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Panagarh, 12th June 2017
Two killed, 24 injured in 4 separate road mishaps
Two persons were killed and 24 others injured in four separate road accidents in the state. The first accident took place near Pepsi gate area of Panagarh when a state-run bus was hit by a dumper claiming the life of a person and injuring 20 others. Some of them had suffered severe injuries and are undergoing treatment in the hospital. The bus driver and the conductor of the bus were also injured in the accident. Police said that the bus was going to Purulia from Kolkata. When it was passing through Kotagram at Budbud area, the vehicle lost control and went across to the opposite lane after hitting a divider. A dumper which was going to Burdwan from Panagarh collided head on with the bus. As the bus suddenly came to the other lane, the driver of the dumper could not stop the vehicle and it rammed into the bus. The front portion of the bus was badly damaged in the incident. The police are yet to ascertain the identity of the deceased person. The local residents took part in the rescue operation before the police reached the spot. All the injured passengers were taken to Durgapur sub-divisional hospital. Some of them were later shifted to a private hospital in Durgapur as their condition deteriorated. The local people told the police that the bus was running at top speed when it hit the divider and came to the other lane. Police suspect that the bus driver might have fallen asleep while driving which might have led to the mishap. Police have started a probe in this regard.
In a similar incident, three pedestrians were injured when a speeding matador lost control and hit them on EM Bypass near Mathpukur area on Monday morning. The local people and police rushed the injured victims to the Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital (CNMCH) for treatment. Police said that the vehicle was at top speed when the driver lost control and hit a divider before injuring the victims. Police have arrested the driver. In the other incident a person who works as a night guard at Bhavanipur area under Haldia police station in East Midnapore died after being crushed under the wheels of a truck. In the fourth incident, a truck driver suffered critical injuries when his truck overturned near Panagarh on Dubrajpur state highway.
Source: millenniumpost

Panagarh, 7th March 2017
New C-130J squardon complex inaugurated at Panagarh
To strengthen the operational capability of the Indian Air Force in the region, a new C-130J squadron complex was today inaugurated by Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh at Panagarh in Burdwan district.
This will be the second C-130 squadron of the IAF after Hindan which will house a squardon of the Super Hercules aircraft.
Once equipped with the aircraft, the squadron complex in the "Air Force Station Arjan Singh", named after the 97-year-old Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh, would be capable of undertaking all types of air transport missions in this sector, a defence press release here today said.
Air Officer Commanding in Chief of Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal Anil Khosla said that Panagarh would become one of the most important air bases in the region following the arrival of the C-130 squadron.
"Air Force Station Arjan Singh" is the only air base in the Indian Air Force named after the Marshal of the IAF, a living legend.
Singh in his address exhorted the IAF personnel to hold the values of hard work and sincerity close to their hearts.
Source: dna india

Panagarh, 6th April 2015
Essar vows support to Bengal facility
Essar Oil will invest Rs 1,000 crore over the next 12 months to reach a peak production of 3 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd) of coal bed methane by May next year from Ranigunj in Bengal.
The company today announced it reached half-a-million-tonne gas production and laid down the road map to ramp up output six-fold in a little more than a year.
"We have the environmental and forest clearances, and most importantly, land for drilling wells. The company is on course to drill 370 wells in the next one year," Manish Maheshwari, CEO (exploration & production) of Essar Oil, said.
Essar Oil now operates 100 wells in Ranigunj and is putting the final touches to bring another 155 into production by September. Once completed, the company would be producing 1.2 mscmd gas from the region.
CBM, a source of clean energy, replaces liquid fuel such as diesel or furnace oil. Essar supplies to a host of industries in the Durgapur-Asansol region such as Durgapur Steel Plant, Alloy Steel Plant and Philips Carbon Black.
The cost of gas for customers is $6-6.5 per million British thermal unit, depending on the distance from the well. The price is determined by the government, which allows the company to keep a transportation cost and marketing margin.
Essar will drill another 100 wells for which it has acquired the land. The company needs to secure land for another 20 wells. Essar owns land for wells, gas gathering stations, compressors and boosters, while taking it on lease for a pipeline. After facing backlash over acquisition on some occasions, Essar reworked its strategy to use 40 per cent less land for drilling by taking up a cluster approach.
The company plans to sell half of its peak production to anchor customer Matix Fertilisers which will produce ammonia and urea.
Source: The Telegraph

Panagarh, 25th March 2015
ECL project hits job wall
An Eastern Coalfields Limited project that would earn the government around Rs 175 crore in royalty has been facing resistance from a group of Burdwan villagers demanding jobs and rehabilitation for the land they gave two decades ago.
