Stress on alternative agricultural methods to tackle rain deficit

To effectively counter the deficiency of rainfall in the districts of south Bengal this year, the State Agriculture Department is working on alternative agricultural methods to ensure that the farmers can carry out cultivation without much difficulty.

The preparation for sowing kharif crops kicks off in June and by the middle of August, the process gets over. But since the monsoon has been very feeble till date, the preparation has not started properly.

Hence Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed the department to adopt alternative agricultural methods, so that crops can be sown even if there is scanty rainfall.

The average deficiency of rainfall in south Bengal is as high as 60 per cent. The department is working on procedures like river-lift irrigation and usage of submersible pumps to facilitate the sowing of kharif crops.

The Bangla Krishi Sech Yojana had been introduced to extend support to farmers in setting up micro-irrigation facilities that ensure cultivation, of mainly fruits and vegetables, using less quantities of water. The department will extend this scheme to the maximum possible area.

The department has also started a campaign among farmers to create awareness on conservation of water and not extract groundwater indiscriminately. The move comes in the wake of the chief minister’s laying special emphasis on the Jal Dharo Jal Bharo Scheme for conservation of water.

Source: Millennium Post


20 more CNG buses for south Bengal

The State Environment Department has decided to introduce 20 more CNG buses in the districts of south Bengal. It will be fully funding the project.

CNG or compressed natural gas is a non-polluting fuel and hence does not adversely impact the environment.

The Transport Department has a plan to operate CNG buses all over the state, a plan which will be implemented in phases.

Besides being environment-friendly, CNG buses have another major advantage: though the cost of a bus is more – around Rs 1 crore – the cost of maintenance is considerably less than conventional buses. The cost of fuel is also much cheaper too.

The Government had earlier introduced CNG buses in Asansol and Durgapur, wherea total of 30 such buses ply. Wherever they have been introduced, CNG services have become very popular as well.

With respect to promoting environment-friendly means of travel, the Transport Department has also been giving a lot of support for the promotion of electric and biogas-run vehicles. Electric buses are run in New Town, the model smart city of the State Government. Eighty more electric buses will be introduced in various places by August. Buses using compressed biogas (CBG), produced from cow dung, as fuel run on certain routes in Kolkata.

Source: Millennium Post

Elephant safaris to start in south Bengal

Elephant safaris are common in north Bengal. Now they are going to start in south Bengal too.

The safaris on elephant-back are going to be organised for tourists visiting Joypur in Bankura district for the five-day ‘Elephant Corridor’ Joypur Mela, from December 15. The name refers to the fact that the forest there is a major corridor, or path of migration, for wild elephants. Besides wild elephants, the pristine forest around Joypur is home to deer, peacocks and bears, to see all of which is the safari programme being held.

The fair is just two years old, but is steadily becoming a major tourist attraction. The idea behind the fair is to make people aware of the history, tradition, and art and culture of the region, lying bang in the middle of a major elephant corridor.

The Forest Department is organising these safaris, for which 10 elephants are being trained under the guidance of experienced mahouts.


দক্ষিণবঙ্গে প্রথম হাতি সাফারি

আগামী ১৫ই ডিসেম্বর থেকে ৫দিন ব্যাপী জয়পুর মেলা উপলক্ষে আগত অতিথিদের হাতির পিঠে চাপিয়ে জঙ্গল ঘোরানো হবে। উত্তরবঙ্গে এ’রকম ব্যবস্থা থাকলেও দক্ষিণবঙ্গে হাতির পিঠে জঙ্গল সাফারি এই প্রথম।

জয়পুর জঙ্গলের মধ্যে অভিজ্ঞ মাহুতদের সঙ্গে ঘুরে বেড়িয়ে সাফারির মহড়াও শুরু করেছে ১০টি কুনকি হাতির দল। আগত অতিথিরা যাতে জঙ্গলে হরিণ, ময়ূর, ভাল্লুক ও জংলি হাতি দেখার সুযোগ পায়, তার তোড়জোড়ও শুরু হয়েছে। ‘এলিফ্যান্ট করিডোর’ জয়পুর মেলার বয়স মাত্র ২বছর।

