Bangla Govt to develop fireworks manufacturing as a viable industry

With a view to developing the manufacturing of fireworks as a major industry and control illegal manufacturing, the Bengal Government has decided set up fireworks manufacturing clusters across the State.

There are many villages where manufacturing firecrackers is the source of livelihood for many. The new policy would put a proper structure in place.

Manufacturing of fireworks is a recognised small-scale industry in the State, but it needs more organisation. Hence the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise and Textiles Department is coming up with the policy of setting up manufacturing clusters.

The Government has roped in Fireworks Research and Development Centre (FRDC) to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) to set up a cluster of fireworks factories on 50 acres at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas.

Based on the DPR, manufacturing clusters will be set up in the districts of Hooghly, Howrah, Murshidabad and Purba Bardhaman.

The policy would ensure a single-window opportunity for acquiring license and environment certificate by interested manufacturers.

It would ensure that the families involved in the manufacturing of firecrackers get to work in a better, safe and hazard-free environment. The clusters will have facilities for testing of materials to ensure quality control. The processes for manufacturing would be standardised.

There will be separate entry and exit points at each of the units in a cluster and those will have proper working conditions like adequate light, air, safety measures, etc. Moreover, warehouses for storing highly inflammable materials will be properly planned.

Source: Sangbad Pratidin

State Transport Dept to run 500 extra buses daily during Durga Puja

The State Government has decided to run extra buses during Durga Puja for the convenience of commuters. Nearly 500 extra buses will be run daily during the festive season. Enough buses will be made available to commuters from afternoon till evening in Kolkata and suburbs. Even the night bus service will be augmented.

The State Transport Department will run 1200 buses daily from Chaturthi till Nabami. A control room will also be set up to help commuters in distress. Apart from metro and railway stations, shuttle services will be set up at major intersections of the city.

Shuttle services will be run on Garia-Gariahat, Howrah-Sealdah, Shyambazar-Barrackpore, Karunamoyee-Sealdah, Tollygunge-Thakurpukur, Tollygunge-Behala routes, among others. Trams will be run at night too.

It may be mentioned that the department has launched a special ‘all day ticket’ for commuters for the festive season. Valid for 24 hours, this ticket will enable commuters to undertale any number of rides on buses, trams, vessels that day from Barrackpore-Barasat in the north to Thakurpurkur-Baruipur in the south and Newtown in the east till Howrah in the west. Tickets will be valid on vessel rides between Ariadaha to Millennium Park jetties.

Boost for tourism infrastructure at Sabuj Dweep

The popular tourist spot of Sabuj Dweep is being reinvigorated by the State Tourism Department, in collaboration with the PWD and Irrigation Departments. The department is focussing on creation of infrastructure in the form of modern cottages, a dormitory, picnic spots and an artificial golf turf.

Sabuj Dweep, as the name suggests, is an island, and is located about 60km from Kolkata. It sits at the meeting point of the rivers Behula and Hooghly.

Rs 1 crore is being spent for the entire project. There will be 26 cottages with all modern amenities. The cost of booking one would also be kept affordable. The dormitory-hotel will have 10 beds.

Source: Khabar 365 Din

Bengal Govt to give ektaras to bauls participating in I-Day parade

For the first time, the State Government has decided to give ektaras to the bauls taking part in the Independence Day parade on Red Road.

The Government’s Lok Prasar Prakalpa, a dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for uplifting folk artistes, has been highly successful in bringing the traditional music and culture of Bengal to the forefront. Under the project, around 2 lakh folk artistes are being benefitted. The ‘prakalpa’ or scheme has helped in saving many folk art forms from extinction.

Folk artistes who have been benefitted by the Lok Prasar Prakalpa also include a large number of bauls, more than 30 of whom will be participating in the Red Road parade this year. Ektara, a one-stringed instrument, is the traditional instrument of bauls.

According to a senior State Government official, the participating bauls will be provided not only with ektaras, but also attires, and both of similar designs. The dresses will be made keeping in mind the tradition and culture of bauls.

Besides performances by folk artistes, the Independence Day parade will see tableaus of different departments.

Source: Millennium Post

Bengal Govt to bring school education under the aegis of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan

Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan – a programme created by combining Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan – will now form the basis of the Bengal Government’s approach to school education. This would help in optimising the administration of education in Bengal.

This programme would work for all aspects of management and betterment of education (including aspects like the free distribution of school textbooks, shoes and uniforms) right from the pre-primary to the higher secondary level.

A person experienced in the administration of education would be nominated by the State Government for heading the programme. There would a district head for each of the districts too.

Scientists would be inducted in the programme to visit schools and awaken interest in science among students.

