Durgapur, 17th May 2013
Govt highrise plan to cut DPL losses
The government is planning to build highrises on the 800-acre Durgapur Projects Ltd (DPL) staff quarters township and sell the flats to the public to mop up Rs 3,000 crore to revive the ailing power-generation company.
Many of the flats will be kept for the 3,500-odd DPL employees who live in the compound's ill-kept two-storied houses and sprawling bungalows. Most of these establishments are almost dilapidated.
"We have plans to construct some of the highrises on empty patches of land on priority basis to accommodate the families of the DPL families living in the compound. Later, we plan to break the staff quarters and construct highrises and sell them to the public," a DPL official said.
Power minister Manish Gupta said discussions were on to give shape to the plan. "We are looking for options to properly utilise the vast township area of the DPL to improve the financial condition of the company. Power secretary Moloy De, also the chairman of DPL, is looking after the project," he said.
The project had been conceived by the power minister in the Left government, Mrinal Banerjee, eight years ago but it did not take off.
According to DPL sources, the management sent to the government a proposal to set up a housing project on the company's township land a couple of months ago. The proposal was in reply to suggestions the government had sought from the DPL on how to pull the company out of the red.
"We suggested that the government launch a commercial housing project on the township land as it is a booming business in Durgapur now. This will help improve our financial condition. We are incurring losses to the tune of crores of rupees every financial year. We proposed two options - either the project be developed in a joint venture with a private real estate firm or the DPL land be sold off to the company on the promise that once it builds the houses, 25 per cent of the flats will be set aside for our employees," a senior DPL official said.
The DPL owes around Rs 2,000 crore to Power Finance Corporation Limited. The DPL had taken a loan of Rs 2,500 crore around three years ago to build its seventh and eighth units. The company estimates that its loss will be Rs 140 crore in the last financial (2012-2013) year, a source said. The final assessment report is yet to be prepared.
In the 2011-2012 financial year, the DPL incurred a loss of Rs 37 crore and in 2010-2011, Rs 198 crore.
Power secretary and DPL chairman De said a survey would be carried out to draw up a detailed report on the housing project and its viability. "We are discussing the project with the DPL management and will hire a consultant to conduct the survey and submit a report," he said.
According to power department sources, the government is looking for a private partner for the execution of the project in public-private partnership mode. "We will float tenders inviting real estate companies and select a partner once the detailed project survey report is completed," a department official said.
Now, there are around 3,800 two-storied quarters and bungalows in the DPL township. The power-generation company can't bear the expenses of maintaining the buildings. A large number of employees have left the quarters and taken up private accommodation elsewhere in Durgapur. Around 3,500 DPL families live in the township. Many people who are not employees of the company also live on rent in the quarters.
The trade unions at the DPL welcomed the plan but said they would not allow the land to be sold to a private company.
"We have been demanding for long that a commercial housing project be undertaken on the township land so that the DPL can cut down on losses. Former power minister Mrinal Banerjee had taken up the matter eight years ago but it did not materialise. We welcome the move if the government opts for a PPP model. We will not allow DPL land to be sold to any private entity,” said Umapada Das, the INTUC general secretary at the plant.
Citu said they were agreeable to the plan and demanded that at least 15 per cent of the flats be reserved for retired DPL employees. "The former employees should be offered flats at concessional rates," said Naren Sikdar, the Citu general secretary of the DPL.
source: The Telegraph
Durgapur, 16th May 2013
Durgapur techie bid $5,80,000 for 30-minute meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook
What would you do if you had Rs 3 crore in your pocket? How about wanting to go on a coffee date with Apple CEO Tim Cook?
While many would not, a Durgapur Regional Engineering College alumni offered a whopping $5,80,000 bid for Cook's time in an online auction
Rakesh Kumar - a B Tech in electrical, electronics and communications engineering from Durgapur who now lives in the US and is founder of a start-up Drbluetooth.com set up in Sunnyvale, California just nine months ago, however failed to win the bid by a whisker.
Kumar's company, which sells Bluetooth headsets was edged ahead by a mystery bidder who paid $30,000 higher and ended the auction at $610,000.
The online charity auction site CharityBuzz was auctioning off a 30-minute to one hour meeting with Cook at Apple's headquarters in California.
Bidding ended on Tuesday and the winner will now be invited for a chat with Cook in Cupertino along with a friend.
The auction has been running on the website since April 24.
It offered "the unique opportunity to have coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook" and the first bid was placed at $6,000. It was to raise money for the RF Kenndy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Kumar said the meeting would have given him and his company "a chance to showcase the whole concept of what we're doing to him."
Kumar said "What we can show on our website is very limited in comparison."
He also hoped that the meeting would bring his new company into the attention of high-profile investors.
"I'm sure he would give us some frank opinions," Kumar said.
The auction exceeded the auction houses' expectations. Though Cook isn't envisaged to have the same aura as Steve Jobs, nearly 100 high stake bids were made during the auction for Cook's time. They were mainly from app developers wanting Cook's time to impress upon him with their products.
Charitybuzz has earlier auctioned time with celebrities ranging from U2's Bono ($2,11,000) to Paul McCartney ($1,30,000) for a meeting.
Charitybuzz CEO Coppy Holzman said "Charitybuzz is blown away by the incredible support we've seen for the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights through our coffee with Tim Cook online auction. It broke Charitybuzz's record for the top-grossing auction item since the company's launch in 2005."
source: Times of India
Durgapur, 16th May 2013
Default assault on firm boss
Depositors and agents of a funds-mobilising company in Durgapur today assaulted the owner, who had gone into hiding after closing down his offices in February, and handed him over to police.
Uttam Das, the owner of Satyaseva Reacon Ltd, had been staying in a rented flat in the Durgapur Steel Plant quarters, about 8km from his home, with his family for the past few months.
Depositors and agents said Das, 37, had defaulted on paying maturity of around Rs 50 lakh.
Several police complaints had been lodged against him in the past few months.
The police said Das used to invest depositors' money in ventures such as fisheries, poultry and food products.
source: The Telegraph
Durgapur, 15th May 2013
Saradha director quized in Durgapur
The Asansol-Durgapur police commissionerate today took custody of Saradha director Manoj Nagel to question him on the group's alleged links with coal and scrap iron pilferers and find out how much money they had invested in deposit schemes.
Nagel, who will remain in the commissionerate's custody for 13 days, was in charge of Saradha's operations in the Asansol-Durgapur sector, from where the group used to collect the maximum amount of deposits.
While interrogating Nagel, who was in the custody of the Bidhannagar commissionerate, the police had learnt that many coal and scrap iron smugglers in the cash-rich Asansol-Durgapur coal belt had invested in Saradha schemes.
The police said Saradha used to collect Rs 17 crore a month from the Asansol-Durgapur sector, which included Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum and parts of Jharkhand.
Nagel was a data entry operator with a monthly salary of Rs 3,000 three years ago at the Durgapur regional office of Saradha. But soon, he rose to become one of the directors of Saradha and the chief of operations of the Durgapur-Asansol sector.
The police are probing how Nagel rose up the ranks so fast. For his performance, he had been gifted a flat and a car by Saradha boss Sudipta Sen, the police said.
A police officer in Asansol said: "The coal smugglers had invested in Saradha schemes because of the group's perceived links with some politicians and, by doing so, sought to get close to the leaders so that they could run the pilfering activities smoothly."
Nagel hails from Durgapur and used to live in the Durgapur Steel Plant quarters. His father was an employee of the steel plant employees' co-operative bank. Nagel, who was arrested on April 19, left home with his wife five years ago following differences with his parents, the police said.
Asansol-Durgapur police had interrogated Nagel in Calcutta on April 30.
Nagel's widowed mother Sabita said today: "We have no relation with our elder son Manoj ever since he left home five years ago. Now we see him on TV and his pictures in newspapers. I do not want to comment on him."
Nagel was today produced in the Durgapur additional chief judicial magistrate's court, which remanded him in 13 days' police custody. He was taken to the court around 12.30pm amid tight security.
From there, he was taken to the detective department headquarters of the Asansol-Durgapur commissionerate in Asansol.
The detective department, which is investigating 11 complaints of default lodged against Saradha in the region, will question Nagel. The sleuths will ask him about Saradha's operations in the coal belt.
source: The telegraph
Durgapur, 15th May 2013
Durgapur boy wins NASA contest
A class VII student of Hem Sheela Model School of Durgapur has made the city proud by securing third position in an essay competition on "NASA Space Settlement Contest" organized jointly by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of USA and AMES Research Centre in California.
Amik Mondal, a Class VIII student of Hem Sheela Model School, one of the leading public schools of Durgapur, participated on this global contest by knowing about it from internet and wrote a sixteen page essay on how man can use space for living. He recently found his name on the winners' list put up in the NASA website and is all set to attend the international conference in San Diego on May 23.
NASA invites papers in support of space settlement project from students from Class-VII to class-XII all over the world for the contest, which it is organizing since 1994. In response, NASA received nearly 600 papers from students worldwide this year. Among the participants from India, were many groups from different schools, besides several students in individual category.
Altogether ten school teams and six individual participants from India won this year in different categories. Amik has been adjudged the third prize winner in the Class-VIII individual category.
Amik's father Asit Baran Mondal, who is an employee of Durgapur Steel Plant, approached the Bengal government for support as the ticket will only cost more than Rs 2.5 lakh. On Tuesday, youth affairs minister Aroop Biswas handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to the teenager to help him attend the programme.
After receiving the cheque, Amik is now hopeful of attending the programme at San Diego and receive his award at this year's International Space Development Contest. "We shall be starting on May 22 and reach there on May 23. I think I will learn a lot from this trip," Amik said.
Durgapur, 14th May 2013
DSP incorporates additional features in gas holder
Durgapur Steel Plant, a unit of SAIL, on Tuesday said that it incorporated improved features in the revamp work of the gasholder of the basic oxygen furnace (BOF). DSP CEO P K Singh said it would improve the process efficiency and techno-economic performance in the plant.
The revamped gasholder (storage capacity 33,500 cubic meter) will have increased recovery BOF gas, a DSP statement said. BOF gas is mixed with other combustible gases produced in the plant for recycled use as fuel.
Durgapur, 12th May 2013
A huge Nor'wester disrupted life in Durgapur
A huge nor'wester struck the industrial belt of Durgapur-Asansol yesterday afternoon. Most parts of South Bengal including Kolkata also received heavy downpour on yesterday evening.
After the prelude on Saturday, the rain came pouring down on Sunday afternoon, bringing a respite to the residents of both the cities of Durgapur and Asansol and adjoining areas that has been reeling under heat and humidity for more than a week now. The thundershower lashed the city for about an hour, dragging mercury below the normal mark.
Though it was welcome respite from the hot humid summer days but it disrupted life severely in both the towns of Durgapur and Asansol. Many trees across the city got uprooted, electricity poles bowed down, electric wires got snapped at places, scores of thatched houses got damaged and even some people got injured as well.
Most parts of Durgapur including City Centre, Bidhan Nagar and Durgapur Steel Township remained powerless till late at night. However power supply got restored in Steel Township at around 10.00 pm, while parts of City Centre got electricity after 11.00 pm. Major portions of Bidha Nagar remained under "no electricity" till late at night.
Almost all the major roads of City Centre saw uprooted trees blocking traffic. In the absence of municipality officials locals took the task of removing the uprooted trees and helping in restoring traffic movement.
Met official has confirmed that the rain and thunder storm which Bengal received yesterday had nothing to do with the cyclone Mahasen which is gathering strength over Bay of Bengal and under all likelihood will give West Bengal a miss.
Officials at the Regional Meteorological Centre Kolkata has predicted heavy shower on Monday as well.