এলিফ্যান্ট করিডোরের ওপর এই জনপদ ও জঙ্গলের ইতিহাস, ঐতিহ্য, শিল্প সংস্কৃতিকে তুলে ধরার মাধ্যমে এই মেলাকে রাজ্যের পর্যটন মাঞ্চিত্রে তুলে ধরার লক্ষ্যে এগিয়ে চলেছেন এলাকার বিধায়ক তথা রাজ্যের মন্ত্রী। প্রথম বছর থেকেই এই মেলা সফলতা লাভ করেছে।

Source: Ma Mati Manush magazine

Fish farming in south Bengal gets a boost

The West Bengal Fisheries Department is going to farm boroli fish in ponds of South Bengal. The small-sized boroli, because of its taste, is regarded as the ‘king of fish’ in North Bengal, and is sold at Rs 400 a kg. Fish lovers of South Bengal often lament its unavailability there.

According to the Minister for Fisheries, Chandranath Singha, “After a person successfully cultivated boroli fish in his pond in Cooch Behar, we are planning to cultivate it in South Bengal too and plans in this regard are being chalked out.”

In North Bengal, boroli is a very popular fish and is found in most of the rivers. Tourists from the plains search for it when they visit North Bengal and it is a compulsion of every eatery owner in North Bengal to include the fish in their menus; some even display it at their eateries. The fish is found in the districts of Jalpaiguri (Siliguri is a big market), Cooch Behar and Alipurduar.


Image source

বাংলায় ম९স্য চাষের নতুন দিগন্ত

দক্ষিণবঙ্গেও এবার বোরলি মাছ চাষ শুরু করবে পশ্চিমবঙ্গ ম९স্য দপ্তর। ছোট আকারের বোরলি মাছ তার অসাধারন স্বাদের জন্য উত্তরবঙ্গের মাছেদের রাজা নামে পরিচিত। এর মূল্য ৪০০ টাকা প্রতি কেজি। দক্ষিণবঙ্গের মাছ প্রেমিকরা প্রায়ই এর অভাব বোধ করেন।

ম९স্যমন্ত্রী চন্দ্রনাথ সিনহার বক্তব্য, “কুচবিহারের একজন ম९স্যচাষী বোরলি মাছ চাষ করে সাফল্য অর্জনের পরই আমরা দক্ষিণবঙ্গে এই মাছ চাষের পরিকল্পনার করেছি এবং পরিকল্পনামাফিক কাজ শুরু করেছি”।

উত্তরবঙ্গে বোরলি মাছ খুব জনপ্রিয়। সমতল থেকে যখন পর্যটকরা উত্তরবঙ্গ পরিদর্শনে আসেন তখন এই মাছের খোঁজ করেন।

মাছটি এতই জনপ্রিয় যে উত্তরবঙ্গের প্রতিটি খাবারের দোকানের মেনুতে এই মাছের একটি করে পদ নিশ্চিতরূপে থাকে। জলপাইগুড়ি, কুচবিহার এবং আলিপুরদুয়ারে এই মাছ পাওয়া যায়।

All party meeting on flood situation at Nabanna today

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday called for an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss the present flood situation in the state, which has claimed 85 lives so far. “It is being called on Saturday evening,” Mamata Banerjee told reporters at state secretariat Nabanna in Howrah.

The State government has already decided to provide Rs two lakh each to people seriously injured in flood.

The West Bengal Chief Minister has already announced compensation of Rs four lakh each to family members of decreased. This apart, Rs.60, 000 each would be given to persons having an organ damaged, Rs.12,000 for minor injury and Rs.4,000 for staying in hospital for more than a week.

The DMs have been asked to submit the list of affected persons so as to start the distribution of compensation.