According to ECL officials, the coal major would incur a loss of around Rs 700 crore if the expansion of the Khottadih open cast mine project is stalled.
The state government had in 1995 acquired around 1,200 acres from 2,500 families in Pandaveswar for the total project.
Officials said coal had been exhausted in 1,175 acres and the company needed the remaining 75 acres where a reserve of around 8 million tonnes of coal had been found.
The government had handed over the 1,200 acres it acquired in 1995 to ECL for Rs 36.32 crore. The coal firm had paid each landloser Rs 30,000 an acre and gave a job to one member from each family that lost at least 2 acres.
The remaining 75 acres where ECL wants to expand the project is in Binpahari mouza, where only 150 of the 700- odd families that gave their land were given jobs.
" According to ECL norms, a member from only those families that own two acres or more are given jobs. Only 100 of the 700 families in Binpahari were eligible and we gave them jobs. But all the families are demanding jobs now and have stalled the expansion of the project for the past one month. There are around 8 million tonnes of coal underneath.
The loss would be immense if the project is not allowed," said Niladri Roy, the general manager ( technical) of ECL. ECL would lose around Rs 700 crore if the project is not allowed and the government Rs 175 crore in royalty, a senior official said.
Roy said the company had approached the district administration and police, but to no avail.
" We held several meetings with the villagers and the district administration in past one month but nothing could be done. Giving jobs to all the families is beyond our compensation policy. Altogether 500 jobs have been given in the area where we got 1,200 acres for the project," Roy said.
Officials said the project was to start in April. " But we have not been able to get the land yet," a senior official said.
The villagers have set up an apolitical organisation named Binpahari Gram Committee.
It comprises one member from each of the 700 families that gave their land.
" We have been given compensation. But ECL gives jobs only to those who have lost at least 2 acres. We want jobs for all and want the company to rehabilitate us. They should build us houses and a market in some nearby place. We will not allow ECL to excavate coal until then," said Bacchu Pal, who got a job in ECL and Rs 90,000 for the 3 acres he gave.
Source: The Telegraph

Panagarh, 23rd Feb 2015
Defence Expansion Plan Gets Mamata's Red Flag
KOLKATA: The country's defence preparedness has hit a roadblock, thanks to the Trinamool Congress Government in West Bengal. To thwart China's military plans near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and repeated incursions, the Army and the IAF have been planning to expand their operations in North Bengal and also set up new bases. But these plans have run into trouble because of the Land Acquisition Policy of the Mamata Banerjee Government.
The Ministry of Defence's (MoD) proposals to expand the Army Cantonment at Kalimpong and set up an Armoured Corps division and a "composite aviation base" in North Bengal hang in the balance as the state government has been dragging its heel on the issue for the last two years. To break the deadlock, senior officers of the Eastern Command had held a "civil-military liaison" meeting with the senior officials of the state government, last month. An official attached to the MoD said,"Not acquiring land from the farmers for industry purposes might be the CM"s policy as part of vote bank politics but this is a case of national security which can never be compromised for the sake of populism. We need the land as soon as possible to expand our base as we have been receiving disturbing reports about Chinese activities across the border in this region."
Defence officials pointed out that unlike West Bengal, neighbouring Assam had fully cooperated with the defence forces. IAF stations in Tezpur and Chhabua in Dibrugarh had been upgraded and bases for Sukhoi T-50 aircraft have been set up. The existing IAF stations in Jorhat and Mohanbari in Assam and Bagdogra and Hashimara in West Bengal are being modernised. At the Mountain Strike Corps headquarters (HQ) in Panagarh, an IAF station for C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft, which can fly troops and weapons very fast to the Sino-Indian border, has been built.
A state government official, who was present at the civil-military liaison meeting, expressed helplessness and said, "We fully realise the immediacy of the issue... We have informed the Army that the present government treats the issue of land acquisition in a different manner compared to its predecessors. The decision has to be taken by the state Cabinet headed by the CM."
Following intelligence reports on the Chinese activities along the LAC, the Army has listed parts of North Bengal and NorthEast region of the country, particularly Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as its own territory, as a "sensitive zone." In 2013, the then Defence Minister A K Antony had approved a Budget to the tune of 65,000 crore to form a "Mountain Strike Corps" in the Eastern and NorthEast regions. Accordingly, the two Mountain Divisions were "fully raised" with 30,000 troops in the NorthEast as a counter-measure and to shore up mountain warfare capabilities. The new Mountain Divisions came up at a time when the country's security brass was warily watching the massive upgrade of Chinese military infrastructure along the 4,057-km-long LAC - the ceasefire line as there is no clearly demarcated border. West Bengal is closely connected with the MoD's plans to counter China's growing military presence in Southern Tibet but Mamata's 'vote bank politics' is a stumbling block in the region.