Durgapur, 9th May 2013
Arjun Chakrabarty starrer Asche Bochor Abar Hobe set to release this July
Director Sushanto Das describes his directorial debut, Asche Bochor Abar Hobe, as his paglamir fashol. Weekly trips to Durgapur for over a year and a whirlwind shooting schedule of 29 days later Susanta Dasgupta is almost done with Asche Bochor Abar Hobe.
"We are planning to release the film on July 5. Every thing is complete including the dubbing. Indraadipda (Dasgupta) is also done with the music, but due to a technical error the music CD's haven't reached me yet. The only thorn in the road right now is Arjun's beard!" the director wisecracked. Turns out, Arjun Chakrabarty, who is currently shooting for Sudeshna Roy-Abhijit Guha's Jodi Love Dile Na Prane, sports a bearded look in the film. But in Asche Bochor..., Arjo, Arjun's character is clean shaven. That is the reason why he is waiting to shoot the first look of the film. "Once Arjun returns from Shantiniketan, I will shoot the first look with him and Rittwika around May 20," he revealed.
But how did the idea of venturing into film making strike him, all of a sudden? "I had gone to Durgapur to shoot for a daily soap. That is when I came in contact with the Marconi Dakshinpalli puja committee and I was swept off my feet with the love and respect I received from the people out there," he said. But he confesses that the idea of using the famous puja on screen in one of his projects was the brainchild of his cameramen. "Initially I only planned to film an event around the five day extravaganza of the puja. But gradually the idea of a film began to take shape in my mind and by September, that idea completely had me in its grasp.". He started writing the script, approached Padmanava for dialogues and Arjun for the lead role. Both agreed readily. But till then he had no financier "I used to fuel my car up every Sunday and turn up in Durgapur. I even told my wife 'Goyna Gati shob ek jaygay kore rakho. Aami kintu dorkar porlei bikri kore dite pari!' I was hell bent to see the end of this project," shared Das, who just finished shooting a song sequence, sung by Monali Thakur, that is picturized on the local people of Dakshinpally.
The film that also stars Shankar Chatterjee, Mita Chatterjee, Anindya Chatterjee and Aditya Sengupta (son of Kheyali Dastidar) is a love story between Arjun and Rittwika (who was last seen playing Koel's sister in 100% Love) in the backdrop of the famous puja of Durgapur. Said Sushanto, "Long back, I had written the script for a telefilm called Pratham prem, directed by Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha. the plot of Asche Bochor... germinated from that script but I took the liberty to add a lot and subtract even more."
Durgapur, 7th May 2013
Bank starts inquiry after mysterious withdrawals from customer's account
Bank authorities have initiated an inquiry into the mysterious cash withdrawals from a retired colliery employee's account.
Mr Manik Chandra Sil retired from Kumardihi-A colliery of Coal India in 2005. SInce then he has maintained a savings account with the Allahabad Bank's Ukhra branch under Andal police station area here.
On 16 April he was surprised to see hefty sums had been withdrawn from his account twice. He said: "On 30 March Rs 60,000 and on 2 April Rs 75,000 were withdrawn from my account. The withdrawals were through bank slips and not from ATM counters."
The bank, after primary verification found that the signatures in the withdrawal slips were not of Mr Sil.
"I was surprised how the bank allowed the transaction as the signatures didn't match and the amounts were over Rs 50,000 which required PAN number," said Mr Sil.
He lodged an FIR bringing charges of fraudulence and submitted a complaint with the Allahabad Bank's regional headquarters in Asansol. He said: "Despite bringing the matter to the notice of senior bank officials, they have not shown any interest in catching the culprit or refunding the sum." The Allahabad Bank's Kolkata headquarters, meanwhile, ordered a probe and its Asansol regional office has assigned a team of experts to probe into the matter.
Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 7th May 2013
Jal Utsav from today
After Mati Utsav, the Trinamool Congress government will now organize Jal Utsav or water festival at Lal Baba Ashrama in Panagarh to celebrate its two years in power. The festival that is being organized by the water resources department will begin on May 7 and go on till May 21.
At the festival, three pavilions will be set up. This apart, two tableaus and various models of irrigation will be showcased along with the performance of the water resources department in the last two years.
State water resources minister Soumen Mahapatra said that each day in the evening there will be cultural performances characterized by baul songs, kobi gan, polligeeti and the like.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee under her 'Jal Dhoro Jal Bhoro' plan had the set the target of excavating 50,000 ponds in five years, but n two years over 51,000 ponds have already been excavated, said Mahapatra.
Durgapur SDO Ayesha Rani said that apart from highlighting the last two years' performance, future plans will also be announced through the distribution of leaflets.
Durgapur, 6th May 2013
7 coal goons held for thrashing cops
Seven coal goons were arrested in a night-long raid on Saturday for beating up three cops, two constables and an ASI of Baraboni police station, when the latter caught the goons redhanded, stealing coal from the stockyard of Integrated Coal Mines Limited (ICML).
Police sources said that a patrol van was passing by Sarisathali when they spotted the criminals looting coal at the stockyard. The assault comes a month after three policemen, including OC Ashim Kumar Majumdar, were beaten and injured at Kelejora.
Tanmoy Mukherjee, ACP (west) of Asansol-Durgapur police commissionerate said that a complaint has been lodged at Baraboni police station.
Luckily, the three injured policemen did not receive any major injuries and were released from Asansol sub-divisional hospital after being administered first aid.
Bidhan Upadhyay, MLA of Baraboni, alleged that crime in the area has increased ever since Majumdar took charge as OC. He has already demanded his transfer. "The present OC has failed to control law and order in the area and should be removed," Upadhyay added.
Within a span of one month once again policemen has been beaten by coal mafias in Sarisathali in Baraboni Police Station area. The three injured cops - two constables and one ASI of Baraboni Police Station area has been beaten by coal mafias at the coal stockyard of Integrated Coal Mines Limited (ICML) in Sarisathali area last night. At that time the coal thieves have been looting coal from the stockyard and the police patrol jeep was passing through the area.
Tanmoy Mukherjee, ACP (west) of Asansol Durgapur Police Comissionerate said that a complaint has been lodged at Baraboni Police Station at night and seven coal thieves have been arrested in the night long police raid. The three injured policemen has been released after treatment at Asansol sub divisional hospital, he added.
Incidentally, three policemen including the officer in charge, Ashim Kumar Majumdar has been beaten and injured at Kelejora only a month ago. There has been allegations that illegal coal mining has increased since Majumdar took charge as OC.
A report against him has already been submitted by ADCP (west), Subrata Ganguly to CP, Ajay Kumar Nand after he allegedly used a SUV for over four months which belonged to a charge sheeted coal mafia.
Bidhan Upadhyay, MLA of Baraboni has already demanded his transfer. " The present OC has failed to control law and order in the area and should be removed,"he added. He questioned why the coal mafias have been getting so guts to regularly beat the cops of the Baraboni Police Station.
Ashok Banerjee, a resident has already complained to the coal ministry that regularly coal, jhama and fire clay has been looted by coal thives from the Sarisathali mines and the coal mine authority has remained mum so far.
Durgapur, 4th May 2013
Sudden hailstorm brings down mercury in Durgapur
A hailstorm hit Durgapur town this evening, bringing respite from the unbearable heat. Parts of Raniganj, Panagarh, Galsi blocks in Burdwan and Barjora, Gangajalghanti, Saltora blocks in the neighbouring Bankura district witnessed the hailstorm. The hailstones (sns photo), weighed between 150 to 250 grams, and the storm continued for more than thirty minutes in two phases and damaged asbestos roofs of many houses in domestic and PSU quarters and also destroyed windscreens of nearly a thousand cars parked in open spaces. Police said that atleast two dozen people are feared to have been injured.
"In 1954, Durgapur had witnessed hailstorms similar to this. Today, I was terrified as I witnessed the cracking of windscreens of all the three of my family cars," said 78 year-old Mr N K Mukherjee of City Centre, director of a private run CBSE school here. The city had recorded 44 degree Celsius with 27 per cent humidity this afternoon, but the scene quickly changed when the hailstones gushed in suddenly. "It might have damaged a number of houses, but it brought relief to us as temperatures went down drastically,” said Mrs Mithu Chowdhury, a resident of the City Centre locality. The City Centre, Steel Township and the Durgapur Projects Limited quarters have seen a lot of damage. The G, F, FN type quarters of DPL which have asbestos hoods were destroyed. A minibus on the Benachitty-Railway Station route meanwhile lost control and hit a car in City Centre as one large hailstone broke the front glass of the crew cabin. Three were injured and had to be rushed to a nursing home. Mrs Ayesharani Ahmed, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Durgapur said: "We have been receiving a number of complaints of partial damage of dwelling houses and commercial houses. We have engaged our officials to assess the extent of damage due to the catastrophe.” Power supply to the city provided by the Durgapur Projects Limited was snapped due to the hailstorm causing additional inconvenience.
On 16 April, nearly 4,000 dwelling houses were partly damaged and 154 were completely ruined and hundreds of acres of cultivation, horticulture fields were destroyed due to hailstorms that ravaged several villages under eight blocks in Burdwan. The district administration had released Rs 19 crore as primary relief to the hail-hit villages.
Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 3rd May 2013
SAIL DSP reports 4% rise in hot metal production
Durgapur Steel Plant, a unit of Steel Authority of India Limited has reported a 4% growth in hot metal production in April 2013. DSP's production of crude steel and saleable steel, two other key production parameters also recorded a 6% and 1% growth respectively in April 2013 over the corresponding period last year.
DSP thus managed to produce over and above its its targets during the month. In fact, the production of crude steel, saleable steel, continuous casting and sinter in April, 2013 was the all-time best April month performance since inception of the plant. The production of special and value-added steel was 77% of total saleable steel production during the month and it was in tandem with maximising the revenue.
The plant's production through energy efficient continuous casting route met 100% of its target with a growth of 2% over CPLY and the production of sinter and section mill also exceeded the targets with a growth of 9% and an impressive 40% respectively over CPLY. As such the production of finished steel comprising structural products (angles, channels and joists), earthquake resistant TMT bars, skelp and wheels & axles recorded a substantial growth of 35% during the month over CPLY.
Mr P K Singh CEO of DSP said that "With the all-time best production performance in the previous financial year 2012-13, a new trend has been set in DSP. The production as per targets as well as more than 100% of targets in major areas during April, 2013 is in sync with our strategy to sustain the improvements in the plant."
Durgapur, 2nd May 2013
Rose Valley issues chits as suicides continue
West Bengal's fast emerging multi-business conglomerate, Rose Valley, after being denied any further financial assistance by Axis Bank, started issuing 'chit's today, delaying refund to depositors for another three months. Meanwhile, three persons, defrauded by different chit-fund companies, committed suicide within a span of one week in Murshidabad, while another investor was denied refund by Aries Investment company in Chinsurah, where five mediapersons were assaulted when they went there to take the sound-bite of an investor of Gold Mine Agro.
Axis Bank's Airport branch in Kolkata, its nodal office for chit fund related businesses, had cautioned Rose Valley authorities to look for alternative arrangements as it was not interested for any financial transaction with the company beyond 30 April. Despite this, the company continued offering Axis Bank cheques to some depositors who thronged the company's City Centre and Benachitty branches in Durgapur today.
Most depositors, however, were issued chits bearing the official seal of the company, which stated August 2013 as the date of payment. Mr Abhijit Majumdar, Rose Valley branch manager at City Centre, said: "We have issued nearly 6,500 number of such slips to the depositors against submission of the photo copies of their respective premature policy papers." He added: "Axis Bank had warned us not to issue any cheque bearing dates beyond 30 April. Accordingly our Midnapore regional office ordered us to issue such slips to help identification of depositors, who would be disbursed their deducted sums."
