Bengal Govt to conduct awareness campaign on animal cruelty

The State Animal Welfare Board will conduct awareness programmes on cruelties against animals. The programmes will be conducted in collaboration with CSPCA Animal Hospital (located on BB Ganguly Street).

The main purpose of the programme is to make people from various walks of life and school students aware about cruelties against animals which often take place on the streets of Kolkata as well as in the districts.

An official of the Animal Resources Development Department said that the Government would urge the Centre to formulate a policy to set up a National Animal Rights Commission in order to systematically with cases of cruelty to animals. There will be a more stringent mechanism to prosecute those who inflict injuries on street dogs and other animals.

Source: Millennium Post

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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 go for double certification of seeds

The State Agriculture Department will soon introduce double certification of seeds before they are distributed among farmers. The step will ensure that each and every seed germinates, providing a better yield for farmers.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had recently given an instruction to ensure that farmers do not face any problem in terms of seeds. The decision on double certification of seeds is a follow-up on that.

Double certification entails certification of the seeds before they are packed and again, on random basis, after the packing, said a departmental official. The Agriculture Department is also taking necessary steps to set up more seed laboratories across the State.

Source: Millennium Post

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Bengal Govt connects Purulia to Kolkata via helicopter flights

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during her recent district visit to Purulia, announced the starting of helicopter services to the district. This is a big step in the promotion of industry in Purulia.

The service would be under the aegis of the State Transport Department. A successful pilot flight was conducted on July 3 from Kolkata to the Charra Airfield, 8 km from Purulia town.

The airfield had long been abandoned. It was used during World War II by the US Air Force. Now, under the initiative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee the Charra Airfield would again be actively used.

Source: Aajkaal

Bengal Govt’s efforts turning Paschimanchal into an alphonso hub

The western districts of Bengal – together called Paschimanchal – are gradually turning into a hub for the delicious mango, alphonso.

Alphonso has a big export market too. In this sense, a region of Bengal turning into an alphonso hub is a big boon for the State. The Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs Department is leading this effort.

Till now, Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra was the sole hub of the alphonso. Soon, Bankura will turn into another major hub, and Purulia and Jhargram too.

Three thousand saplings of alphonso were planted in three orchards in Khatra subdivision of Bankura district last year. The first commercial harvest has been done this year. Five thousand saplings were planted in Purulia and Jhargram districts.

The mangoes from Bankura have been analysed at Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya and have been found to be very similar in all aspects to the famous alphonsos of Maharashtra.

Source: Millennium Post

Bengal Govt planning scientific bus route mapping for Kolkata

After developing the transport infrastructure in Bengal in a massive way with the introduction of new buses and new routes, the Transport Department has decided to bring in another measure to further improve things.

It has appointed the PSU, RITES for conducting a route optimisation study for Kolkata. Through this, it will be determined how many buses need to run on each of the routes and at what times to serve the maximum number of passengers.

The study is currently undergoing. It would cover the recently introduced night bus services as well.

The Pathadisha app has already brought in a lot of change. People can now know the exact locations of many buses and hence determine how long to wait. The night bus service is another well-thought out idea.

With the results of this study, which is being conducted, a scientific route structure can be mapped out, something followed in many advanced countries.

Source: Ei Samay

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Bengal Govt setting up cluster for fireworks manufacturing 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

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Bengal Govt to provide year-round training to farmers

The State Agriculture Department has initiated steps to ensure round-the-year training programmes for farmers at Mati Tirtha, located in the district of Purba Bardhaman.

The requirement for year-round training was felt to ensure that farmers keep getting regular updates on agricultural activities, including on the latest techniques, and are able to implement the same.

A team of senior officials from the Agriculture Department had visited Mati Tirtha on June 13 and prepared a detailed report on the sort of infrastructure required for round-the-year training of farmers.

Mati Tirtha is the permanent venue of Mati Utsav that takes place in January every year where, among other activities, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee felicitates successful farmers from different parts of the State.

Source: Millennium Post

Bengal Govt taking initiatives to tap export potential of orchids

The State Horticulture Department is gearing up to tap the immense demand for orchids in the international market.

According to a senior official of the department, the State Government has recognised the huge potential in the export of orchids and is taking various steps, including talking to all the stakeholders in the trade, to ensure the potential is properly tapped.

Orchids are mostly grown in colder regions. Darjeeling grows Cymbidium orchids in abundance, which is of high demand in countries like USA, UK, Australia and Japan. Cultivation of orchids is a low-cost activity and the flowers can be grown without a greenhouse. However, after harvesting, the flowers need to be shipped out quite fast. Hence, the department is talking with the Airports Authority of India to upgrade Bagdogra Airport so that it can handle more international flights. With the upgrading, the market for South-east Asia can also be tapped for export.

Another issue being looked into is packaging. Exports require packaging of international standards that ensures good shelf life. Hence, the department will hold talks with Indian Institute of Packaging for having a packaging protocol for flower exports.

Another issue coming in the way of higher exports is the fact that the Cymbidium orchid has a long gestation period of four to six years. To resolve this, the department is working out on how to use advanced technology for the cultivation of these flowers and extend all required help to the cultivators.

Another major challenge is to source good orchid varieties to keep pace with emerging trends, since demand in the orchid industry is determined by changing tastes. Hence, plans are being made to cultivate more species of orchids as per demand.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while attending the Hills Business Summit in Darjeeling last March, had asked the CII to prepare a detailed project report on the cultivation of cinchona, orchids and medicinal plants, all of which have huge markets, both internationally and in the country. The initiatives taken by the Horticulture Department in realising the huge export potential of orchids are in pursuance of that.

Source: Millennium Post

Bengal Govt repairing canals in Howrah dist to prevent flooding

To prevent the kind of floods that caused huge damage to farmlands, houses and people in Howrah district last year due the DVC’s unannounced release of water, the State Government has started the repair and renovation of canals in the district.

The regions of Udaynarayanpur and Amta were specially affected. Hence, the blocks of Amta-1, Amta-2 and Udaynarayanpur are being given stress on. The renovation and repair of canals would cost an estimated Rs 30 crore.

The idea is to enable the flow of water from the Damodar to the Rupnarayan via these canals – about 30 to 35 thousand cusecs of water. Hence, water would not overflow the banks of the Damodar and life and property would be saved.

The filling up of the canals will serve another purpose too – vast areas of croplands would get water throughout the year.