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News of West Bengal (Jan to April 2019)

  • Five medical colleges, announced in 2016, will be made operational this year. These colleges are being constructed in Diamond Harbour, Purulia, Rampurhat, Raiganj and Cooch Behar. Tenders would soon be floated to construct four other medical colleges – in Jhargram, Tamluk, Barasat and Arambagh.

  • Sundarini Naturals, a food brand of the Sundarban Cooperative Milk and Livestock Producers’ Union Ltd (SCMLPL) will soon come up with organic sweets, to be sold at two exclusive outlets it is setting up in Kolkata – at Kankurgachi and Maniktala.

  • Three Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) departments of Urban Forestry, Project Management Unit (PMU) and Parks & Gardens have been brought under a single umbrella.

  • The West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC) currently runs eco-tourism resorts in 19 locations, of which 13 are located in north Bengal and 6 in South Bengal. In north Bengal, the WBFDC has nature resorts in Jaldhaka, Murti, Paren, Rasikbil, Suntalekhola, Loleygaon, Lava, Kalimpong, Mongpong, Samsing, Barodabri, Rajabhatkhawa and Lepchajagat, while in south Bengal, it has resorts in Garpanchakot, Mukutmanipur, Jhargram, Lodhashuli, Tajpur and Garchumuk. 15 more eco-tourism centres are starting from January are located in Hatibari in Jhargram district, Susunia in Bankura district, Chatakpur in Darjeeling district, Panjhore (under Gorumara National Park) in Jalpaiguri district, Mendabari (under Jaldapara National Park) and Nemati (under Buxa Tiger Reserve) in Alipurduar district, Bonnie Camp (in the Sundarbans) in South 24 Parganas district and at eight more locations.

  • State Government has taken up a Rs 5 crore eco-tourism project at Gobardhanpur,  at the tip of the Sundarbans in South 24 Parganas district. Local people call it ‘New Bakkhali’.

  • Fisheries Department in North 24 Parganas district has taken up a major scheme of releasing fish hatchlings. As part of this scheme, in December, thousands of hatchlings of the commercially profitable fishes of rohu, catla and mrigel were released from six ghats between Dunlop Ghat in Halisahar and Gandhi Ghat in Barrackpore, all on the bank of the Hooghly River. These would help in increasing the river’s fish population by a substantial amount. Besides Hooghly, the district Fisheries Department has also decided to release hatchlings from four ghats on the River Ichamati.

  • A total of 176 flats – 112 one-bedroom and 64 two-bedroom – are going to be built at Asansol, Jalpaiguri and Haldia at a total cost of Rs 29.47 crore. In Govindapur mouza in Asansol (Paschim Bardhaman district), 48 one-bedroom and 32 two-bedroom flats are being constructed at a cost of Rs 7.6 crore. In Purba Raghunath Chowk in Haldia (Purba Medinipur district), Rs 4.7 crore will be spent to build 32 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom flats. In Dabgram in Jalpaiguri (Jalpaiguri district), the same number of one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats are going to be constructed, at a cost of Rs 17.17 crore. The 378 square feet (sq ft) one-bedroom flats can be booked by people having a maximum monthly family income of Rs 15,000 while the 55 sq ft two-bedroom flats can be booked by those having a maximum monthly family income of Rs 30,000. The former costs Rs 7.2 lakh while the latter costs Rs 9.28 lakh. Besides the reasonable costs, the government will give subsidies of 40 per cent and 20 per cent (for one-bedroom and two-bedroom, respectively) on the loan amounts to be repaid. Besides the three places mentioned, the government has also allotted an amount of about Rs 17 crore for constructing 214 flats in Fuljhore in Durgapur (Paschim Bardhaman district) and Ashoknagar in North 24 Parganas.

  • Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the renovated headquarters of the Detective Department of Kolkata Police, located at Lalbazar. A lot of state-of-the-art equipment has been brought for the Detective Department. These would enable the department to solve many more cases, and solve them quickly. A reception room has also been set up on the ground floor. The main Cyber Police Station of the State Government, also located at Lalbazar, was also renovated, and it too was inaugurated by the Chief Minister on January 1.

  • The State Government has decided to re-configure the flood management systems in the districts of Howrah, Hooghly and Birbhum in a major way in the earlier part of 2019.

  • As per a recent decision, the process of granting of mutation of a property has been made online. As a result, mutation certificates would be issued within 48 hours.

  • Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) got a state-of-the-art labour room. It was inaugurated towards the end of December. The labour room, located in the Eden Building, has been given a new shape along the lines of what is found in the best hospitals in the country. On an average, 14,000 babies every year are born here.

  •  To control the amount of water being used in fields by farmers in order to prevent wastage, the State Government is distributing a type of sprinkler called raingun sprinkler for free. Only the GST amount of Rs 4,050 has to be paid by the farmers. The cost of these sprinklers is Rs 31,000. These sprinklers are in the shape of guns, hence the name raingun. These are used in the tea gardens of north Bengal for a long time. Golf courses also employ these systems. Using these, a lot of water can be saved. The amount of water, drawn using submersible pumps, which can be cultivate 40 to 50 bighas, the same amount of water, by the usage of rainguns, can be used to cultivate 100 bighas.

  • The State Consumer Affairs Department has come up with a new consumer court in Rajarhat. It was inaugurated on January 3, 2019.

  • The State Consumer Affairs Department will be organising the Kreta Suraksha Mela (‘Consumer Protection Fair’) from January 25 to 27. The three-day fair would be held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. The timing of the fair is from 2pm to 9pm.

  • Bankura has ranked first among the 412 districts, covering the 25 States and union territories, in the Open Defecation Free (ODF) contest organised by the Centre in connection with World Toilet Day (November 19). The contest was held from November 9 to 19, 2018.

  • An innovative Mythological Museum has been set up on Sagar Island, at the site where the famous Gangasagar Mela is held.

  • Chief Minister inaugurated a new university for women at a public meeting in Krishnanagar. The university has been named Kanyashree University. She also announced that a campus of Harichand-Guruchand University will be set up in Nadia district. The CM will lay the foundation stone of the university at a function in Barasat.

January 13, 2019

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