Axis Bank has assured to entertain clearance of the cheques till 30 June, Rose Valley officials said. The company has been trying to rope in Bank of India to wriggle out of the crisis.
A political controversy, meanwhile, was triggered off in Durgapur today after the Trinamul Congress brought out a photograph in which veteran CPI-M leader and former Rajyasabha MP, Mr Jibon Roy, was seen receiving a cheque worth Rs1.10 lakh from Mr Partha Chakraborty, MD, Chakra Group, another chit fund. The cheque was handed over to Mr Roy, who is the head of Durgapur Children’s Academy & Culture, an NGO set up on 2 August, 2008.
Mr Parimal Agasty, ward committee secretary of the Trinamul Congress in City Centre area, alleged: "The CPI-M has been talking about its so called distance from the chit fund scam, but we have got evidence that a bunch of leaders like Mr Roy were hand-in-glove with such companies."
Mr Roy said: "Many corporate offices have come forward to sponsor the Academy, which is meant for children’s welfare and I don’t think that anyone of the Academy individually drew benefits."
At the City Centre Police Investigation Centre, a group of aggrieved depositors from villages in Bankura today lodged a complaint against Greenfield Multi Developer, which allegedly had cheated them of Rs 12 crore.
In a related development, a farmer, Nabin Mahato (40), was found dead on the railway track near Azimganj junction of Howrah Division yesterday. Mahato was a depositor with Saradha Group, said his wife, Mrs Sumitra Mahato.
She said: “He was glued to TV channels for hours and assured me that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would pay us back. But I could not guess that depression went so deep in his mind.” Mahato's body was recovered by GRP and sent for autopsy.
Another suicide of a housewife, Pratima Das (36) was reported yesterday from the district. Das from the Tenya area under the jurisdiction of Salar police station was an agent of two chit-fund concerns ~ ATM group of Companies and Burdwan Sunmarg, her family members said. Unable to take stress of being harassed and verbally abused by depositors, she preferred to hang herself at her home, her family members said. They also informed that depositors apprehending loss of money raided her residence a number of times demanding immediate refund of deposits.
Police reported unnatural death of one Santosh Gupta who used to work at Farakka-based office of a chit-fund group, Rose-Valley. Gupta's body was found from the railway track near New Farakka station. It might be a case of murder or suicide but it is likely to be related to chit-fund mess, police said.
One Prabodh Sinha, reportedly a depositor with Saradha Group, hanged himself at his residence at Farakka last week. Sinha (43) served as a tax collector of Bahadurpur panchayat at Farakka.
Prior to suicide, Sinha admitted that he could not get back his sum, that matured, a few months ago, despite repeated requests to the chit-fund officials. In a related incident, Mr Rabin Mallick, a resident of Piyara Bagan Kadamtala, Chinsurah was denied refund from his his four fixed deposits, over a period of five years, by Aries Investment company at Taldanga in Chinsurah.
Mr Mallick, who is in dire need of money, had one of his fixed deposits in the name of his mother, Basanti Mallick, who is a senior citizen.
Mr Mallick, had to wait for three hours before was turned back with a refusal of the refund.
Mr Mallick reported the incident to police but did not lodge a written complaint. Mr Mallick, however, handed a copy of his complaint against Aries chit fund to the media persons.
Mr Prabir Sarkar, a resident of the Keota area in Bandel and an employee of Aries Chit Fund, was, however, a little lucky as he was granted a refund, with 30% deduction. Protesting against this, Mr Sarkar stages a hunger strike at the main gate of the chit fund office. The company, in bid to prevent a mass protest, later handed over total refund amount.
Five reporters, were, meanwhile, assaulted by employees of Gold Mine Agro chit fund company, when the former tried to reach, Tripti Bhadra, an investor, kept confined in an office room of the company, for comments.
The employees attacked the media persons, snatched their cameras and beat them up. Police later rescued them.The accused who were arrested were soon released on bail. The assaulted media persons demanded strict punishment. Police super, Mr Tanmay Rai Chaudhari ordered a probe.
Durgapur, 30th April 2013
Police give in to depositors' demands
Police had to succumb to the pressure of the depositors and return computers and office files of Aspen Projects India Limited, an MLM operating in Burdwan town, this afternoon.
The police team, led by Circle Inspector Debkumar Biswas, raided the Aspen Group's office in the Parbirhata area in the town around 1 p.m. today and took the branch manager, Mr Pradip Mukherjee, and his two subordinates into custody and attempted to seal the office.
A group of depositors, meanwhile, said the company was trying to refund their deposits. They locked up the policemen and demanded they vacate the office so their money could be refunded. Mr Gopal Josh, a depositor, said: "When the company has assured us to refund our sums why should police cause trouble?" Burdwan SDPO Amlankusum Ghosh arrived at the spot and after a discussion with officials decided to return the computers. The company allegedly had collected Rs 10 crore from Burdwan in the past year.
Police raided the office of Axes Multideveloper here and arrested eight officials and seized computers, files and hard-discs this afternoon from its corporate office in the City Centre area here today. The ADCP (east), Mr Sunil Yadav, said: "We have found 49 bank accounts of the company. We have informed the customs and the NSC Bose Airport authority as well as the Bidhannagar Police Commissonerate to help track the movement of the company's three directors who are absconding."
Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 30th April 2013
Student tied to tree for snatching biscuit
A four-year-old kindergarten student was kept tied to a tree for hours under the sun at a school run by the Bharat Sevashram Sangha here as punishment for snatching a biscuit from a classmate.
The parents of the boy lodged a police complaint today after the school authorities refused to take action against the people responsible for the action.
ADCP (East), Asansol-Durgapur Police, Mr Sunil Yadav said an FIR has been registered and police have launched a probe.
Sagar Dutta, a KG–II student of the Pranavananda Vidyamandir here was beaten by his class teacher, Mrs Sagarika Debnath, yesterday after another student complained that Sagar had snatched his biscuit. He was then taken outside by an attendant, Mrs Sumitra Das, and tied to a tree within the school campus under the scorching sun and soaring humidity.
The boy was freed after the classes were over. The boy's father, Mr Sumit Dutta is a steel plant employee. His mother Mrs Runu Dutta complained: "My son was looking exhausted when he returned from his classes yesterday. When I asked him, he told me how he had been treated at school." The boy had to be administered saline drip in the evening.
Today, another attendant of the school, Mrs Sulekha Ghosh, told the parents that she had seen how the boy had been treated by her colleagues. Mr Dutta said: "The school authority initially didn't pay any heed to our complaint and we had to seek police assistance."
Nearly a hundred parents staged a protest today and assembled in front of the school. The school has been operating in the Durgapur Steel Township since more than 30 years. Mrs Sanchita Sarkar, headmistress, said: "We have heard that the parents have taken the matter to the police. We have also initiated a separate inquiry into the matter."
Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 30th April 2013
Girl gangraped, vehicles set afire by locals
A minor girl was gangraped here on her way back on school leading to violent protests by locals who set on fire three vehicles and damaged at least 30 others, including one belonging to the police, demanding that two youths who were allegedly involved in the crime be handed to them.
Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissioner Ajay Nanda said police had to resort to lathicharge as the huge contingent of personnel and RAF that rushed to the site at Sastigoria could not contain the situation.
A police driver was injured in the violence, he said adding eight people were arrested in connection with it and police picket was posted in the area in view of the tension.
Trouble started when the standard eight girl was forcibly taken away to a nearby place by two youths while she was on her way back from school yesterday and allegedly raped.
The girl reported the incident to her family after her return.
Following this, the family and its neighbours went to the local police station to file a complaint, which the police allegedly refused to entertain.
They blockaded NH 60 from 11 pm to 3 am today in protest and lifted it when the police arrested the two youths in the early hours of the day.
However, when the school opened today locals and the girl's family along with those of other students indulged in the violence on the highway demanding that the two youths be handed over to them or be given exemplary punishment. They also protested against alleged police inaction.
The girl underwent medical tests during the day, Nanda added.
Durgapur, 26th April 2013
Saradha: BSF jawan loses Rs 11 lakh
Mr Debabrata Mukherjee of Gosain Nagar locality in Durgapur town had joined the BSF in 1987. During a gun-battle with militants on 12 January, 1991, he dodged two bullets. He survived while six of his colleagues died during the battle. The jawan was rewarded Rs 4 lakh as compensation.
"I deposited the sum and an additional Rs 7 lakh as I was promised double returns against my deposit in five years. But today I have no hope of getting the money as the company agent has refused to help me get back even the principal amount," said Mr Mukherjee.
"I had invested a total of Rs 11 lakh and the date of maturity was 29 July 2013," he said.
Mr Mukherjee had invested through a local agent, Mr Subrata Chakraborty. One of his policy bookings, however, revealed that he was offered a five-day trip to Bangkok and prior to his trip he was offered Rs 3,000 for 15 months.
The jawan was issued land certificates offering 284 and 444 square feet areas against two other policies. He said: "The agent never explained these and now when I went to inquire, my agent said the company would neither be able to refund my money nor would it give back my land."
The agent, Mr Chakraborty, said: "It is up to the state government to decide how to deal with the menace."
Mr Mukherjee today lodged an FIR against Saradha and his agent with the Durgapur police, bringing charges of fraudulence.
At New Township police station in Durgapur, Mrs Sonali Bhattacharya lodged a complaint against Mr Uttam Majumdar ~ a Saradha agent ~ today. She said: "My father had deposited Rs 5.5 lakh with the company through this agent last year and now the agent is trying to evade responsibility."
Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 25th April 2013
Axis Bank to sever ties with Rose Valley
Axis Bank, the principal banker to Rose Valley ~ a multi-level marketing (MLM) entity ~ has decided to phase out all financial relations with the latter in the wake of collapse of the Saradha Group. Rose Valley, along with other similar companies, has been facing a tough time of late, with investors thronging offices, demanding repayment of their investments.
"After the collapse of Saradha, our regulating office had informed Rose Valley of ending all financial relations with it. I have also received an order from the headquarters to gradually disassociate with the company," said Mr Subhas Talukdar, deputy vice-president, of Axis Bank's Durgapur branch. The Airport branch of Axis Bank operates as the nodal branch for all transactions with MLMs such as Rose Valley.
Axis Bank, which used to provide cash-pickup facility to Rose Valley since it was one of its valued customers, stopped the service in recent times. "Cash-vans engaged by our bank used to collect cash from Rose Valley branches, but the service was stopped four days ago given the chaos in the company's offices," said a senior official of the bank. Over the past few days, investors in various places thronged branches of Rose Valley, demanding repayment of their investments.
Axis Bank's Durgapur branch alone used to get business worth Rs 2.40 crore every month from Rose Valley. The company confirmed having received word the bank's decision. Mr Abhijit Majumdar, Durgapur branch manager of Rose Valley, said today, "We have been informed that our financial relation with the bank will continue till 30 April." He said they had been facing difficulties with Axis Bank, in any case, as the latter was not providing it financial statements against deposits. "We have been told that we would have a new relation with HDFC and United Bank of India," said Mr Majumdar.
Meanwhile, Rose Valley's agents in Guskara under Ausgram police station in Burdwan have threatened to sell out the company's local assets to raise money for repayment to investors.
Also, hundreds of depositors in Bankura's Kathjuridanga locality threatened to ransack the company's office today. Mr Madhusudan Chatterjee, a CPI-M district committee member who also covers events for the party's mouthpiece **Ganashakti, was allegedly thrashed by the branch manager of Rose Valley, Mr Pradip Shit, this afternoon when he was seen talking to depositors. Mr Chatterjee has lodged a complaint with the local police station. Durgapur Mayor seeks DM's help.