Two years ago, a senior Army official had met the CM at Siliguri and sought 750 acres of land next to the Binaguri Army Cantonment to establish an Armoured Corps Division. He stressed the need, saying that China was actively increasing its influence in neighbouring Bhutan and Nepal, according to the military intelligence (MI). The MI had stated that China was carrying out charitable activities and imparting free education through some voluntary organisations operating alongside the LAC and using them to carry out espionage activities in the region. The neighbouring country was also spending huge sums of money to set up Buddhist monasteries in the region, it pointed out. The Army, which has a strong presence in the Binaguri Cantonment, plans not only to increase the number of its personnel but also to have an Armoured Corps Division with MBT Arjun tanks and armoured vehicles. It currently has 63 Armoured Corps Regiments and has also raised the Ladakh Scouts and two Battalions of Arunachal. According to the proposals, an Armoured Corps Division is planned at Jalpaiguri's Dumdim, a "composite aviation base" of the IAF at Shougaon, and expansion of the Army base at Kalimpong in Darjeeling district. During the meeting with the senior state government officials, the defence officials said that for posting the new Mountain Division, the Armoured Corps base, equipped with latest weapons, including missiles, and 750 acres of land was needed at Dumdim. The Army had also identified the land needed for the railway link to Dumdim and the MoD had given the green signal to acquire the land in 2013. For the IAF's base at Shougaon, 361 acres are needed and 1,250 acres for expansion of the Army Cantonment at Kalimpong. According to sources at Fort William, the HQ of the Eastern Command, "Expansion of the Kalimpong base is an immediate need as it is one of the pillars guarding our borders with China in Sikkim as 15,000 troops are deployed in the base, spread over 415 acres. We need to expand it by at least three times and that is why an additional 1,250 acres of land is needed." The state government, however, is not giving the "no objection certificate (NoC)" to acquire the land.
Source: The Indian Express

Panagarh, 29th Jan 2015
Shifting the state's 'Mati Utsav' venue from Panagarh's Birudiha to Burdwan town.
Chief Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee today gave a clear hint of shifting the state's 'Mati Utsav' venue from Panagarh's Birudiha to Burdwan town. She said: "Permanent structures for the festival will be erected at Sadhanpur in Burdwan."
The state had battled hard to overcome legal consequences this year while organizing the third 'Mati Utsav (Earth Festival)' at the Birudiha ground adjacent to the Lal Baba Ashram - an NGO run by a Trust here. The Trust owns the ground. A Calcutta High Court Bench on 25 March 2014 had ordered injunction restricting any activity on the properties of the Trust, however, pertaining to a legal dispute raised by a section of former Trust members alleging that a coterie governing the Trust was transferring the land in favour of individuals violating the Trust's memorandum relating to its property.
Miss Banerjee, after declaring the weeklong festival open said: "We are going to introduce 'Mati Tirtha' - a permanent venue beside the Agricultural Farmhouse at Sadhanpur in the upscale of Burdwan town for such festivals and holding conference on agricultural activities besides live demonstration of modern mechanical equipment for agriculture." Last year while inaugurating the second 'Mati Utsav' Miss Banerjee had instructed the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority - a state backed statutory body to install permanent structure for the annual festival here at Birudiha ground, however.
Miss Banerjee said: "The idea of Mati Utsav has bought worldwide appreciation as this has shown the way why the United Nation has declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils. Everybody now has realized that preservation of soil is so important in present day's context." She added: "We may claim what Bengal thinks today, the entire world thinks tomorrow." She also claimed that the Centre has been following her concepts of Kanyashree and Fair Price medicine shops at the government run hospitals.
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 28th Jan 2015
Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee inaugurates 'Mati Utsav' at Panagarh
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the 'Mati Utsav' on Wednesday at Panagarh in Burdwan District. The CM lit the inaugural lamp to mark the commencement of the festival.
Speaking on the occasion, she said, "Farmers are our assets. We are proud of them and the young generation. They are the future of the country." The CM gave away the the Krishi Ratna and Krishak Samman awards on Wednesday.
Calling land purer than Gold, she said that land gives us work and defines our culture. She also termed Bengal's soil as her 'Karma Bhumi' and 'Dharma Bhumi'.
Claiming Bengal to be numero uno state in skill development she said that the United Nations have declared 2015 as the International year of soils.
She also claimed that the government has already completed 83 Kishan Bazaars, and hundred more are coming up. She said that Kishan Mandis are also being set up where self help groups will get shops.
She said, "I can understand the sentiments of common man. I will always stand up to protect the rights of common man. I will always work for my poor people, my farmers."
