noon,” he said.
The divisional forest officer of Jalpaiguri, Sumita Ghatak, had said earlier that bison usually suffered heart failures when they panicked at being chased by people.
“This was a huge bull and two darts had no effect on it. We have taken the bison in an unconscious condition to Gorumara and if it revives, we will keep it under observation and release it back in the wild,” she had said before the animal’s death.
The body of the unidentified youth, with the head smashed, was found near the Panjhora Busti adjacent to the Champramari forest this morning. “We have also found a mangled bicycle close to the body and there were elephant tracks all over the place. We suspect the youth was trampled to death by an elephant,” said Saha. Panjhora Busti is 30 km from Jalpaiguri.
7 more fire stations for north by next year
TT, Siliguri, Nov. 22: The state fire and emergency services department has sanctioned funds for seven new fire stations in north Bengal including one at Naxalbari.
For Siliguri, this would be the third fire unit.
Udaynarayan Adhikary, deputy director of fire services department (north Bengal), said: “Apart from Naxalbari in Darjeeling district, six other fire stations would be set up at Dalkhola in North Dinajpur, Harishchandrapur in Malda Falakata, Barobisha and Mainaguri in Jalpaiguri and Haldibari in Cooch Behar district.”
Currently Siliguri has two fire units, one in town and the other at Matigara, 5km away.
According to sources, the station at Naxalbari, 35km from here, will be able to address a long-standing demand of the local people.
“The unit will come up on a 1-acre plot earmarked by the department. Once the unit starts functioning, it can cater to Kharibari, Panitanki and almost the entire Naxalbari block. Construction work for the fire units at Dalkhola, Falakata and Haldibari is also on,” he said. Adhikary added that the stations are likely to be ready by next year.
According to the fire official, there are 23 fire stations in the six districts of north Bengal. “Among them Siliguri has the highest capacity. It has a five-pump unit from where five fire tenders can simultaneously move to different locations. Jalpaiguri has the second highest capacity. It has a three-pump unit. The other fire stations have single-pump facilities,” said Adhikary.
He said the construction cost for each unit will be around Rs 90 lakh-Rs 1 crore. “The proposed stations will have one-pump service, two engines and one reservoir with a minimum capacity to store 50, 000 litres of water. The proposed staff strength for each unit is likely to be four fire officers, 20 operators, four drivers and two staff members.”
New Met hub for better gadget upkeep
TT, Jalpaiguri, Nov. 22: The Jalpaiguri meteorological office will have its own maintenance unit at the new building coming up here. Once the unit starts working, gadgets will not have to be sent to Pune for repairs.
The building coming up at Gosala More, about 1km from town, will also act as a comprehensive weather monitoring station. Currently, many of the facilities function from rented houses in Jalpaiguri and Siliguri.
According to sources in the Met office, the seismological observatory in Siliguri will be shifted to the new building also. The radiosonde station that sends up balloons with transmitters to the upper atmosphere is now housed in a rented office in Siliguri. It will also be shifted to the new hub.
The assistant meteorologist of the Met office here, Indranil Sengupta, said besides the rented offices in Siliguri, the temporary office on Lakshman Mallick Sarani here was costing the government over Rs 20,000 a month. “The new building at Gosala More is coming up on 1.73 acres and the work will be done by the central public works department.” The facility will be ready by May next year.
“The radiosonde equipment, along with the plant used to fill the balloons with hydrogen gas, will function from the new building. The balloons are sent up twice a day and can ascend 30km to the upper air and its transmitter sends back data on wind speeds at different altitudes, atmospheric pressure and humidity to the earth station below,” Sengupta said.
Once all the different meteorological data come under one roof, it will be much easier to collect and send the data to the headquarters in Delhi or to agencies like the Central Water Commission and the North Bengal Flood Control Commission.
The sources said plans were on to install a high-power radar that would be able to track cloud formations and storms 500km away and would be able to predict their movement and intensity.
Photos of the 21st Nov 2010 by Nanda Kirati Dewan
Tanka Bahadur Rai, Speaker of the
Assam Legislative Assembly the Chief Guest 

9 Yrs old Rohit Pradhan upcoming talent
from Margherita who won the Madal Taal contest
and bagged cash award of Rs. 10000
Deusi on stage

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