The Mayor of Trinamul Congress-run Durgapur civic body today sought the district magistrate's intervention to help prevent chit companies from cheating people of a particular ward in the town. In an official communiqué to the DM, Mayor of Durgapur Municipal Corporation Apurba Mukherjee, said: "These companies are cheating the common people of the locality. People are constantly raising objections against these chit fund companies." The Mayor's letter includes a list of 52 chit funds operating only in City Centre that falls under ward 22. Mr Mukherjee incidentally is elected from this ward. In the past two weeks two chit offices ~ Icore E Services Ltd and Satyaseva Reacon Ltd ~ in City Centre were ransacked and the latter has already downed the shutter, cheating thousands of depositors worth Rs 5 crore, said police. The Mayor's wrote: "These companies, as it appears, don't have any prospect and haven't been following the Reserve Bank of India and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority's regulations. Many were running business without approval by the requisite authorities." Some NGO's have also been operating as chit companies in Durgapur. Mr Parimal Agasty, ward committee secretary of the Trinamul Congress, said: "How come they were allowed to run the show? We have always demanded probe against such fraud companies." The district administration, meanwhile, has sought a status report of chit companies operating in Durgapur from the civic body. DM Onkar S Meena said: "We would refer the matter to the respective department for proper action." Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 25th April 2013
Arrest fails to calm nerves
The rage of investors and agents refused to ebb today despite the arrest of Sudipta Sen, the chief of the sham funds firm Saradha Group.
In Malda, depositors and agents vandalised properties of the company. In Durgapur, those who got cheques from another funds collection firm complained that a part of the principal had been cut.
Several investors in Durgapur said Rose Valley, a funds collection company, had deducted a portion of the principal while returning them cheques.
The company started giving out the cheques to arrest investor panic after the Saradha scam broke.
Private company employee Nilav Mandal said he had deposited Rs 1 lakh in 2010 in a hotel scheme that had promised to double the amount in five years. "But I got back Rs 81,000 today. The company has deducted almost 20 per cent of the principal," he said.
Branch manager Shiladitya Singh acknowledged that this had been done and cited payment to agents and other expenses as the reasons.
"We had paid commission to agents. We also have some official expenses. We have invested the money elsewhere and cannot withdraw it in such a short span of time.
Durgapur, 24th April 2013
Durgapur to get an open correctional home
The state cabinet on Tuesday passed two important home department proposals. Apart from a new open correctional home in Burdwan's Durgapur, has been approved that will be set up following the West Bengal Correctional Services Act. Also, a police outpost will be set up at Bakreswar Dam under Sadaipur police station in Birbhum and 19 posts will be created under the West Bengal police for this purpose.
Durgapur, 22nd April 2013
Hem Sheela Model School Celebrates Earth Day
Students of Hem Sheela Model School in Durgapur today put up posters outside main gate to create awarness on the need to protect the environment as part of its Earth Day celebrations.
The day started with morning assembly which was organised by Eco Club and the school's science department.
Students enacted plays to demonstrate the damage human beings are causing to the environment. Principle Soumen Chakraborty spoke on pollution and possible solution.
The best eco-class badge was presented to two classes.
The students were shown powerpoint presentations stressing on the need to reduce, recycle, reuse and refuse.
Durgapur, 21st April 2013
One of the director of Saradha group was from Durgapur
It seems the names of the directors mentioned in two of the Saradha group firmsâ€”Saradha Realty India and Saradha Printing and Publicationâ€”are either fake or are petty employees of the group. The addresses shown in the filing to the corporate affairs department are not in Kolkata except that of Sudipta Sen.
Saradha Realty India has four directorsâ€”Sudipta Sen, Hemanta Pradhan, Manoj Kumar Nagel and Arvind Kumar Mishra. Sen used to stay in Salt Lake Sector III. But others hail from district towns or even from non-descript places in Odisha. Pradhan was from Balipal near Balasore while Nagel was from Secondary Road, Durgapur. Mishra's address is shown at Bhadrakali in Hooghly. Nagel of Durgapur is also a director in Saradha Printing and Publications, the holding firm for the media ventures. The media arm has two more directorsâ€”Sudipta Sen and Debika Dasgupta. Dasgupta, as per the corporate affairs department filing, is from Malancha School area in Kharagpur.
Nagel's address in Durgapur was also traced but it was found closed. Nagel was the chief agent of Saradha in Durgapur. He used to collect Rs 2 crore per month from Durgapur. "He was in charge of the City Center office in Durgapur. Nagel used to organize all the agents in the area that added up to few thousands. But he certainly disappeared from last week. Now both the office and his residence are closed," an investor of the Saradha Group added.
Durgapur, 21st April 2013
Quick-money lure turns into noose in Durgapur
People in this Durgapur locality of thatched houses are yet to come out of the shock. Thirty-three-year-old Yadav Majhi had come to Durgapur from Bankura to earn a living as a carpenter. But destiny led him to change the profession and he soon turned into an agent of several chit-fund companies to earn lucrative commissions.
Yadav, who fell into the chit-fund trap, used to live alone in a rented house in Mayabazar. According to his neighbours, he started behaving in a weird manner after the City Centre branch of Saradha Realty India Ltd closed down. Several hundreds of customers gheraoed and abused him and demanded their money back.
On Friday morning, Mayabazar Police Outpost found his body hanging from the ceiling. Gopal Sutradhar, the landlord of his house, admitted that he was suffering from mental illness since the past few days.
Raghunath Majhi, his brother who came to Durgapur to take back his body to Bankura, admitted that Yadav was associated with Saradha Group as an agent. "Yes, he had come to Durgapur to become a carpenter but later changed his profession and became a chit-fund agent," he confirmed. Raghunath also demanded a probe to confirm that his brother had committed suicide and wasn't murdered.
Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate ADCP (East) Sunil Yadav said that a case of unnatural death had been lodged. "We have started investigation," he added. While Yadav preferred to kill himself, hundreds of other agents and sub-agents of various chit-fund companies in Durgapur have been absconding for the last couple of days.
With the mushrooming of several chit funds in the steel city, business of the Life Insurance Corporation of India - the most trusted insurance firm in the country - nosedived over the last few years. Jyotirmoy Barat, senior LIC divisional manager, said that business had dropped sharply, by 10% to 12%, in last few years. "In a recent meeting, I had raised this issue in presence of Union finance secretary Arvind Kumar," he said. Not only LIC, even fixed deposits in banks and small savings saw a sharp decline in Durgapur.
" I have deposited money in the monthly recurring scheme of Sarada Group and has been assured to get Rs.1.5 lakhs on maturity and now I don't know whether I will get the money or not,"said R.Das of Andal, a professional photographer. Not only Sarada office but recent depositers also ghearoed and agitated in the office of another chit fund company in Durgapur - Icore. LICI Asansol Division has stopped business with another Durgapur based chit fund company, Burdwan Sunmarg Welfare Society, which has been its partner in small and micro insurance schemes as the reputation of India's leading insurance company has been getting tarnished, according to LICI Asansol sources.
Durgapur, 20th April 2013
A Saradha agent hanged himself in Durgapur
A Saradha agent hanged himself in Durgapur, unable to repay his depositors. Some of the agent leaders from rural areas have liabilities over Rs 20 crore. They are already selling off family jewellery and land to pay up angry depositors. Agents and depositors - who number in lakhs - have been pushed beyond the edge of desperation.
Jadav Majhi, the Saradha Group agent, who has been working for the last one year, hanged himself in Durgapur, unable to repay his depositors. His body was found hanging inside a closed shop, selling building materials. Jadav hails from Gangajalghati of Bankura and was working in the shop for the last five years or so.
The owner of the shop, Gopal Sutradhar has reported that Jadav has been in tremendous mental pressure after the scam of the chit fund company came into light. According to local residents, he was under severe mental pressure as the chit-fund agency was failing to pay the maturity amounts to depositors.
Durgapur, 19th April 2013
NIT Student missing
A NIT student in Durgapur has been missing from his hostel since last night.
Classmates said Sabyasachi Sadhu was upset on not being allowed to take a test on the scheduled day for sporting a long hair. Source: The Telegraph
Durgapur, 19th April 2013
Defiance in union launch
Veteran Trinamul labour leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay today floated a second union at Durgapur Chemicals Ltd, going against the party’s "one-factory-one-union" stand that was stressed by the industries minister in the steel town earlier this month.
At a programme on the plant premises to announce the new union, Chattopadhyay, who has been sidelined in the party, expressed fears that the fledgling outfit could come under attack from Trinamul.
"We announce the formation of a new union despite knowing that its members will be attacked by those holding Trinamul flags. If such things happen, I will appeal to the attackers to leave the Trinamul flag and take up CPM flags," he said.
The newly launched Durgapur Chemicals Ltd Permanent Workers' Association has around 150 members.
Trinamul trade union INTTUC already has an affiliated unit - Durgapur Chemicals Ltd Karmachari Association — at the factory. The union has around 300 members.
The chief of the old union, Partha Pratim Goswami, owes allegiance to Chattopadhyay's rival faction, which is controlled by state INTTUC president Dola Sen and labour minister Purnendu Bose.
Asked if the move to float a separate union at Durgapur Chemicals Ltd would go against the party line, Chattopadhyay said: "I am a member of the core committee appointed by Mamata Banerjee to oversee trade union activities. The two unions will remain till we decide which one will cease to exist."
Told that ministers Partha Chatterjee and Bose, and other senior Trinamul leaders had made it clear at the April 7 INTTUC state conference in Durgapur that one factory should have one union, Chattopadhyay said: "I have been associated with Mamata since she floated the party in January 1998. But many of those who are with her at the moment had deserted her in bad times."
Trinamul sources said Chattopadhyay could be referring to panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee, who replaced him as all-India INTTUC president in 2010.
Source: The Telegraph
Durgapur, 18th April 2013
Civic boss ill after gherao
Alleged Trinamul workers protesting the Raniganj civic chief’s prolonged absence from office today gheraoed him and kept him standing in the sun for around four hours, following which he had to be hospitalised a second time in eight days.
Anup Mitra, 50, the CPM chairman of the Raniganj municipality, said he could not come to office because he was in a nursing home for a week from April 10 after Trinamul activists protesting the attack on finance minister Amit Mitra in Delhi on April 9 "assaulted" him with rods.
"I was feeling suffocated and my head started reeling after the Trinamul activists kept me confined for four hours under the sun. I was returning home when my condition deteriorated and I went to a nursing home," the civic chairman said.
A doctor said: "We detected high sugar and pressure levels. We have done an ECG. He has been admitted to the intensive cardiac care unit."
Anup Mitra had arrived at the office at 10.35am when over 50 Trinamul activists led by Raniganj block party president Senapati Mandal started shouting slogans against him.
They allegedly surrounded him and pushed him around. They protested his absence from office and accused him of turning the municipality into a CPM office.
Mondal denied the allegation that they kept Anup Mitra confined today.
Durgapur, 17th April 2013
Income tax official arrested by CBI in Durgapur while taking bribe
The CBI intercepted an Income Tax officer in Durgapur while he was demanding a bribe to clear a business file. The special CBI court in Asansol today ordered 14 days remand for the accused officer. Mr Sajalnarayan Haldar, the accused ITO, had allegedly been mounting pressure on a trader, Mr Sudip Kumar Gupta of Panagarh, for a bribe worth Rs 20,000. The department had assessed tax against Mr Gupta's company worth Rs 21 lakh. According to Mr Gupta's complaint: "He had already received Rs 10,000 and was threatening me either to clear the dues or face the consequence." Mr Gupta took CBI's assistance and the sleuths in plain clothes caught Mr Haldar while negotiating the remaining sum with Mr Gupta.
Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 17th April 2013
Bagan academy tries to rope in renowned Brazilian football coach Falopa
Two years after roping in foreign coach, Greco, Mohun Bagan-SAIL Football Academy (MBSFA) is trying to bring in a foreign coach for its residential football school in Durgapur, West Bengal.
The academy is in talks with renowned football coach Marcos Antonio Falopa. The 65-year old Brazilian has 40 years of experience. Falopa has travelled all over the world and has worked in almost 100 countries so far. The Brazilian, who was the assistant coach of Brazilian senior national team in 1988, has been working as FIFA instructor since the beginning of 80s. Currently Falopa is with the Italian national football academy, where he has been for the last three years after he finished his engagement as the national Myanmar senior national coach in 2009.
According to a MBSFA executive, "We have been talking to Falopa for last couple of months. He has verbally agreed to join our football school. Still we cannot be sure unless the written agreement is made. Even if Mr Falopa joins our academy he will stay here in Durgapur for three months and then go back and will come after two weeks for the next three month period." It has been learnt that MBSFA wants Falopa for one year.
Though it has a title sponsor, they have been in search of a separate sponsor for its foreign coach. As the academy is yet to accumulate funds for its foreign coach, the academy top brass wanted take things slowly. But the academy's recent performance in the under-20 national football league at Jamshedpur, where the team finished fourth, seems to have compelled the academy executives to speed things up a notch.
Presently the academy has 40 students in the under-19 group, who are trained by local ‘A’ licensed coach Shantanu Bose. The selection trial for the academy's another under-16 group started on April 16.
Incidentally, there is good news for the academy as SAIL has decided to give its Nehru Stadium ground on lease to the academy. One of the academy's executive committee members said, "It will benefit us a lot. Our boys will also be staying in the stadium complex and the stadium has an equipped infrastructure comprising gymnasium, swimming pool, conference room for taking theoretical classes of the students. So even if Mr Falopa joins us he should be happy to have these facilities."
But MBSFA does not seem to be content with the hand-over of the stadium ground for next 25 years. It is planning to install an artificial turf at the Nehru Stadium. The MBSFA has decided to send representatives with a presentation to Zurich in June to try and convince FIFA's executives, who are in the Goal Project, about the requirement of the astro-turf at the Nehru Stadium.
Durgapur, 16th April 2013
Two chit-fund offices ransacked in Durgapur
Depositors and agents today stormed into the offices of two chit-fund operators in the City Centre area, the heart of Durgapur town this afternoon and ransacked the offices. The chit-fund operators "have taken in crores of rupees in the past few years" but they started fleeing the area when the maturity time was over. Nearly 50 agents from various parts of the town ransacked the offices of Icore-e-Services Limited at around 3.30 p.m. and destroyed office furniture, and files. The senior officials of the company, meanwhile, had fled the area. At around 4 p.m, the agents raided the office of another chit-fund Satyaseva Reacon at City Centre. The company had recruited 20,000 agents in the past two years and had collected nearly Rs 1,000 crore. An agent of the company, Mr Ramsevak Banerjee said: "We have been cheated by the company and now our houses are being attacked."
Durgapur, 14th April 2013
MTS Celebrates Bengali New Year, MTS Bongo Utsav In Durgapur
MTS India today celebrated a unique cultural extravaganza to usher in the Bengali New Year, Poila Boishakh, with a first-of-its-kind initiative ‘MTS Bongo Utsav’. Adding to the celebrations MTS also provided a unique opportunity to young & aspiring artists from Asansol, Bolpur, Burdwan and Durgapur to showcase their talent and share stage with renowned stars.
The evening was also graced by some amazing performances by the renowned Bangla band Chandrabindoo, playback singer Somlata Acharyya Chowdhury of Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona fame and Tollywood actor Rudranil Ghosh with Chaplin, Bye Bye Bangkok, Byomkesh Bakshi and other acclaimed Bengali films to his credit. Also present on the occasion was the Hon’ble Mayor of Durgapur city, Mr. Apurba Mukherjee.
TS Bongo Utsav invited participants from numerous schools, colleges and residents of Asansol, Bolpur, Burdwan and Durgapur to showcase their talent in three categories i.e. Singing (Solo Singing & In a Band), Dancing (Classical Dance & Contemporary Dance) and Fashion Show (Ethnic & Fusion Style).
The participants from various categories were judged in three rounds. The initial rounds were organised in all four locations i.e. Asansol, Bolpur, Burdwan and Durgapur.
The selected candidates from all four location then competed for the second round in Durgapur and were judged by the members of the renowned Bengali band Chandrabindoo.
The final round saw performances from over 30 finalists competing for title in respective categories.
The winners of the final round from the singing category will also get a life time opportunity to record a song under a reputed label.
MTS India as a part of its community development initiative is engaged with Durgapur based NGO Abosar working for underprivileged children. The children will put up a special performance at the event. MTS will donate proceeds from the events to Abosar for the cause of welfare of underprivileged children.
The celebration of MTS Bongo Utsav also treated the visitors with specialties of Bengal capturing the quintessential flavors of the rich Bengali culture - its cuisine, apparels, handicrafts, music etc.
The final report on the winners:-
Best Band:- Mirror
Best Solo Dance:- Anamika Mondal
Best Group Dance:- Nriyta Niketan, Bolpur
Best Singer:- Bipin Roy
Durgapur, 14th April 2013
Jain Group Launches Dream Eco City In Durgapur
Durgapur, 14th April, 2013: Real estate major, Jain Group, today, launched their ambitious project Dream Eco City, a unique residential project developed with Biophilic Design, in Durgapur. Jain Group Brand Ambassadors, Mr Prosenjit Chatterjee and Ms Arpita Chatterjee along with Mr Shrayans Jain, Vice Chairman, Jain Group and Mr Rishi Jain, Executive Director, Jain Group, were present for the occasion.
Situated at a prime location in Muchipara on NH2, next to NSHM Knowledge Campus, Dream Eco City offers easy connectivity to Durgapur railway Station. The highlight of this eco friendly project is biophilic architecture which means that straight from the design stage nature will form an intrinsic part of the project. The architecture is a first anywhere in South Bengal. Another first is Durgapur’s first eco friendly five star hotel, which is situated within the Dream Eco City campus. Surrounded by scenic natural beauty, it provides the best of indoor living and the natural world imbued with highest quality standards. Spread over 8 acres and over 1 million square feet of healthy living, Dream Eco City will house 800 families who subscribe to the healthy way of life.
"Dream Eco City is conceived and designed to bring you close to the nature. It is a benchmark project from Jain Group. I always believe homes have to be built in harmony with the nature. And with Dream Eco City, the Jain Group is doing exactly that. I am sure, that people will lap up such a unique initiative", said Mr Prosenjit Chatterjee, Brand Ambassador, Jain Group.
Durgapur, 11th April 2013
Durgapur gears up for Bango Utsav
Altogether 209 candidates from Burdwan, Durgapur, Asansol and Bolpur participated in the final round of auditions for the MTS Nango Utsav to be held in Durgapur on the eve of Bengali New Year in association with t2.
The auditions were held at Srijani auditorium in Durgapur from 12pm today.
The auditions took place for three categories: singing (Solo singing and in a band), dancing( classical and contemporary dance) and fashion (ethnic and fusion style).
Officials said the atmosphere was electrifying and the excitment among the participants and their family members who trronged the Srijani auditorium eas palpable. Candidates in serpentine queues waited for their turn to enter the auditorium.
"We are grateful to MTS and t2 for giving us an excellent platform to show case our talent," said Sanket Sarkar a colllege student from Burdwan who sang a Song.
Keshav Tiwary, the CEO of MTS in Bengal said, "We at MTS constantly look at innovatons and celebration in Bengal. An event exclusively dedicated to everything Bangali, from food and handicraft, to music and dance, We hope MTS Bango Utsav will add a lot of joy to our customers and participants in the various activities."
Durgapur, 10th April 2013
Intense heat wave in Durgapur
It's only the second week of April and Durgapur has nearly touched the 42° C mark. In fact, according to the Met office, it will touch or even cross this mark over the next few days.
On Monday, the city sizzled at 41.2° C - slightly higher than the highest for last April, 40.1° C. That was on April 21, 2012, and this year the mercury has already crossed this mark 12 days ahead.
According to the Met office, most parts of south Bengal, including Durgapur, will sear under intense heat over the next 24 hours. The day temperature is likely to touch the 40° C mark or more in Durgapur and things will be worst in some of the districts that will be under the grip of a heat wave.
"We have sounded a heat wave alert for Bankura, West Midnapore, Purulia, Asansol and Durgapur belt of Burdwan and parts of Birbhum over the next 24 hours. Kolkata too will get no respite from the rising heat," said Regional Meteorological Centre Alipore director G C Debnath.
Weather experts said that the first week of April this year has been comparatively hotter than in the last few years. The day temperature has been rising consistently from April 1 when Durgapur recorded a maximum temperature of 38.1° C. it rose to 41.3° C on April 7.
Metrological department officials have said that there is almost no chance of respite in at least a week. They have also predicted that temperature may soar up to 47 degree Celsius in coming days.
Last year there had been 43 deaths in Durgapur and Asansol belt. Every year quite a large number of people get killed due to intense heat wave in Durgapur-Asansol region.
The consultant physician at CMRI warned that the elderly, small children and those who need to work long hours outdoors are the most vulnerable. Going out in the heat immediately from an air-conditioned room, too, could create problems for many.
"Drinking enough fluid is very important to beat dehydration. Umbrella is effective in protecting from the scorching sun. People should avoid oily and spicy food and also fruits that are cut and sold in the open," added Ghosh Dastidar.
Durgapur, 9th April 2013
Ardex Endura will set up plants in Bangalore and Durgapur, West Bengal
German-based Ardex GmbH, a high performance speciality building material provider, has formed a joint venture with Prism Cement to set up two plants in India with an investment of Rs 40 crore.
The joint venture company Ardex Endura will set up plants in Bangalore and Durgapur, West Bengal, this year to meet the growing demand in the South, especially in Tamil Nadu and North-East.
Vijay Aggarwal, Non-Executive Chairman, Ardex Endura and Managing Director, Prism Cement, said the new plants will strengthen the company’s position in (tile-fixing) adhesive, flooring products, water proofing concrete repair and allied products' market.
The company has two units in Bangalore and Baroda with capacity of 45,000 tonnes a year. This will go up to 150,000 tonnes after new production centres go on stream. The company recorded a sales turnover of Rs 82 crore last year and expects it to touch Rs 100 crore this year.
Mark Eslamlooy, CEO, Ardex Group Global, said the tie-up will help the company to introduce some of its patented products after making suitable modification to suit India.
Durgapur, 9th April 2013
CPM - Trinumal Clashes in Durgapur
At least three CPM party offices one Trinamul Party office has been attacked by each other in Durgapur after West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo, Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal Finance Minister, Mr. Amit Mitra were heckled in Delhi by SFI activists.
Ms Banerjee came to Delhi to seek financial assistance for her state, which owes nearly 2 lakh crores in loans to the Centre. She has cancelled her meeting with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram that was scheduled in the afternoon. She has also cancelled her meeting scheduled with Prime Minister Monmohan Singh as she felt unwell after the incident.
The 66-year-old Mr Mitra bore the brunt of the attack, he said he was beaten with sticks and his kurta was torn. He was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and is still in hospital.
The SFI activists were protesting the death of their colleague, Sudipto Gupta.
As soon as news of the assault reached West Bengal, Trinamool workers launched their revenge attacks. CPM and SFI offices were targeted in various parts of West Bengal.