Taking on the Media she said, "Some media houses are criticising us because they want to please Delhi. Reject such adulterated news shops."
The seven day long Mati Utsav will continue till Feb 3. The programme was envisaged by Mamata Banerjee in 2013 to showcase and encourage culture and tradition of rural Bengal.

Panagarh, 12th Jan 2015
Syndicate Raj in Indira Awas Yojona
Four self declared TMC leader made a syndicate and looting Indira Awas Yojona's money from the poor people due to their ignorance. This was the complain from TMC leader Ashis Mukherjee to the Chief Minister And to District Magistrate. This has happened in Sonai Village in Kota Panchyat Area under Budbud Police Station. He told that 26 members were allocated home under Indira Awas Yojona which all of them belongs to either schedule cast or schedule tribes family and 21 of them are ladies. Rs. 7300 was allocated for each family and initially Rs. 17500was given as 1st installment through bank. But those self declared TMC leaders who made a syndicate told that they should deposit the money with them as they have got the tender. Not only that they also told that if they don't deposit, they will not receive any further installments. This syndicate charging just double of the price of the materials they are supplying. . Kota Panchyat Deputy Pradhan Mr. Allauddin Mondal and the District Magistrate Mr. Soumitra Mohan told that they will look into the matter.
Source: Sambad

Panagarh, 10th Jan 2015
CPI(M)'s Zonal summit at Kanksa
CPI(M) agreed that the Nandigram incident was a mistake but it was due to conspiracy that people have misunderstood them. They also agreed that they lost the power because of not coming closer to the people. Workers are advised to to stay by the side of the people. Galsi & Durgapur East two assembly constituencies are dependable on Kanksa Block. Their target of attack was TMC, though BJP was also targeted but not so harshly. CPI(M) was not interested to give more importance to BJP on this area. State committee secretary Abhash Roy Chowdhury attacked TMC as broker of the Industrialist. He told that there was no improvement of any Industry in this Zone neither Emloyment has been generated by the present State Government, during Left era there were lot of improvement which they could not take it to the people. He also told that even BJP at the center is busy with Adani & Ambani and not working at the interest of the common people. They are passing the Ordinance in favour of the Industrialist.

Source: Sambad

Panagarh, 05th Jan 2015
Medicine worth lakhs of rupees from Panagarh health Centre found in abandoned well
Patients are not getting medicine whereas medicine worth lakhs of rupees was thrown away in an abandoned well by the Health workers of Panagarh Health Centre. Even in some cases seal is yet to open. The workers told that this has been done in the instruction of Block Health Officer but didn't say any reason. The Officer was not available on phone for any reply.
Just by the side of Panagarh Health Centre there is an abandoned well. The medicine was thrown here only. The matter was come into the notice when some boys started playing with those medicine. The thrown away medicine was too costly. The local people urged that the patients are not getting medicine whereas it has been thrown away. Storekeeper Mr. Sanjib Sarkar told that as the date of medicine was expired Health Officer instructed them to throw it. When asked why the seal is not being opened, he replied it is not in his jurisdiction. A Health Worker (without disclosing his identification) told that Doctors advice to buy medicine from outside that's why medicine get expired. Mean while Mr. Pallab Banerjee told that the Hospital Authority intentionaly done this to malign the Government. Block Health Mrs. Sathi Roy Chowdhury didn't pickup the phone.

Panagarh, 02nd Jan 2015
Allegation against TMC of selling CPI(M)'s party office in Panagarh
CPI(M) has alleged that after forceful acquisition of their party office near Randiha More at Panagarh, Burdwan. TMC is planning to sell it to a businessman. . However TMC has denied the fact. Just by the side of Randiha More there was a party office of CITU union. With the change of Government INTTUC took charge of it. Just behind the office there are 1.5 kothas of land. CPI(M) leader has complained that a TMC leader has decided to sell that land to a businessman in three lakhs rupees. CPI(M) has put poster in Panagarh,Kanksa and adjacent area. TMC leader Debdas Bakshi denied the fact and told that originally it was the office of INTUC which was occupied by CPI(M),just after change of Government all the member have joined INTTUC. . In the mean time BJP alleged that the land belongs to the Government and the Government should take charge of it.
Source: Sambad

Durgapur, 29th Dec 2014
Deaf and dumb widow raped in Panagarh
A deaf and dumb widow allegedly was raped at her residence by a youth of her neighbourhood in Panagarh, Burdwan. The police caught the accused youth after the widow lodged a complaint with the local Kanksa PS last night.
