Didi led an anti-CAA protest march in Hills today

Today, Mamata Banerjee led a 4-km-long protest march in Darjeeling hills against the new citizenship law. The rally began at Bhanu Bhakta Bhavan near Mall in Darjeeling and concluded in the Chowkbazar area.. For the last few weeks, Didi has been leading protests across the State against this unconstitutional law.

Several protest marches have been held in Kolkata, led by Mamata Banerjee. Trinamool Chhatra Parishad and Trinamool Mahila Congress have held sit-in demonstrations as well. 

Bangla is the only State to boycott the meeting on NPR called by the Union Government. At the inauguration of the Uttarbanga Utsav too she had said that there will be no NPR and CAA in Bangla. She assured the people that she would guard them 365 days a year.


Deaths due to road accidents – Kolkata the safest metro city

The latest data shows that Kolkata is the safest metro city in terms of occurrence of deaths due to road accidents. Kolkata Police officials say that the ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ (SDSL) campaign is primarily responsible for the success. This campaign is a brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

In 2017, 318 fatal road accidents (that is, where there was loss of life) occurred in Kolkata, which caused the deaths of 329 people.

For Delhi the numbers for fatal road accidents and deaths were 1,565 and 1,584, respectively. For Mumbai, they were 467 and 490 respectively. For Chennai, 1,312 and 1,347, respectively, and for Bengaluru, 609 and 642, respectively.

Even in a small metro city like Pune, 360 fatal road accidents took place in 2017, which caused the deaths of 373 people.

Hence, Kolkata is head and shoulders above the rest of the cities, and SDSL campaign has had a major role to play in making roads safer and driving home awareness among the people.

Source: Bartaman


Improvements in paddy procurement in seven years

The State Government has brought about a lot of improvement in the procurement of paddy and in the quality control mechanism of the foodgrains bought from farmers. Storage capacity infrastructure has also undergone a sea change.

A significant step has been the institution of NEFT mechanism for directly paying farmers through account transfer against the paddy bought from them. This process has made payment easier and quicker, and for this reason, was recently taken up as a model by the Centre for implementation across all States.

The Food & Supplies Department has notched up quite a few successes in the procurement of paddy and custom milled rice (CMR) during the last seven years.

They are as follows:

Krishak Bazars also as paddy procurement centres: From kharif marketing season (KMS) 2014-15, the purchasing of paddy through Krishak Bazars has become prevalent.

Procurement centres increased: In KMS 2014-15, 46 Krishak Bazars having the required infrastructural facilities were identified as centralised procurement centres (CPC). Over just four seasons, that number was increased to 325 (in KMS 2017-18). At the same time, cooperative societies continue to function as paddy procurement centres for CMR agencies; 950 cooperative societies functioned as such for KMS 2017-18.

Farmers incentivised: In order to incentivise farmers for bringing in their paddy to CPCs, in KMS 2014-15, Rs 15 per quintal of paddy was allowed over and above the MSP of Rs 1,360 per quintal. In KMS 2017-18, it was enhanced to Rs 20 per quintal.

Electronic means introduced for procurement and payment: From KMS 2016-17, it was made mandatory to employ e-procurement software capable of recording all relevant information of the farmers as well as recording the details of transactions and payments.

From KMS 2016-17, the system of payment of the price of paddy directly to the farmers’ bank accounts through NEFT was introduced, and was made mandatory from KMS 2017-18. Significantly, electronic payment through NEFT has been recently taken up as a model by the Centre.

Participation of women’s self-help groups: Participation of women’s self-help groups (SHG) and sanghas in paddy procurement is being encouraged. Till March 2018, 300 SHGs have participated in KMS 2017-18 and have procured 31,217 metric tonnes (MT) of paddy from 9,600 small and marginal farmers.

Distress sale eliminated: As a result of the Food & Supplies Department’s procurement initiatives, no distress sale of paddy has been reported in KMS 2017-18. The market rate of paddy has increased and thus it is above MSP across the entire State.

Enhancement of storage capacity

The Food & Supplies Department has created an additional 7.85 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of storage capacity during the period of 2011 to 2018. As a result, the storage capacity has increased from just 63,000 MT in FY 2010-11 to 8.48 lakh MT in May 2017.