Durgapur too was not left out. The Ashis Jabbar Bhaban, the CPM Party Office in the steel township of Durgapur were attacked by about 20 armed Trinamool men. They damaged the furniture, several two wheelers standing outside and threw stone. The police however reached after the TMC men left the place.
Durgapur, 8th April 2013
Police custody for IITian
The IIT student arrested yesterday on the charge of impersonating an examinee of the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) was today remanded in police custody till April 14.
Authorities at IIT Kharagpur today confirmed that the arrested youth Manindra Kumar was a student of the institute. "There is a student called Manindra Kumar in the agricultural and food engineering department. Police will take action according to the law. Our disciplinary committee will hold a meeting and decide on whether to expel him. But the police are yet to inform us about the arrest of the youth," registrar T.K. Ghosal said.
The Durgapur police said Manindra was a first-year IIT student and had taken Rs 80,000 for appearing on behalf of Avishek Kumar, a Patna resident.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (east) Sunil Yadav today said: "Avishek had approached a private tutorial in Patna to arrange for an impersonator. The deal was fixed at Rs 2 lakh. Manindra had been given Rs 80,000. We approached his family members in Bihar Sharif who said he studied in IIT Kharagpur."
The police said Manindra's father was a businessman.
The owner of the Patna institute, Rajiv Ranjan, and Avishek are absconding.
The manager of the Durgapur hotel where Manindra, Avishek and Rajiv stayed the day before the exam has been arrested for allotting them a room without verification.
Durgapur, 8th April 2013
Durgapur Park MD thrashed for absence stick
The managing director of a Calcutta company that runs an amusement park in Durgapur has accused Trinamul union activists of assaulting him after he barred 17 employees from working today because they skipped work yesterday for an INTTUC meeting.
Later this evening, Trinamul secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said in Calcutta: "I am not aware of what happened in Durgapur today. I have already made it clear that we will not tolerate such highhandedness. We are trying to create a peaceful ambience for entrepreneurs in Bengal."
The INTTUC leadership in Burdwan, however, remained tightlipped about the incident.
Santosh Das, the assistant manager of Exalt Services that runs the park near Durgapur township, said the 17 workers today returned to the park with some INTTUC activists after they were denied entry earlier in the day.
"I had been told by the managing director (Debashish Roy) not to allow the workers join duty today because they skipped work yesterday without informing us. They had gone to the INTTUC state conference. But instead of listening to me, they started hurling abuses," Das said.
He added that the trade union activists, led by Asish Chakraborty, the assistant secretary of the Trinamul-backed Durgapur Steel Plant Thika Sramik Congress, took him to the INTTUC office 2km away and assaulted him.
"They slapped me, took away my cellphone and forced me to go with them on a bike to the union office on Kalidas Road. There, they hit me with sticks. They asked me to call up the managing director and tell him to come over to the office," said Das, who suffered bruises on his shoulder and back.
Managing director and co-owner of Exalt Services Debasish Roy said he rushed to the union office with senior manager N.C. Mandal, but both of them were assaulted after being locked up there.
"I told them that the employees were not allowed to work today because they had not informed us about their absence. The company rule says that no employee should skip work without informing unless it is an emergency. I told the INTTUC activists that the 17 are my employees and I have every right to take action against them. But I was beaten up along with my manager Mandal," said 45-year-old Roy.
According to Roy, when the INTTUC activists went outside the union office, he called up police who rescued the three after an hour.
The managing director, who lodged a complaint at Durgapur police station later in the evening, also accused the police of asking him to settle the dispute through talks with the INTTUC activists.
Asked about the allegation, additional deputy commissioner of police Sunil Yadav said: “I don’t know if any policeman had advised the complainant to settle the matter through talks. I will look into this. We have started a probe on the complaint of assault."
Roy also alleged that the INTTUC had been trying to form a union in the park for the past two years.
The 17 workers, most of whom earn around Rs 4,000 a month, said they would lose three days' pay. "We work on off days to supplement our income. On Saturday, we went for a conference in Singur. Yesterday, we attended the Durgapur meeting. Today, we were not allowed to work," a worker said.
Exalt Services took the park on lease from SAIL seven years ago. The park's ticket counter was closed today, which meant free entry to visitors.
Asish Chakraborty, who was accused of leading the assault, denied the allegation.
INTTUC Burdwan chief Pravat Chatterjee refused comment.
Durgapur, 7th April 2013
Senior TMC leaders skip INTTUC meet at Durgapur
The factional difference in the Trinamool Congress yet again appeared wide in the open as a group of senior Trinamool trade union leaders boycotted the second state conference of INTTUC that began Saturday in Durgapur. Senior trade union leaders including Sovan Deb Chattopadhyay, Saugata Roy and Subrata Mukherjee were absent from the meeting.
Party insiders said that the leaders boycotted the conference as it has been organised violating the rules of the party union. "The constitution of the INTTUC is still underway. It is being drafted. A committee has been formed to draft the constitution. The state conference is supposed to be held after the constitution is ready. However, Dola Sen, INTTUC state president unilaterally took the decision to hold the conference today in Durgapur, spending a huge amount of money," said a senior leader of INTTUC central committee.
Meanwhile, state cabinet ministers, including Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee and Labour Minister Purnendu Basu and Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy attended the two-day conference. The Durgapur-Asansol industrial hub houses several core industries from the steel and coal sector besides a cluster of small and medium secondary steel units, fertiliser and power sector units. The venue for INTTUC's state conference is Rajiv Gandhi Maidan. More than 70,000 delegates joined the conference and several hotels, schools, private and government houses were booked to accommodate them.
The INTTUC, meanwhile, is yet to get "official" recognition in both the major core sectors of coal and steel.
When contacted, Sougata Roy, Trinamool MP and trade union leader of the party said, "I was invited. But I decided not to go. I am not very much attached with INTTUC. Moreover, I had other works to do."
Durgapur, 7th April 2013
Impersonator at JEE claims IIT label
A person who claimed to be an IIT Kharagpur student was arrested today on the charge of impersonating an examinee of Joint Entrance Examination (Main) in Durgapur.
Police said Manidra Kumar, 21, who identified himself as a second-year student of agricultural and food engineering at IIT Kharagpur, was impersonating one Avishek Kumar, both of whom hailed from Nalanda in Bihar.
Asked about the arrest, the registrar of IIT Kharagpur, T.K. Ghosal, said: "It is difficult for us to say off-hand whether Manindra Kumar is our student as it is Sunday and offices are closed. The police have not informed us anything. We can only say something tomorrow." A police officer said in Durgapur: "Avishek had approached a tutorial home in Patna which arranges for such fake examinees to appear in place of original candidates. The deal was fixed at Rs 80,000 and the tutorial home operator hired the IIT student for Rs 40,000 to appear on behalf of Avishek."
The exam is organised by the CBSE for admissions to undergraduate engineering and architecture courses in central institutes other than the IITs.
Acting on a tip-off, the police alerted the examination centre superintendent at Hem Sheela Model School in Durgapur that a person was appearing on behalf of Avishek Kumar.
"I immediately rushed to the examination hall with the CBSE observer Supriyo Pal and checked the identity card and found some irregularity. The photograph of the original candidate that was with us did not match the person who was writing the exam. We asked him to put his signature on a piece of paper. This also did not match. However, we did not tell him anything and waited for the police to come," said Soumen Chakraborty, the centre superintendent and the principal of the school.
Chakraborty said the boy had similarity with the original candidate.
A police team led by additional deputy commissioner of police (east division) Sunil Yadav arrived at the exam centre around 10.30am and took the youth to the police station.
"After interrogating Manindra, we raided a hotel and detained Avishek," said a police officer.
Durgapur, 6th April 2013
Hotel crisis in Durgapur before AIEEE
Thousands of candidates who have arrived in Durgapur along with their parents to take the AIEEE test tomorrow are finding it difficult to get accommodation because of a shortage of hotel rooms.
Many candidates who have come from neighbouring districts and Jharkhand said they would return home and again start out for Durgapur around 3 in the morning. Many others said they did not know what to do and feared they might have to spend the night on the road.
Altogether 11,000 candidates will take the exam tomorrow at 17 centres in Durgapur. The exam will begin at 9am. The candidates have been asked to reach the exam centres by 8.30am.
The All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) is organised by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for admission to undergraduate engineering and architecture courses in central institutes other than the IITs.
The AIEEE examination coordinator in Durgapur, Papiya Mukherjee, said: "We have completed all necessary arraignments at the 17 centres across the town. Candidates taking the traditional pen-and-paper mode have chosen exam centres in Durgapur, Calcutta, Howrah and Siliguri."
Last year, exam centres were set up only in Durgapur and Siliguri, inconveniencing thousands of candidates. Durgapur has around 3,000 hotel rooms, almost all of which are full because of the rush of AIEEE candidates and their parents. Trinamul trade union INTTUC members have also booked rooms because of a convention in Durgapur tomorrow.
Hotel authorities said they were refusing candidates with folded hands, saying rooms had been booked much in advance.
"All 56 rooms in my hotel have been booked by AIEEE candidates. Many others are coming but we can't offer any more rooms. The situation is the same in most other hotels in town," said Kabi Dutta, the managing director of Citi Residenci hotel.
As the exam begins early, candidates from neighbouring districts who had to return home said they would find it difficult to reach on time tomorrow. The steel town is 180km from Purulia town, 80km from Birbhum's Suri and 60km from Bankura town.
Mrinmoy Majumdar, the owner of a hotel chain in Durgapur, said hotels in neighbouring Asansol and Ranigunj, an hour's drive from the steel town, could accommodate another 1,500 people at best.
Purulia resident Kanchan Seet, whose son Subrata will take the exam for the second time, said: "This time, I had planned well ahead and booked a triple-bed room in Durgapur three months ago. But several of my son's friends are worried as they have not found hotel rooms."
Arpita Majumdar of Dhanbad said: "All hotel rooms have been booked. I had not expected such a rush. I can't find a place to spend the night. I don’t know what to do."
Many candidates who have relatives in Durgapur have requested them for accommodation. "I have been approached by a friend in Suri and a relative in Bankura. Both their sons will write the exam. But I can accommodate only one of them in my small house," said a Durgapur Steel Plant employee.
Source: The Telegraph
Durgapur, 6th April 2013
Professor calls off fast after assurance
The NIT Durgapur assistant professor, who began a fast yesterday demanding that anomalies in records related to a delayed promotion be corrected, called off his protest today after the authorities promised to look into his grievances.
Subrata Nandi, 40, had to be hospitalised this morning. Doctors at the NIT health centre in Durgapur said he was suffering from acute dehydration and his blood pressure had fallen. "We have given him saline and medicines," a doctor said.
Nandi, a faculty member in the computer science and engineering department, broke his fast after NIT director-in-charge Debidas Ghosh met him at the hospital and assured him that his grievances would be looked into. "I told him his grievances would be addressed and requested him to withdraw the fast because of his health. I also gave him ORS water," Ghosh said.
Nandi said after he was discharged from the health centre in the afternoon: "I have withdrawn the fast for the time being as the NIT authorities assured me that my grievances will be looked into. But if my demands are not met, I will again sit on a hunger strike."
Yesterday, Ghosh had denied Nandi's allegation that a promotion due to the assistant professor in 2008 was given in 2011. The director-in-charge had also refuted Nandi's charge that the promotion was delayed because when the NIT implemented the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations in January 2006, his previous experience was not taken into account. Nandi had joined the institute as lecturer in 1998.
Ghosh had said Nandi's promotion got delayed because the assistant professor did not appear before the selection committee in 2008.