The widow – mother of a 3 year-old and an 8 year-old son lost her husband five months ago and was residing at her house alone with the kids. Her husband was a tractor mechanic and reportedly had died due to cardiac arrest while at work.
Kokil Pandit – a youth who runs a grocery shop in the locality allegedly had tried to molest the 35 year-old woman few days back. The matter however was not given importance because the woman had failed to explain the issue properly, the locals said.
On last Saturday midnight, Pandit sneaked into the woman's hut and raped her as the physically challenged widow couldn't scream for her rescue. Later in the morning, the woman brought the matter to the notice of local CPI-M leadership as the office is located just beside her hut. The leaders then referred the matter to the Kanksa PS in the late evening.
The police finally booked the youth on rape charge. Today the medical examination was done at the Durgapur SD Hospital.
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 23rd Dec 2014
Matix to invest Rs 5,000 crore on phase 2 of Panagarh urea project
As the first phase of its Panagarh urea plant is ready for commissioning, Matix Fertilizers plans to invest another Rs 5,000 crore on second phase of the project.
"The first phase of company's greenfield fertiliser complex at Panagarh (West Bengal) is ready to be commissioned. The capacity of plant is 1.3 million tonnes per annum, and about Rs 6,000 crore has been invested on it," MATIX Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd Managing Director P R Dhariwal said.
The plant, however, is facing the issue of availability of gas. The company is planning to use coal bed methane (CBM) gas as feedstock which will be sourced from Essar Oil's Raniganj block. For this, a dedicated pipeline for 30 km has already been set up, Dhariwal added.
"The company has also applied for the second phase of plant under the new urea investment policy. We are planning to set up the same capacity (1.3 million tonnes per annum) plant and it will require investment of about Rs 5,000 crore," he said.
Dhariwal added that the company has also set up captive power plant with capacity of 54 mega watt.
The company plans to tap the market of West Bengal and neighbouring Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa where there is no urea plant in operation at present.
Meanwhile, the government is also working to revive the closed urea plants of FCIL and HFCL in Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand.
Source: Economics Times

Panagarh, 15th Dec 2014
Durgapur girl bags gold at Science Olympiad
Irin Ghosh ~ a young science enthusiast from Durgapur city ~ has bagged gold medal after scoring second rank in the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) ended in Mendoza city, Argentina last Thursday.
The IJSO is an individual and team competition in the natural sciences for students under 16 years to promote and reward the pursuit of excellence in science endeavour.
Stimulating active interest of students in natural science is a prominent goal of the IJSO. It has 50 member countries. India was the host country of the IJSO in 2013.This year's IJSO was financed by the Ministry of Education and national University of Cuyo, Argentina and held between 2 to 11 December.
Back home, Irin told The Statesman today: "It was amazing and I was feeling so great after the authorities declared me as the second World topper. I was feeling proud of my parents and ofcourse of my country." Irin won Gold Medal in individual segment and Silver Medal in Experimental Examination. Kushagra Junega from Punjabi Bagh in Delhi was declared as world topper at this year’s IJSO followed by remarkable performances by some other Indian students like G Pradeep from Chennai and Debaditya Pramanik from Kolkata. This year, world class science students from 32 countries participated in the IJSO and 19 gold medals were offered to the best performing ones.
India won six gold medals and Durgapur's Irin was the second topper among the world participants. Irin ~ a Class X student of a private-run CBSE school is staying at City Centre here and had opted special coaching for the Olympiad from a Delhi-based coaching centre.
She said: "Before being flagged off for Argentina, we were given special coaching by the Homi Bhava Centre for Science Education which helped us a lot. The papers were too good there and I faced no hurdles."
Irin ~ daughter of BSNL employee Mr Tapendra Ghosh and Shruti said: "I am set to prepare for another Olympiad inviting participation from the fields of Physics and Chemistry."
She said: "I shall also try to groom my sister Urbi to take part in such world platforms to show the hidden talent in her."
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 12th Dec 2014
Cabinet approves names of six new townships, one in Durgapur
The Cabinet today approved the naming of six townships that will come up at Bolpur, Kalyani Siliguri , Durgapur, Bantala and at Andal in Burdwan .
The township that will come up in Bolpur will be named as Nobel city while those that will be developed at Kalyani and Siliguri will be named as Knowledge city and Sunrise city respectively. The township at Andal in Burdwan has already been developed and it will be named as Golden city, while the township that has been developed at Bantala will be named as Sector VI. The township that will be set up at Durgapur will be named as Silver Township.
Although the land for setting up township is yet to be identified at Kalyani and Siliguri , the land at Bolpur, Andal and Kolkata has already been identified. Around 180 acres of land has been identified at Bolpur for setting up the township.The township will be developed on a Public Private Partnership(PPP) basis.