Source: Sangbad Pratidin


Bengal Govt mulls increasing paternity leave

The Bengal government is planning to increase paternity-cum-child care leave for its employees from 30 days to 45 days.

The Trinamool Congress Government was the first State Government to introduce paternity-cum-child care leave, in February 2016. It was introduced, considering that it would be of great help for the male employees to discharge their responsibilities towards their children in a better way.

All male employees of the Panchayat and other local bodies, boards, sponsored and non-government aided schools and colleges, state-aided universities and companies, corporations and undertakings are entitled to get the paternity-cum-child care leave.

Paternity leave can be taken during the birth of the child or at any time at a stretch, up to 18 years of his child’s age.

Source: Millennium Post

Electronics manufacturing in Bengal to see a lot of change soon

Electronics manufacturing in Bengal is going to see a lot of changes soon. According to the State Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) Minister, the Government is putting a lot of stress on this sector as there is a huge employment potential, with the emergence of automated vehicle, robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) across the globe.

The State is fully prepared to take a lead in this sector in the country. The Government is coming up with two electronics manufacturing clusters (EMC) in Kalyani and Falta. They will be ready within a year.

A 107-acre hardware park is already complete in Sonarpur. It has plug-and-play infrastructure with uninterrupted power supply, round-the-clock potable filtered water and top-class drainage and water supply systems.

Also, there are 12 existing IT parks across the State and the third floor in each of these parks is earmarked for electronics.

The IT Minister gave the above information while speaking at a knowledge-sharing workshop on ‘Embedded Technology’ at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre on June 15.

Source: Millennium Post

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Bengal Govt to open 50 tourist information centres across Bengal

To make information to tourists easily available, the Bengal Government has decided to open as many as 50 tourist information centres across the State.

Though aimed primarily at tourists from other parts of the country as well as from across the world, the information centres would cater to tourists from the State as well. All information related to a particular area would be available at each centre. These would be run by the Tourism Department.

These tourist centres would play a major role in making Bengal more tourist-friendly. As it is, it is one of the top States in terms of tourist arrivals, both nationally and internationally. This project would take Bengal significantly higher in the rankings.

Where to stay, what to do, what to eat, what to buy, what are the specialities of a particular place or area – information of every kind would be available at these centres. Guide books would be available in English, Hindi and Bengali. They would contain detailed information about the history, geography and culture of a place.

These centres are already running at the airports in Kolkata and Bagdogra. Soon they would come up in four other places in Kolkata (Kolkata and Sealdah railway stations, Rabindra Sadan and Madhusadan Mancha), Howrah and Santragachi railway stations, Kakdwip and Diamond Harbour railway stations (South 24 Parganas district), Murshidabad, Malda, Bankura, Birbhum district, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Siliguri and other places to cover all the districts.

The information available at the centres would also help tourists to decide how and where to go next. All in all, the tourist information centres would act as one-stop centres for all tourists visiting Bengal.

Source: Sangbad Pratidin

Protection of wetlands and coastal zones in Bengal

East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority (EKWMA) and Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management (IESWM) are two agencies under the Environment Department. They carry out protection work for the wetlands in eastern Kolkata and research in management and conservation of wetlands across the State and coastal zones, respectively.

East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority (EKWMA)

EKWMA has the responsibility of managing the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW).

The East Kolkata Wetlands are situated along the eastern fringes of Kolkata. It contains a number of shallow fish ponds, agricultural fields and villages.

It is one of the most important Ramsar sites of the country, a designation implying the EKW as a ‘Wetland of International Importance’.

The wetlands possess the unique natural facility of waste water purification for the entire metropolis of Kolkata, the only Ramsar site in the world with such a function.

The wetlands are also a major source of food for the fish and other aquatic creatures inhabiting there, which in turn provide livelihood to a lot of people.

Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management (IESWM)

IESWM carries out research on wetlands and coastal zones of Bengal as well as of other parts of the country.

It houses the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) of the World Bank, which aids the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project.

The Coastal Zone Management Plan of Bengal is being prepared as part of the project. As a result of the project, which is nearing completion, significant achievements have been made, like improvement of civic infrastructure and beach amenities in Digha, 100 per cent electrification of Sagar Island (where the famous Sagar Mela is held annually), livelihood enhancement through self-help groups (SHG), 25 cyclone shelters and eco-tourism activities.

The institute is also one of the eight authorised agencies in the country for the preparation of coastal regulation zone (CRZ) maps, which are referred to for getting the mandatory CRZ clearance for coastal projects. It has also prepared CRZ maps for the Central Government organisations, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Kolkata Port Trust (Haldia and Diamond Harbour sites).

Together, these two institutes have been doing a lot of significant work for various aspects of the environment of Bengal, and in the case of the latter, India too.

Source: Departmental Budget

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