NIT director Tarakeswar Kumar and registrar Prabhdeep Singh Sandhu have called an emergency meeting tomorrow evening at the director's chamber to discuss Nandi's demand. The assistant professor had demanded that the records be corrected to mention that he got the promotion in 2008, not 2011, so that his next promotion, due in 2014, is not affected. Six deans will also attend the meeting.
"We will discuss the promotion-related issues of Nandi and other faculty members tomorrow and hope that the problems will be sorted out soon,” an NIT dean said.
Forty-six other faculty members had organised relay dharnas on the campus yesterday demanding that anomalies related to their promotions and salaries be sorted out. They too have withdrawn their protest following the assurance from the NIT.
The Union human resources development ministry wrote to the NIT recently, ordering that all anomalies in employee promotions and salaries be corrected before April 30. A new promotion policy will be introduced in the coming months.
Source: The Telegraph
Durgapur, 5th April 2013
Prof, wife stage fast-unto-death over anomalies in pay
An assistant professor of national Institute of Technology, Dr Subrata Nandi and his wife started fast-unto-death today protesting against the alleged denial of rectification of anomaly in pay fixation by the NIT.
Dr Subrata Nandi, the assistant professor at the NIT's Computer Science & Engineering department and his wife Mrs Gargi Nandi were seen sitting in front of the director's office. The director, Dr Tarkeswar Kumar was, however, not present on the campus. The registrar, Mr P S Sandhu was at Kolkata for office work.
Dr Nandi was due to get a promotion and his case was considered in 2008. He was supposed to appear before a panel on 18 September 2008. "I was in Germany during the period and couldn't appear. After I returned, I had pleaded several times to consider my case but the authority remained indifferent," said Dr Nandi.
On 18 March the Ministry of Human Resource Development issued a circular to the directors of all the NIT's to ensure absolute removal of anomalies arising out of the implementation of Sarangi Committee's recommendations and Career Advancement Scheme by 30 April. The directive by Mr Rajesh Singh, director (Technical), MHRD stated: "The council of NITs had permitted CAS only as an one-time measure. No permission shall be granted for conducting selection under CAS in any institution after 30 April 2013."
Dr Mitra said: "They have promoted me on 1 January 2011 and my seniority of 27 months have vanished from my service career and financially I have lost at least Rs 10 lakh as a result." He added: 'As the authority has not shown courage to rectify my record before 30 April, my case would get shelved permanently." The NIT, Durgapur, meanwhile, has found 45 such cases with gross anomalies. The NIT registrar, Mr P S Sandhu said today: "We have set up a fresh panel comprising registrars and senior professors from Viswa Bharati University, IIT, Kharagpore, NITs of Roorki, Surat who will meet on 19 April to decide the cases."
Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 4th April 2013
Road blocked to protest Essar FIR
Villagers on Thursday blocked a road leading to NH60 near Durgapur for three hours after 13 of them were summoned by a court on a police complaint lodged by Essar Oil Ltd against a group that stalled work in February.
The protesters threatened to stall work again at the two coal-bed methane (CBM) pits in Laudoha if the charge of breach of peace against them was not withdrawn.
The 13 villagers have been summoned by the Durgapur ACJM court for a hearing on April 10.
"We had stopped work at Essar's two CBM pits because we had some grievances against the company. They had promised us a metal road and concrete drains. But they started work on them only after we protested. When everything was settled, why did the company lodge the complaint?" said Kajal Mukherjee, a local Trinumal leader summoned for the April 10 hearing.
Essar had lodged the complaint at Laudoha police station on Feb. 15.
The Essar authority in Mumbai said the company has lodged the complaint against unknown villagers but the police charged 13 of them.
"The police found 13 villagers guilty in the incident and filed a report in the court. The court has summoned them
The matter is now between the police and the court. We have no role in it now, neither can we withdraw the complaint," said Rabin Ghosh, the Essar spokesperson.
S.S. Murugan, the assistant commisioner of police (east), said. "We have found 13 persons guilty during our probe. We will discuss the matter with the villagers but the law will take its course."
Today, the villagers placed branches of trees on a three-point crossing at Nachan around 9am. Over 60 vehicles, including an Essar medical van going to Laudoha for free health camp, were held up.
The roadblock was lifted after the police assured the villagers that a meeting would be held on April 8.
Durgapur, 2nd April 2013
Durgapur Steel Plant achieves record production in 2012-13
Durgapur Steel Plant, a unit of SAIL, recorded an all-time high performance in 2012-13. Output of hot metal, crude steel and saleable steel grew 7 per cent, 6 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.
Production of special steel and supply of wheels and axles were up by 16 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. Continuous casting, blend mix and sinter were also up.
The production figures exceeded annual targets for all areas of production. The plant has also recorded the best ever techno-economic performance in important parameters such as blast furnace productivity, sinter plant productivity, total metallic input, specific water consumption and manpower productivity.
According to P. K. Singh, CEO of DSP, the record-breaking performance in financial year 2012-13 "sets a new trend in DSP for the coming years".
Durgapur, 26th March 2013
Durgapur MLA gets threat calls
Durgapur (east) MLA Nikhil Banerjee has reportedly started receiving threat calls on his cell phone. Banerjee, who had recently replaced Asansol South MLA Tapas Banerjee as the chairman of the AsansolDurgapur Development Authority (ADDA), has lodged an FIR but no one has been arrested yet.
It may be noted that Banerjee was not a Trinamool Congress member when he was given a ticket to fight election under the party banner in the 2011 assembly polls. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had decided to field a non-political person in the election and chose the veteran doctor. He not only won the Durgapur (east) seat, he went on to become the ADDA chairman by removing Trinamool strongman Tapas Banerjee.
Though the reason behind the removal was not clear, but it is suspected that internal feud had forced the leadership to choose a non-political person.
When contacted by TOI, Banerjee said that he had no personal grudge on anybody. Someone might have been affected by my some of decisions taken in the capacity of ADDA chairman. " I have provided the cops with the phone number from which I have been receiving the calls and I hope the cops will nab the culprits soon," he said.
"We've started a probe but no one has been arrested yet," said Ajay Kumar Nand, Asansol Durgapur commissioner.
Durgapur, 25th March 2013
Durgapur Headmaster missing
Headmaster of a primary school in Durgapur is missing for the last five days. Mr. Manas Patra a resident of Golf Nagar area of Durgapur is missing from 20th March. Mr. Patra is the headmaster of Hrader Danga Primary school of Laudoha under Faridpur police station of Durgapur.
His wife, Mrs. Pratima Patra has reported the matter to local police on 21st March. The police have recovered the motorcycle of Mr. Patra from the parking area of Deul Park. On 23rd March, Mrs. Pratima Devi in a written complain informed the police that on 19th March evening, the day before Mr. Patra went missing, two teachers of the school and some local people from the place where the school is met the headmaster. They came in the evening and called Mr. Patra outside his house. They had long hours of chat with the headmaster. The next day, Mr. Patra went to his school but didn't return. Wife of the headmaster in her letter expressed her suspect that her husband may have been kidnapped.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jayanta Ruidas, the secretary of the school managing committee, in which Mr. Patra is the headmaster, said that he has got verbal complain from parents of two girl student that Mr. Patra has ill behaved with their wards. He however said, "Mr. Patra has been teaching in the school for several years now and we are all surprised by this allegation against the headmaster whom we knew and considered as a respected gentleman." Mr. Ruidas further added that no formal complain has been lodged against Mr. Patra. The police have said that investigation is going on with all urgency.
Durgapur, 23rd March 2013
Slash charge on leader
A Trinamul leader in Durgapur today allegedly slit the wrist of an unemployed youth who accused him of failing to provide him a job despite taking Rs 40,000 from him in January.
A group of Trinamul workers beat up the accused leader, Ashok Jana, after the 27-year-old youth, Basudeb Mahato, complained to them.
Basudeb said Jana, who looks after the INTTUC union at the boiler-manufacturing Alstom factory in Durgapur, had promised him a job in the unit after the youth's father died.
"My father used to work at the Alstom unit. He died of a heart attack on this day last year. Ashokda had promised me a job at the Alstom unit and taken Rs 40,000 from me in January," said Basudeb, who has been admitted to Durgapur sub-divisional hospital.
"I contacted Ashokda several times but he said he would not be able to arrange for the job. Today is my father's first death anniversary and I needed money to perform some rituals. When I went to the party office and requested Ashokda to return the money, he assaulted me and slashed my left wrist with a blade," Basudeb said.
Police rescued the man and shifted him to Durgapur SD Hospital with multiple injuries. None has been booked yet.
Durgapur, 23rd March 2013
Durgapur land acquisition bid, despite CM's 'no'
Despite Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's repeated "no" to the state's bid for further land acquisition, the LA Collectorate in Burdwan has brought out a fresh notification for acquisition of 17 acres of land in the Panagarh Industrial Park.
The state government said the acquisition was required to help further expansion of the proposed Panagarh Industrial Park. It has also suggested that the unwilling land owners, if any, would have to file objection by 30 days of the publication of the notification.
In a hush, the Collectorate brought out a notification (No: Burdwan - 91/LA/20 (IV)/Special Squad/10 IV/12-13, dated 4 March 2013) for acquisition of 17 acres in Soain and Pondali mouzas in Ausgram PS in Burdwan. The fresh land acquisition bid has drawn criticism from a section of residents, regarding which a few protesters met the DM, Burdwan yesterday. Mr Bansimohan Pan of Soain said, "We will extend cooperation only if we are offered compensation at the rate of Rs 1.20 crore per acre and permanent absorption."
The district administration, meanwhile, hasn't faced any opposition from farmers and residents in Ausgram. DM, Burdwan, Onkar S Meena said: "The acquisition is meant to help setting up a Railway siding there. We shall offer compensation at par with the market rates plus 30 per cent additional payment."
Source: The Statesman
Durgapur, 22nd March 2013
Glare on NIT, Durgapur registrar appointment age
Agitation and protest dharna continues at Durgapur NIT for the second consecutive day. Trouble which started with the librarian of the NIT being asked by the registrar to take premature retirement or continue with a demotion has now taken a turn towards the very appointment of the registrar.
Teachers and students of the centre-run NIT Durgapur yesterday wrote to the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry questioning the appointment of the registrar. They alleged that the appointment of Colonel (retired) Prabhdeep Singh Sandhu at 59 violated the Ministry's rule that allow the selection of only those who are below 57, for the registrar's post.
"A person can be appointed as NIT registrar only till he is 57. Mr. Sandhu was 59 when he was appointed the registrar last year. His appointment was not discussed in any of the board's meeting. Mr. Sandhu should step down immediately," a professor of Civil Engineering said holding a copy of the rule. The teacher said a copy of the letter demanding the immediate removal of the registrar has been sent to the HRD Ministry and has also been forwarded to the NIT's Board of Governors. At least 2500 students and teachers of NIT Durgapur signed the letter.
Asked about the allegation Mr. Sandhu said that the age limit was relaxed in his case. Mr. Sandhu said, "I have 6 years of experience as the registrar in various institutes. That's why I was appointed at 59. I am well aware of the Ministry rule which limit the age of such appointment to 57 years."
The registrar further claimed that a section of teachers and students had been trying to create disturbance in institute." I have been trying to point out the anomalies here. That's why a section of the faculty is trying to malign me. They are also instigating the students," the registrar pointed out.
Registrars at the NIT's are appointed by the directors who are selected by HRD Ministry. Repeated calls to Mr. Tarakeswar Kumar the NIT Durgapur Director went unanswered.
Although the HRD Ministry rule allows the appointment of registrar till 57, however every NIT lays down their own age limit for such posts. According to the advertisement published for the registrar's post at NIT Durgapur last year, the maximum age was fixed at 57. Then how was Mr. Sandhu at 59 appointed for the post remains a mystery.