Mr Firhad Hakim, minister in charge of urban development department said that 25 per cent area will be developed for economically weaker section(EWS) and we have instructed the private party to develop the space for EWS and handed over to the state government, so that the government could select the beneficiary.
According to him, 40 percent open space will be kept at the newly developed township. The Cabinet today also approved the name of the deep sea port as Bhor Sagar Bandar . The deep sea port, a project that was conceived by the state government in 2008 , is yet to take any concrete shape.
The fund for setting up the port will be borne by both the Centre and the state. They also decided that from now onwards sweepers will be named as Karmabandhu.
It was also decided that another private medical college would be set up at Kurseong in North Bengal. With the setting up of a private medical college in Kurseong, altogether nine medical colleges will be set up during TMC's regime.
The Cabinet today also gave a final nod to name Andal aiport as Kazi Nazrul Islam and the technical University at Andal as Abul Kalam Azad University.
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 12th Dec 2014
ICICI Prudential branch manager arrested in Asansol
The branch manager of ICICI Prudential was arrested in Asansol on charges of fraudulence and extending business of a racket operating in Uttar Pradesh, selling technical degrees to the youths.
The UP police had tipped off the Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate that a bank account in Asansol town was consistently being used by the racketeers to help transaction of cash against selling of technical degrees to some aspirant youths.
The police initiated a probe and the account of Sandip Mukherjee ~ branch manager of the ICICI Prudential ~ a financial institution was detected.
The police could ascertain that the account had helped transaction of Rs 25 lakh for the purpose of 'selling' M-Tech degrees to some youths.
Today the ADCP (Central), Biswajit Ghosh prepared a raid strategy and the manager was intercepted in the evening at his office in Apcar Garden locality in the town.
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 10th Dec 2014
Girl commits suicide at Ukhra
Hundreds of locals erupted in protest at Ukhra after a teenage girl committed suicide by hanging herself when a boy attacked her father and assaulted him after she rejected his proposal for a relationship.
The boy, according to the victim's father, was accompanied by four others. The locals detained the body of the girl and barred policemen from entering the premises of the victim's house for several hours and declared that the cops should arrest the culprits first and then only they will be allowed to collect the body for postmortem.
Some of the irate locals also tried to set fire to the houses of the accused boys.
According to locals, Biltu Shaw, the main accused, had been pestering fourteen-year-old Mandira Pal residing in Pathakpara locality in Ukhra within Andal police station limits, for some time for a relationship, but the girl had refused him.
Biltu, a class X student of Ukhra High School, according to the girl's classmates, used to corner her frequently along with his friends.
"But Mandira never liked the boy and hence, refused him," said one of the classmates. The boy along with four of his friends attacked Dibyendu Pal, Mandira's father who was taking care of his kitchen garden at around 2:30 in the afternoon.
Dibyendyu said: "I was surprised when Biltu with the other boys invaded the place and started abusing me. He was shouting taking my daughter's name. Mandira was at home and got frightened. She locked the room from inside when the boys started hitting me."
He added: "They wanted to take my daughter with them which I resisted." While leaving, the boys also threatened Dibyendu with dire consequences. A panicked Mandira meanwhile hanged herself using her scarf and succumbed instantly. The angry locals immediately ran after the boys who had left the area by that time.
Some of the locals tried to set Biltu’s house on fire but were restrained by the police.
Mr Sunil Yadav, ADCP (East) said: "We have assured them immediate police action against those criminals." The police have summoned Biltu's mother for questioning.
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 9th Dec 2014
Fraud running fake SAIL website lands in police net in Durgapur
A youth running a fake website in the name of the Steel Authority of India was arrested in a Durgapur locality by officers of the Cyberabad police.
Shyam Moitra, a youth residing in Shukanta pally area in Durgapur town had floated a fake website in which he invited bidders for sale of different grades of steel. He had opened a bank account with Bank of Baroda's Malda branch using a fake identity in the name of Narayan Chandra Das. The bank account was being used to collect the booking amount from the unsuspecting would-be buyers through net banking, the police said.
A iron & steel trader Ram Bharose Goyal had recently booked a consignment through the fake website for Rs 17 lakh. He waited for some time for delivery but there was no sign of it. "The phone numbers mentioned in the website also didn’t work," he said.
He then lodged a complaint with the Cyber police station at Cyberabad. Inspector Rajsekar Reddy assisted by Durgapur police officers raided Moitra's residence this afternoon and arrested him. He was produced at the ACJM's Court here for transit remand.