Moreover, the department has taken up an ambitious project for the creation of another 3 lakh MT of storage space within the next two years at a cost of Rs 500 crore. With this project, the department will achieve self-sufficiency in the storage of rice.

Quality control mechanism

In order to keep a check on the quality of the foodgrains bought from farmers and of those available in markets, the Food & Supplies Department has taken several initiatives for upgrading laboratories and constructing new ones, through the Directorate of Inspection and Quality Control (I&QC).

Quality control (QC) laboratories in Kolkata (headquarters), Krishnanagar and Bardhaman have been upgraded and modernised. Specialised laboratory furniture and modern benchtop digital refractometers have been set up in the laboratories in Kolkata and Bardhaman.

Seventy-five mini QC laboratories have been set up in government warehouses and 120 in private warehouses.

A target has been set for the construction of four more zonal QC laboratories in Siliguri, Malda, Suri and Medinipur and 15 more laboratories in the offices of district controllers of food and supplies (DCF&S).

In the agriculture sector, Bangla has been one of the best-performing States, acknowledged by the Central Government several times and awarded the Krishi Karman Award for five consecutive years. The government has ensured that not just in production but in procurement and quality control too, processes are streamlined and modern methods adopted.

11 air-monitoring stations for Kolkata and surroundings

The State Environment Department has decided to have a total of 11 automatic air quality-monitoring stations by December for Kolkata and its surroundings.

Three are already running at Victoria Memorial and in Ghusuri and Padmapukur in Howrah district.

The new ones in Kolkata will come up at Maddox Square, Deshbandhu Park, Basanti Devi College, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Sciences, IIM in Joka, Beadon Square, Administrative Training Centre in Salt Lake, police camp opposite Rabindra Bharati University and Police Training School, Barrackpore.

In the districts, such stations will be set up at Chinsurah, Bisva Bharati University, IIT Kharagpur.

Kolkata already has 17 air-monitoring stations but the automatic ones will be much more accurate.

Source: The Times of India

Mamata Banerjee flags off Rath Yatra in Kolkata

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today flagged off this year’s Rath Yatra in Kolkata, organised by ISKCON.

Starting from Hungerford Street opposite the ISKCON temple on Albert Road, the raths, or chariots, moved through some of the most important thoroughfares of the city – AJC Bose Road, Sarat Bose Road, Hazra Road, SP Mukherjee Road, ATM Road, Exide crossing, Jawaharlal Nehru Road and Outram Road – to reach the Brigade Parade Ground, where arrangements have been made for daily special darshan of Lord Jagananth, till July 22.

Special prasad will be distributed at the site of the rath on the Brigade Parade Ground every day till July 22, the day of Ulto Rath Yatra. Various cultural programmes will be held during the festival.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said:

  • Rath Yatra is celebrated with a lot of fanfare here. Besides by ISKCON in Kolkata and in Mahesh, it is also celebrated in many other places in Bengal in big or small forms. In fact, the Yatra is celebrated all over the world.
  • We should remember that religion is an integral part of our lives, whatever that religion may be. And festivals are for all to celebrate together.
  • Rath Yatra is for everyone. Devotees purify themselves by pulling the raths of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra.
  • Lord Jagannath is considered the ‘nath’ or ‘lord’ of the world by many believers.
  • There is a close connection between Maa Kali’s Temple and the Jagannath Temple of Puri.
  • Today, I am praying to Lord Jagannath for the good of all of you, to keep you and your families happy and healthy.
  • I am also praying for peace to reign in Bengal as well as in the entire country, and the whole world.
    Wishing all of you to remain healthy and happy.


KMC to introduce computers in its schools

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon introduce computer education in its schools. The syllabus in this regard has already been prepared by the Education Department of the civic body.

The Member Mayor-in-Council (MMiC) Education said that the syllabus has been framed in accordance with the computer syllabus of the State primary schools that are run by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education. Also, the syllabus has been prepared in three languages: Hindi, Bengali and English.

The KMC plans to start computer education in nearly 50 schools at first and then proceed further.