WB CM has been monitoring the flood situation personally. She stayed all night at Nabanna control room on Sunday and visited flood-hit areas of Howrah, Ashoknagar to distribute relief materials. Elected representatives and ministers of Trinamool Congress are also carrying out relief work in various districts.

12 out of 20 districts in Bengal flood-affected: WB CM

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee today conducted a video conference with the DMs of the flood-affected districts to review the flood situation in South Bengal.

During a press briefing at the end of the meeting, WB CM said 12 out of 20 districts of Bengal are flood-hit. She said she will seek funds from the Centre for disaster relief.

WB CM also said that she has sought time from the PM for a meeting when she visits New Delhi on 11-12 August. She will raise the issue of compensation for farmers and suggest to Centre about farm loan waiver.

WB CM called for modernisation of the DVC and said dredging work in Damodar needs to be carried out immediately. She has spoken to Union Minister Peeyush Goyal regarding the matter. “Bengal is suffering because of DVC. Dredging work has not been done due to which water is overflowing,” she said.

WB CM has also instructed all district magistrates to prepare full survey report of the damages causes due to floods by 18 August, 2015.

Flood situation in Bengal as of now:

  • 233 blocks affected
  • 53 municipalities affected
  • 2 corporations affected
  • 781 gram panchayats affected
  • 16309 villages affected
  • 61 lakh people affected
  • 4 lakh houses destroyed
  • 8 lakh hectares of land destroyed
  • 11000 cattle lost their lives
  • 3000 relief camps have been opened
  • 4 lakh people currently at relief camps
  • 1500 community kitchens have been opened
  • 663 medical camps have been opened
  • 12 lakh pouches of water being distributed
  • Cattle camps have been set up
  • Bunds and embankments are being repaired


The West Bengal Chief Minister has been monitoring the flood situation closely from the control room we set up in Nabanna since Sunday, when she stayed overnight at the State Secretariat. On Monday, she visited Ashoknagar in North 24 Parganas to take stock of the devastation caused by a cyclone in that area. She also distributed relief materials to the affected people.


Working 24×7 to tackle calamity: WB CM

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee on Monday visited flood-affected villages in Habra-Ashokenagar in North 24-Parganas to monitor relief work.

The West Bengal Chief Minister distributed relief material at Kajla primary school, where hundreds are taking shelter. Disaster management kits -including clothes, rice, potato, dal and puffed rice -were distributed to villagers from Bonbonia and Mohonpur.

The West Bengal Chief Minister said the government was working on a war footing, 24 hours a day, to provide relief. Mamata, in fact, stayed back at Nabanna till midnight on Sunday to monitor relief work from the control room.“We are trying our best to tackle this natural disaster. We will not beg anybody for help. The government stands beside the people. Our officers and workers have been working without rest,” she added.

“The BDOs have been asked to submit a list on how many have lost their houses and how many lost their crops so that we can reach out to everyone,“ the West Bengal Chief Minister informed. “Ministers have been sent to the districts to supervise relief work. The Government is giving Rs 4 lakh compensation to families of those killed and d Rs 2 lakh to the seriously injured. Many NGOs are also helping out.”

She said this was not the time for narrow politics.”Politics should not be done at a time when people are reeling from a natural calamity,” the West Bengal Chief Minister said.

At Nabanna, she said that DVC was worsening the crisis in Burdwan, Hooghly and Howrah. “I had asked DVC to go for modernization, but they are not doing it. Due to lack of dredging they are unable to hold water, otherwise DVC could have been able to retain 2 lakh cusec water. The release of DVC water is a major concern when Jharkhand barrages are also releasing water due to heavy rain,“ she said, adding that she will hold video conference with DMs of Burdwan, Hooghly, Birbhum, Howrah, West Midnapore, South and North 24-Parganas and Murshidabad.

On Monday night she made calls to the officials every one and half hours to know the situation.