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 9th Dec 2014
Skelp mill at Durgapur steel plant to be scrapped
It seems to be an end of the road for the country's lone public sector operated Skelp Mill as the authorities have declared to 'progressively discontinue the operations' in the Mill that had remained a money earner for the Durgapur Steel Plant for decades.
The move to wind up the Mill meanwhile has evoked harsh criticism from the Trade Unions functioning at DSP here. The TU's alleged: "The closure bid is in contravention to the provisions of the section 43 (A) of the Factories Act'1948 as the authorities didn't inform the workers of the Mill, the TU representatives as well as the product buyers before opting for such a decision."
The GM (Personnel & Administration), DSP's communication to the TU's on last 28 November meanwhile had hinted about the closure bid. The communication by Mr Chandra Shekhar Sinha, GM (P&A) stated: "The viability of Skelp Mill operation is becoming difficult to sustain in view of falling demand in the domestic market for last few years and also no significant improvement is foreseen in near future." So, Mr Sinha's communication stated: "It has been decided to progressively discontinue the operation of Skelp Mill starting from December' 2014 and gainfully utilize the skilled employees in other areas of need."
The Mill has 200 working strength and the authority has started working on their possible redeployments. Twenty seven Skelp Mill employees have already been shifted to Merchant Mill on 6 November. Mr Rana Sarkar, joint secretary, INTUC said today: "The authority didn't give any hint of closure bid and started shifting working strength cleverly. This was treacherous. Also we came to know that the raw materials stock at the Mill will help production till 22 December only." Another joint secretary of the INTUC, Mr Debashis Chowdhury stated: "In 2007, the SAIL had invested Rs 400 crore at the Mill installing a reheating furnace and gas booster system to bring down production by Rs 1000 per MT. Now they want to down the shutter of the Mill just to facilitate the private players in the market." Mr Sourav Dutta, joint secretary, CITU said: "It's a deep routed conspiracy and we must struggle against the bid together."
The DSP sources said that the plant authority had set up a Committee headed by Mr Subrata Hazra, DGM (Section Mill) to judge the viability of Skelp Mill five months ago that suggested phasing out of operation of the Mill. The committee in its report stated: "The Net Sales Realization of the Skelp coil is much below the cost of production largely because of the market demand and obsolete technology."
The Product Profitability statement of the DSP showed that average Skelp production in the first Quarter of 2014-15 year stands at 27206 MT Skelp with Rs 32426 average Net Sales Realization against cost worth Rs 38562 per MT. The plant contributes Rs 9718 per MT resulting Rs 6137 negative worth per MT. The claim by the downstream industries buying Skelp from DSP meanwhile reflected an opposite view. Mohammed Ishtaq Siddiqui, joint secretary, Durgapur Iron & Steel Lifter's Association claimed: "The DSP's claim about falling market demand is absolutely false and fabricated. The last November's figure an reveal the fact." In November the buyers placed order for 9403 MT of Skelp with advanced payment for 6854 MT, the DSP managed to supply 3310 MT against the deal.
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 9th Dec 2014
Labourer injured after platform collapses in Durgapur Steel Plant
Sukhdev Thakur, a contractor labourer deployed at the Coke Oven battery of the SAIL's Durgapur Steel Plant slipped and fell when the lifted platform where he was standing collapsed suddenly and his safety belt snapped. Thakur, as sources said was cleaning the bottom of the battery No: 6 about 20 feet above the surface. At around 3:30 pm, the stand collapsed and the labourer fell down. He suffered head injuries. He was taken to the Durgapur Steel Plant's main Hospital and was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit. The physicians said that his condition was stable.
Two contractor labourers died at the Blast Furnace No:3 of the DSP only on Sunday evening while being assigned a cleaning job. The DSP has set up an inquiry committee to ascertain the reason behind the casualties. The plant today witnessed yet another mishap due to dearth of safety arrangement.
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 9th Dec 2014
Probe initiated into Durgapur steel plant accident
The Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) Tuesday claimed there was no gas leakage, but ordered a high-level probe into Sunday's incident in its Durgapur Steel Plant in which two workers died while working on a blast furnace.
The two workers were Sunday found unconscious and were later declared dead by a hospital. Six other workers were also taken ill but discharged subsequently.
Police, who registered a case of unnatural deaths, claimed there was a gas leak that led to the death of the two workers.
Confirming Sunday's incident, an officer of the Durgapur police station claimed "two workers died and six others were taken ill after inhaling toxic gas that leaked out while they were repairing a gas pipeline".
However, a steel plant spokesperson said: "There was no gas leakage in the vicinity. An inquiry committee headed by the general manager (services) is looking into reasons that caused the incident. The report is likely to come later this week."
The company is also looking into providing compensation to the kin of the victims.