 Source: Millennium Post

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India’s first transgender lit fest to be held in Kolkata

India’s first literature festival for transgender people in the second week of July.

This was recently announced in Kolkata by Sahitya Akademi, whose eastern India branch is organising the meet. According to the organisers, the event will empower the community.

In this connection, it needs to be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has always prioritised transgender rights, and the Trinamool Congress Government was only the third State Government to set up a development board for the community in 2015.

Manabi Bandopadhyay, a trendsetter in transgender rights and the vice-chairman of the above-mentioned board, who is also the country’s first transgender college principal, is taking the lead role in suggesting the names of authors who will be participating in the event.

Source: The Times of India


Bengal’s lightning detection system helping common people

The lightning detection system put up under the initiative of the State Disaster Management and Civil Defence Department has been a saviour of sorts in many districts across Bengal. The state-of-the-art system was introduced on February 1 this year, using which lightning can be predicted and information, with specific location, disseminated. An American company had put the system in place.

Devices like sensors have been installed at places including Siliguri, Cooch Behar, Raiganj, Jangipur (in Murshidabad district), Haldia, Kolkata and Kharagpur.

The system generates an SMS alerting people at least 45 minutes before a lightning strike. The alert messages contain names and location of the blocks where lightning would strike.

Officials up to the level of block development officer (BDO) and members of panchayats receive the alerts. They then disseminate the information amongst the locals within a short span of time and people take precautions as prescribed.

District Magistrates also receive alerts and can coordinate with the concerned officials in this connection and it helps in taking prompt action and saving more lives.

According to a senior official of the Disaster Management Department, this is the first time that such a system is being used, and helpfully, at a time when lightning strikes have gone up drastically.

Usually, heavy lightning occurs from mid-April till the end of monsoon. The system has proven fruitful as the officials are receiving good feedback as to how it is helping people to move to a safer place after getting the alert that lightning might strike.

The system is helping generate alarm among people even in the furthest corners of the State and so people are getting time to move to a safer place before lightning strikes.


Source: Millennium Post

Kolkata’s first floating solar power project at Bikramgarh Lake

The State Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources Department and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) are together going to implement a unique project – Kolkata’s first floating solar power plant.

The power generating solar photovoltaic (PV) cells are going to be placed on the waters of Bikramgarh Lake in Golf Green in the southern part of the city.

The full project, which includes beautification of the lake, would cost Rs 4 crore. According to State Government sources, the power generated by the solar PV cells would lead to the saving (over conventional generation costs) of about Rs 40.5 crore.

The project would cover an area of 1 acre of the 7.3 acres that the lake is spread over. The rows of cells would be placed on a network of pipes, which would be balanced on the surface of the water with anchors lying at the bottom of the lake.

Preliminary work for setting up the power plant has already started. Echo sounding is being used to measure the depth of the lake and bathymetry is being used to map the lake floor.

বিক্রমগড় ঝিলে হবে কলকাতার প্রথম ভাসমান সৌরবিদ্যুৎ প্রকল্প

পানাপুকুরেই সৌরবিদ্যুৎ! সেই বিদ্যুৎ যাবে ঘরে ঘরে। সাউথ সিটির পিছনে সাড়ে তিন একরের বিক্রমগড় ঝিলে তৈরী হবে শহরের প্রথম ভাসমান সৌরবিদ্যুৎ প্রকল্প। এই অভিনব পরিকল্পনা নিয়েছে কলকাতা পুরসভা ও রাজ্য বিদ্যুৎ দপ্তর। সব কিছু ঠিকঠাক চললে ৩০০ কিলোওয়াটের এই প্রকল্পটিই দেশের সবথেকে ক্ষমতাসম্পন্ন সৌরবিদ্যুৎ প্রকল্পের নজির গড়বে বলে জানা গেছে। এখানে উৎপাদিত বিদ্যুৎ কিনবে সিইএসসি।