WB CM distributes relief materials at Ashoknagar

The West Bengal Government, headed by Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee has been taking every required measure to provide relief after continuous pounding by torrential rain that started on Friday evening and inundated vast areas of 12 districts, almost all of them in south Bengal, marooning over 18 lakh people.

Excess rain since the beginning of the monsoon season in mid-June had already left these districts facing a flood-like situation. The overnight rain, triggered by a deep depression, has aggravated the situation further.

The West Bengal Chief Minister, who had cut short her London trip to return to her flood-ravaged state, stayed in Nabanna on Sunday to monitor the relief operations from the control room.

She visited the flood affected places in Ashoknagar (North 24 Parganas district) and distributed relief materials at a relief camp in Kajla.

“The Govt is and will provide all the necessary relief to those affected by this natural calamity. This moment of crisis should not be used for political purposes and individual gain,” she said.

“I prefer working at grassroots for people, who have lost everything, than to show up for discussions on TV channels,” CM added.

The Government has so far set up 946 relief camps where 1,19,030 people have already taken shelter. The number is expected to rise manifold as boats have been deployed to bring several lakh marooned people to safer locales.

TMC ministers, elected representatives carry out flood relief operations in districts

As per the orders of West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee, the ministers of the West Bengal Cabinet are present at the flood affected zones in different part of south Bengal, taking stock of the flood situation and distributing relief materials.

State youth affairs and housing minister Aroop Biswas, Manturam Pakhira, minister of state in charge of Sunderbans development and Giyasuddin Mollah, minister of state for minorities affairs & madrasah education, visited different parts of the flood affected zones of South 24 Parganas and distributed relief materials.

West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay and locals MLAs were also present with the team of ministers.

The State housing minister said that the team had visited 60 to 65 relief camps out of the 183, opened by the State Government. They had taken stock of the situation and the supply of relief materials, he said.

On Tuesday, the team of ministers will visit places like Kawkdweep and Namkhana in Diamond Harbour area.

At other areas in south Bengal, Trinamool MPs and MLAs are also monitoring the relief works in their respective constituencies along with other elected representatives of the areas. MPs, Suvendu Adhikari in Tamluk took active  support in rescue and relief.

WB CM monitors flood situation all night from Nabanna

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee on Sunday decided to stay overnight at Nabanna to personally monitor the flood situation. After several meetings with her officials, WB CM had set up a control room at the state secretariat to keep an eye on the problem 24X7. Senior administrative officials were present along with the Chief Minister during the night when she spoke to the district officials at every interval.

“The situation has deteriorated, particularly in the four districts of Murshidabad, Birbhum, Howrah and Hooghly , due to excessive rain and the release of water from barrages,“ the West Bengal Chief Minister said.“We are keeping an eye on it and are ready to stand by the affected people.“

The Chief Minister has postponed her north Bengal trip scheduled on Monday and will instead visit the flood-affected areas of Habra in North 24-Parganas. On Saturday, she visited flood-hit areas in Howrah. According to the disaster management department’s report, 47 municipalities across the state have been affected by floods. Senior police and district officials have already been posted accordingly. The government is appealing to all affected people in the districts to move to their nearest relief camp before the problem worsens.

The Chief Minister will today visit the cyclone affected Kajla in Ashoknagar, North 24 Parganas.

While the Chief Minister has already started visiting the affected zones from Saturday evening, ministers from the State cabinet are also visiting different districts to supervise relief works.

Till now, about 38,046 houses have been completely wrecked and 2,05,901 have suffered partial damages because of the heavy rain.

Till Sunday , the number of affected districts stood at 12 and a total of 36,90,627 people have been affected. About 4,72,645 hectare of crop area has been damaged. The government is also running 204 medical camps and relief material is being sent to all the affected districts.

Reports of embankments getting damaged have also come in from several gram panchayats in Burdwan and West Midnapore. In areas under Kolkata Municipal Corporation, 73 pumping stations are working to flush out excess rainwater.