"We have a provision for providing compensation in such cases. The committee is also looking into the matter," the spokesperson said.
With no formal complaint being lodged, police have only registered cases of unnatural death.
"While we have registered cases relating to the unnatural death of the two workers, we cannot probe into whether there was any gas leak or not unless we receive a complaint. So far, no complaint has been lodged," Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Sunil Kumar Yadav said

Panagarh, 8th Dec 2014
Labourers' death sparks protest in Durgapur Steel Plant
The death of blast furnace labourers last night at the furnace caused a sensation today at SAIL's Durgapur Steel Plant and raised questions whether they were equipped with gas masks. The Trinamul Congress's INTTUC detained the bodies of the labourers at the gate of the plant's mortuary and another section of the labourers halted production at the furnace for several hours today.
Two wage labourers - Sanyasi Gope and Shyamapada Bauri assigned the cleaning job at the Blast Furnace No. 3 of the DSP, according to his co-workers, "had climbed the Furnace top at 3:30 pm after cleaning the BF No: 2 yesterday and the cleaning process takes hardly 15 minutes to clean the coal dust injection distribution unit of the blast furnace but none of them came down even after two hours had elapsed. We informed the matter to the General Manager and the shift in-charge but they remained unperturbed," alleged Mr Saroj Roy, a colleague of the deceased labourers. He added, "I made several calls to Sanyasi's number but there was no reply." Most of the labourers alleged that those engaged in the hazardous zones like the blast furnace are not equipped with proper gas mask and the gas censor devices to prevent such casualties.
The deceased workers were sponsored by Civil & Mechanical Engineering Works - a private agency to offload critical job inside DSP. According to their plant profile passes, they were absorbed as contractual helpers and both had undergone safety training on 20 September 2014.
According to Mr Samir Dasgupta, the proprietor of the private agency that sponsored them: "The DSP was supposed to provide them with gas masks and other safety gadgets. We just supplied the labourers but it was the DSP who was supposed to deploy and take proper care of the workforce." The INTTUC exploded in protest both inside and outside DSP demanding Rs 10 lakh cash compensation against each casualty and absorption on compassionate ground.
Mr Himangshu Ash, INTTUC secretary said: "We have also demanded a high-level inquiry into this." The Congress backed INTTUC, meanwhile has threatened absolute halt of production at the Raw Material Handling Plant on 22 December for a whole day, incidentally.
The RMHP also had recorded casualty of Gopal Ghosh, a worker allegedly due to lack of safety last year and one of his colleagues Indranil Majumdar faced penal measure as he raised his voice against the fragile safety arrangement.
The DSP authority meanwhile claimed that the labourers had flouted safety norms by not wearing mandatory safety masks. The Chief of Communication, DSP, B R Kanungo in an official communication stated: "A committee has been constituted to investigate the probable reasons for the sudden unconsciousness of the workers at the site and their subsequent death."
As per the provisions of the Manufacture, Storage & Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules enacted in 1989 under the Environment Protection Act' 1986, the principal employer however has got no room to avert responsibility for such casualties caused by toxic gases.
The blast furnace gas is a by-product which is generated when iron ore is reduced with coke to metallic iron. It consists of 60 per cent Nitrogen, 18 - 20 per cent Carbon Dioxide, little Oxygen and the rest Carbon Monoxide, which is heavily toxic in nature and is considered a 'silent killer' as it doesn't contain any specific odour or colour.
Mr Amit Biswas, General Manager (Safety), DSP said: "We are yet to ascertain what actually had killed the workers."
Source: The Statesman

Panagarh, 8th Dec 2014
Headmistress held for 'misappropriation' of funds worth 16 lakh
The headmistress of a high school was taken into custody by the police today on charges of misappropriation of Sarba Siksha Avijan fund worth Rs 16 lakh. The Assistant District Inspector of Secondary Schools had lodged a complaint with the Andal police station near here on 25 November pertaining to the alleged misappropriation.
Mrs Krishna Pramanik the headmistress of Kajora High School had been facing severe discomfort especially after a section of the school managing committee and a large section of school students started campaigning against her involvement in alleged misappropriation of SSA funds. On 3 September the students staged a dharna in front of her office alleging that the irregularities had affected them very badly as they were not provided school uniform due to lack of funds.
The headmistress, according to the police, remained absent after the FIR was registered against her. The police started an investigation against her under section 409 (Misappropriation of government fund)
A senior managing committee member of the school hinted that the misappropriation was to the extent of Rs 22 lakh but initially misappropriation worth Rs 16 lakh could be ascertained. The ADI of Secondary Schools had issued her a show-cause notice but the official said, she reserved any definite response to the queries.
Source: The Statesman