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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Relief for earthquake victims by the people of Kalimpong...Govt wants students back by Monday - Campus repair tops priority.... Band tribute to lives lost in Sikkim

A Dainandini Cable Tv news report on Relief for earthquake victims by the people of Kalimpong
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Crew members: Videographer- Manoj Rai (Dainandini), Sunil Prasad (Haal Khabar)
Reporter: D.K. Waiba (Dainandini)

Govt wants students back by Monday - Campus repair tops priority
BIJOY GURUNG,TT, Gangtok, Oct. 4: The Sikkim government is determined to utilise the eight-day Dasain or Puja break to repair and restore damaged school buildings so that the 779 government institutions with 1.18 lakh students are able to function on Monday.
Classes in most institutions have been suspended since September 19, a day after the earthquake as 682 government schools suffered damage of various degrees. Fifty-nine of the school buildings had collapsed. Alternative arrangements like holding classes in the open did not work out because of bad weather.
The options now available before the government are: construction of temporary classrooms, hiring buildings near damaged schools and introducing shift system in institutions with low enrolment, located mostly in remote areas.
“We have constituted teams of officials and engineers in each district for construction of the temporary classrooms. We have requested the respective MLAs to provide us with help in the form of labourers, most of whom will be unavailable during Dasain,” said state human resource development secretary C.S. Rao.
The 20ftX16ft temporary classrooms will accommodate some 30 students each. Locally available material will be used for construction and the arrangement will continue for the next four to five months till permanent structures come up, said Rao.
The number of temporary classrooms will depend on the enrolments in each school. “The number of temporary classrooms may cross 1,600 and the MLAs along with our officials are on a tour to assess the exact requirement,” said Rao.
Most of these temporary structures are expected to come up on vacant school grounds.
The HRD department has the option of hiring space in local buildings if there is no scope to set up a temporary structure near a school.
If both these options do not work out, classes may be held in shifts, said Rao. This means the less damaged rooms of a school may be used in turns for holding classes.
On September 26, the government officially announced that classes in government and some 325 private education institutions would resume only on October 10 when the Dasain break ends in most schools. The school heads had been directed to work with the authorities for putting up alternative arrangement by then.
Chief minister Pawan Chamling had already instructed the HRD department to repair and restore all government schools during Dasain so that students can be back in class on October 10.
“There has been a loss of more than a week of class but we will compensate it at the end of the academic calendar. According to an earlier schedule, the schools would have shut on December 17 for winter. Now it will close only on December 22. Right now our target is to start classes from October 10. All arrangements will be ready by October 9 evening,” said Rao.
Earlier, schools were supposed to close for Dasain on October 1.
Band tribute to lives lost in Sikkim

BIJOY GURUNG,TT, Gangtok, Oct. 4: Sikkim-based rock band Girish N The Chronicles has dedicated a score to the victims of the recent earthquake and it is being aired on two FM radio stations here since yesterday.
The English track that is a little over five minutes is called “A New Beginning”.
“Two FM stations in Sikkim and north Bengal are playing the song since yesterday. We have also send a copy of the song to the FM stations in the Northeast and they have promised to air them in the next couple of days,” said the band’s media manager, Shyam Pradhan.
GNTC frontman Girish Pradhan has written the lyrics and sung it as well, with Suraz Karki and Yogesh Pradhan on guitar and Nagen Mongrati on percussion.
“The song is a tribute to all the departed souls and those who suffered losses in the tragic incident. May Sikkim, along with the other affected regions, be blessed and have the courage to start all over… A new beginning,” said a press statement released by the band.
“It was on September 18, the 18th day of our tour in Bangalore, when we received a call from Gangtok that disaster had struck. We were in the process of recording an album and from then everyday it pinched my heart thinking of what had happened in North Sikkim. We all could feel what the mental state of the people was (in the affected areas) at that time. When I woke up on the third day (after the quake), I thought that there was nothing much that I could do but I could at least write and record a song about the incident. We all agreed and recorded the track for the next two days,” said Girish.
He added that the song was written on September 21 and was recorded in Bangalore.
“The song ought to be heard, and remembered as a message that we should never lose our connection with nature. We should be wise and sensible enough not to destroy and humanise it,” said Girish.
Jumbo dies on tracks
TT, Siliguri, Oct. 4: An elephant was mowed down by a Guwahati-bound army special train between Gulma and Sevoke stations last night.
Foresters said the animal was crossing the tracks that pass through the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary when the train knocked it down. “The train dragged the six-year-old female elephant for around 150 metres after which the body fell beside the tracks,” said a senior forester. According to a wildlife NGO, more than 30 elephants have died on the Dooars tracks since it was converted to broad gauge in 2003.
Train robbery
TT, Malda: A businessman has filed a complaint with the GRP at Malda town station on Tuesday saying that some youths snatched two gold chains and money from him while he and his wife were on board the Darjeeling Mail. D. Sarkar, the trader from Calcutta, complained that when the train stopped at Tildanga in Murshidabad district around 2.30am, some youths entered the coach and snatched the ornaments and few thousands rupees from him. The couple were on their way to New Jalpaiguri.
Tom released
TT,Jalpaiguri: Tom Adhikary, alias Joydeb Das, a former KLO militant, was released from the Jalpaiguri Central Jail on Tuesday. Calcutta High Court had sanctioned his bail plea last week. Tom was lodged in the jail for the past eight years after he was arrested by the Royal Bhutan Army in 2003.
Murder arrest
TT, Jalpaiguri: Kotwali police on Tuesday arrested Bijoy Sen, a rickshaw-puller, for allegedly murdering Bui Roy, 16, with whom he had a relationship. Police said Bijoy and Bui, a domestic help, were missing since Saturday and the girl’s father had filed a complaint. Later, Bui’s body was found on the banks of the Teesta river. The police said Bijoy was married and had two sons.
One dead
TT, Jaigaon: Arjun Singh, 65, died when he jumped in front the NJP-bound Capital Express near Odlabari on Tuesday. GRP sources said the resident of Barauni in Bihar used to work in a roadside hotel in Jaigaon.

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