এপ্রিলে প্রকল্পের টেন্ডার প্রক্রিয়া শুরু হবে। কাজ শুরু হবে মে মাস থেকে। ঝিলের সৌন্দর্যায়ন ও সৌরপ্রকল্প মিলিয়ে খরচ হবে প্রায় ৪ কোটি টাকা। বছরে প্রায় সাড়ে ৪০ লক্ষ টাকার বিদ্যুৎ সাশ্রয় হবে এই প্রকল্পে। রাতে সৌরবিদ্যুতের আলোয় ঝলমল করবে ঝিল–চত্বর। পর্যায়ক্রমে ঝিল–সংলগ্ন ফাঁকা জমিতে সৌন্দর্যায়নের কাজ শুরু হবে।

‘ইকোসাউন্ডিং’ পদ্ধতিতে জলের গভীরতা মাপা হয়েছে। পুরসভার বিপর্যয় মোকাবিলা বিভাগের নৌকোয় করে ‘ব্যাথিমেট্রি’ পদ্ধতিতে জলের তলার ছবি তৈরির কাজও শেষ।ঝিলের মাঝখানে জলের গভীরতা রয়েছে সাড়ে তিন ফুট। এই অংশের এক একরের মধ্যেই হবে প্রকল্পটি। পাইপের কাঠামোর ওপর ভাসমান থাকবে সৌরবিদ্যুতের প্যানেল।

মাটির তলায় নোঙর কাঠামোটিকে ধরে রাখবে। ঝিলে বসবাসকারী জলজ প্রাণীদের যাতে কোনও সমস্যা না হয়, সেদিকেও খেয়াল রাখা হচ্ছে। তিনি বলেন, রক্ষণাবেক্ষণের জন্য মাঝখানে একটি সেতু ও ওয়াকওয়ে তৈরি হবে ঝিলের চারিদিকে।

Source: Aajkaal

Bike taxis to ply on Kolkata’s streets

After its immense success in New Town and Rajarhat, bike taxis are soon going to hit the streets of Kolkata. A notification in this regard will be issued shortly by the State Transport Department.

It may be recalled that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Transport Department and the private company that will operate the bike taxis during the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) in January. Considering the potential, the

Department is confident that once the service starts in the city, more aggregators will show interest in entering into the business of plying bike taxis.

Like in New Town and Rajarhat, all sorts of safety measures will be in place. One would be able to book a bike taxi using a cell phone app as it is now done for booking app-based cabs.

An official of the Transport Department said that gradually bike taxis can be introduced in several other urban areas. They will thus create a new dimension in the public transport sector of the State.

কলকাতার রাস্তায় এবার বাইক-ট্যাক্সি

নিউ টাউন ও রাজারহাটে ব্যাপক সাফল্যের পর এবার কলকাতার রাস্তায় নামতে চলেছে বাইক-ট্যাক্সি। শীঘ্রই এই সংক্রান্ত বিজ্ঞপ্তি জারি করবে পরিবহণ দপ্তর। ২০১৮ সালের জানুয়ারি মাসে অনুষ্ঠিত বিশ্ব বঙ্গ বাণিজ্য সম্মেলনে এই বিষয়ে মৌ স্বাক্ষরিত হয়েছে পরিবহণ দপ্তর এবং একটি বেসরকারি সংস্থার মধ্যে।

মোবাইল অ্যাপের মাধ্যমে যেমন ট্যাক্সি ডাকা যায়, ঠিক সেভাবেই বাইক ট্যাক্সিও বুকিং করা যাবে। নিউটাউন ও রাজারহাটের মত যাত্রী নিরাপত্তার সমস্ত ব্যবস্থা থাকবে এই বাইক ট্যাক্সিগুলোতে।

রাজারহাটে একটি বেসরকারি সংস্থা রাজ্য পরিবহন দপ্তরের সমস্ত নির্দেশিকা মেনে এই বাইক ট্যাক্সি পরিষেবা চালায়। সেই সংস্থাই সমস্ত বাইক কেনে এবং চালক নিযুক্ত করে।
তবে কলকাতায় এই সংস্থা কলকাতার বাইক মালিকদের সঙ্গে চুক্তি করে তাদের বাইক দিয়েই এই পরিষেবা চালাবে। ঠিক যেভাবে অ্যাপ নির্ভর ট্যাক্সি চলে।

Source: Millennium Post