Relation and a section of three NIT teachers and students turned sour when the Librarian alleged that the registrar was repeatedly asking him to premature retirement or accept a demotion. The situation turned worse when the registrar lodged the police complaint against 3 teachers and the librarian Mr.Manik Mandal.
The teachers and the students had been sitting on a dharna inside the NIT Campus from 21st of March, protesting the "high-handedness" of the registrar.
Durgapur, 21st March 2013
Retirement push blame on Durgapur, NIT registrar
The librarian of the Centre-run National Institute of Technology in Durgapur has accused the registrar of asking him to take premature retirement or continue with a demotion.
According to rules of the Union human resource development ministry, which runs the institute, the retirement age for librarians and assistant librarians of all Centre-run technical institutes is 62 years. The institute was in 2003 upgraded from the state-run Regional Engineering College, where the retirement age was 60.
Librarian Manik Mandal, who turned 60 in January this year, has lodged complaints with the director and the board of governors against Colonel (retired) P.S. Sandhu, the registrar.
"The registrar called me to his chamber on January 28, three days before I turned 60. He told me that I would have to retire by January 31 or continue as assistant librarian. I quoted the ministry rules and argued that I am supposed to work in the institute for two more years as librarian. But he asked me to walk out of the college rightaway. I was not issued any retirement notice. I felt humiliated," Mandal said.
The librarian alleged that Sandhu had been since then repeatedly calling him to his chamber and asking him to retire. Asked about the allegation, Sandhu said Mandal was promoted to the librarian's post before the college was accorded the status of a central institute and so would have to retire at 60 according to rules in state-run institutes.
"Mandal cannot continue in his post as librarian. He is over 60 and should retire according to the rules that were followed in the Regional College of Engineering. He was made the librarian during that time. He is instigating a section of teachers against me and trying to create disturbance in the college," Sandhu said.
Asked if Mandal could continue as assistant librarian, Sandhu refused comment.
Mandal, who joined the Regional College Of Engineering in 1989 as assistant librarian, was promoted to the librarian's post 10 years later.
A delegation of the faculty that met the registrar on January 31 in support of Mandal's claims, today accused Sandhu of misbehaving with them.
"We had to walk out of the meeting as the registrar misbehaved with us," a teacher of the institute said.
The registrar has lodged an FIR with the police against three teachers and Mandal, accusing them of disrupting peace in the college.
Today, a section of the faculty members along with students sat on a dharna on the NIT campus, protesting the registrar's high-handedness.
"We want to save the institute from the high-handedness of the registrar. We will not tolerate such humiliation meted out to Mandal," a teacher of the civil engineering department said.
The NIT's director, Tarakeswar Kumar, who officials said was in Delhi for a meeting with the HRD ministry, could not be reached for comment.
Durgapur, 20th March 2013
Land fee protest stalls Essar work
Sixteen villagers with alleged Trinamul backing whose land is being used by Essar Oil Ltd for laying pipes stalled work at Burdwan’s Kanksa today, complaining they have not been paid.
"The company had promised to pay us (a one-time fee of) Rs 300 per metre for laying the pipes to supply coal-bed methane (CBM) but we have not got the money yet. We had no alternative but to stall work," said Badal Mandal, 47, who claimed to be a Trinamul supporter.
The work started around two months ago. The Mumbai-based Essar does not need to acquire land on the 7km stretch where they are laying underground pipes. Villagers will be able to cultivate the land once the pipeline is laid. The land in Molandighi is single-crop. The villagers grow vegetables on it, but right now, the land is lying fallow.
Essar is laying pipes between Molandighi and Egaro Mile, a 7km stretch covering five villages, to supply the CBM to the upcoming Rs 5,000-crore Matix Fertiliser plant in Panagarh. Essar has finished laying the pipes on 2.5km.
The 16 villagers arrived at Essar's garage-cum-site office at Molandighi around 7am. "The villagers stopped our earthmoving machines when they were about to roll out of the garage and started sloganeering. Our workers did not dare to step out. I have informed my superiors," said Rakesh Patel, the site in-charge.
Trinamul's Kanksa block president Debdas Bakshi said: "Before the villagers are identified, we cannot say if they belong to our party."
He, however, supported their demand. "They are demanding money for (the use of) their land. The company should accept their demand," Bakshi said.
Essar officials said that since January, four such disruptions had taken place at various sites of the project. Asked about the payments to villagers, an Essar official in Durgapur said: "We are still carrying some verification work and payments will be made soon. We will sort out the matter with villagers through discussions."
Durgapur, 19th March 2013
Immediate repair call for NH bridge
A railway overbridge on the Calcutta-Delhi NH2 in Burdwan's Panagarh has developed multiple cracks and is in need of immediate repairs, railway engineers have said in a report.
The revelation comes less than a month of the collapse of a portion of the VIP Road flyover within two years of its inauguration. Faulty design and construction are suspected to have caused the fall.
According to sources, an inspection carried out in Panagarh last month by a team of civil and mechanical engineers from the divisional railway authority in Asansol suggested that one of the overbridge's 10 bearings, which support the weight of the structure, needed to be "replaced immediately"
The bearing has become "non-functional", a railway engineer said. The report has been submitted to senior divisional engineer (bridge and sliding) Omprakash Kumar in Asansol. "We have to immediately replace one of the bearings of the bridge and repair the girders (beams). The railways have sanctioned Rs 1 crore and we will float tenders soon," Kumar said.
He said over a lakh vehicles used the overbridge every day. When this correspondent visited the bridge today, he found many bolts in the joints missing. The bridge was riddled with cracks and potholes. Highway officials said the crevices were caused because of rain and high vehicular movement.
The bridge was built in 2000 by the railways to connect two ends of NH2 in Panagarh. The tracks beneath connect Calcutta with Delhi and trains such as the Rajdhani and the Kalka Mail use the stretch.
A railway engineer said the overbridge had elastomeric bearings ---rubberised plates fitted between girders and pillars. If they become weak, he said, the weight is transferred to the pillars, which could lead to a collapse. The overbridge has four pillars.
Although Kumar said overbridges needed repairs every 15 years, a senior railway engineer in Asansol said the bearings had to be repaired within eight years of the bridge's inauguration.
"At least a lakh light, medium and heavy vehicles use the bridge daily. The bridge was supposed to be repaired by 2008. But it was not done. The average longevity of the 10 bearings came down to eight years from 15 because of so many heavy vehicles plying on it," the engineer said.
A professor of civil engineering at the National Institute of Technology in Durgapur said: "I will not comment on the condition of the bridge without inspecting it. However, if a bearing has become weak, the load will create pressure on the pillars. This could lead to a collapse."
Railway officials in Asansol said the repairs would take around four months, during which the bridge would have to be closed.
The 3.2km single-lane highway stretch in Panagarh witnesses regular traffic snarls, especially in the evenings. A project to build a 12km bypass has been in the pipeline for years because of an impasse over compensation.
Highway officials said if the overbridge was closed, the traffic situation would worsen.
Ajay Ahluwalia, the chief general manager (technical) of NHAI in the eastern region, said he was yet to receive any letter from the railways regarding the repairs.
Durgapur, 18th March 2013
Chit fund link in kidnap
A Durgapur trader who police said was an agent of a chit fund company that allegedly swindled around Rs 400 crore out of its investors in 2009 was kidnapped yesterday.
According to the police, Arup Saha, 40, who owns a catering company, travel agency and a sweet shop, was dragged into a red SUV yesterday afternoon by a gang of eight youths on Hostel Avenue, near the Durgapur Steel Plant township where he had gone to finalise a deal.
"Sahababu was talking to Pandeyji (whom he had gone to meet) near the football ground along Hostel Avenue when a speeding Sumo screeched to a halt. Eight youths got down and asked which one of the two was Saha. Pandeyji pointed out Sahababu and they dragged him inside. I fled. But I saw Pandeyji getting into the car," said Swapan Majhi, one of Saha's employees who had accompanied him on Saha's bike.
Officers at Durgapur police station, where Saha's wife Rita lodged a complaint of kidnapping last night, said they were yet to get any "information" on "Pandeyji". "We suspect Pandey is not his actual name," an officer said.
Asked about Saha's links with Sun Finance, a chit fund agency that allegedly swindled 32,000 investors out of Rs 400 crore four years ago, the officer said Saha was an agent of the company and had gone into hiding for about two months when the agency’s owner was found murdered in 2010.
"It was suspected that investors had murdered Shantanu Chakraborty (the company owner). Earlier, he had been arrested when he failed to return the money to the investors but was released on bail in 2010. Within two weeks, his body was found in a ditch along NH2," the officer added.
Sources said Saha, who had gone into hiding fearing for his life after the owner's murder, returned to Durgapur after two months and set up a number of businesses. He bought five steel plant quarters and remodelled them into a bungalow.
The police said they were probing if any of the investors in Sun Finance is involved in the kidnapping. "We are exploring all angles. Saha's cellphone is switched off," said S.S. Murugan, the assistant commissioner of police (east).
According to one of Saha's employees, the trader had got threat calls from several investors over the past couple of months. "They were demanding their money back," he said, adding: "Sahababu was planning to launch a money marketing company."
Saha's wife Rita said: "My husband has no enmity with anybody. I will not speak any more on this."
Durgapur, 17th March 2013
Police rubber bullets at agitators
Police fired 13 rounds of rubber bullets after failing to disperse a group of residents agitating after a road accident in which a boy was killed in Durgapur on Sunday.
A 1500 strong mob hurled stones and bricks at the police after the year old boy was run over by a TATA Sumo sporting a police stricker at Amrai More, about 15 km from City Centre.
Residents say the speeding Sumo lost control, swerved to the left and hit the boy, who was sitting in front of a jewellery shop to take shelter from gusty winds and rain.
The boy was crushed between the shop's shutters and the car. The driver fled, leaving the vehicle behind.
Several people who gathered at the spot placed the body in the middle of the road. Many other broke the windscreen of the Sumo.
A mobile police jeep arrived within 15 minutes but left as the residents pelted it with stones. Around 3.30pm about 35 policemen in six mobile patrol van arrived and tried to chase away the mob with batons.
But the agitators attacked the policemen with stones and bricks. Four policemen were injured. A bigger force arrived and burst seven rounds of tear gas shells and fired 13 rounds of rubber bullets to disperse the mob. "We are yet to ascertain if the Sumo belongs to the police," and officer said.
Durgapur, 13th March 2013
Durgapur airport to be ready by May
The greenfield airport that is in an advanced stage of construction at Andal near Durgapur has received a thumbs-up from director general of civil aviation Arun Mishra. After visiting the site, Mishra remarked: "Of the country's 15 greenfield airport projects that were approved, the Durgapur airport is the one that has made the most significant progress."
The project - which is currently in the finishing stage with less than 15% work left on the runway, passenger terminal and air traffic control tower - is expected to be completed by May. Subrata Paul, the chief executive officer of Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL), said the airport would be ready for commercial operations by October 2013. Singapore airport operator Changi holds 26% equity in the project.
"We have already applied for licence to the DGCA. Mishra's visit following our request marks the final lap of the airport's development," Paul said.
Though the formalities needed for a greenfield airport to be commercially operational are cumbersome and time-consuming, Mishra was quite impressed by the pace of work. "A lot of progress has been made in a short time despite several constraints," he said after the trip to Andal.
DGCA is expected to undertake an inspection of the airport sometime this yearend, followed by trial flights before the airport can receive the nod for full-fledged commercial operations. BAPL is already in talks with Jet Airways, IndiGo and Air India for flights to the airport that has several industrial towns like Durgapur, Burnpur, Raniganj and Dhanbad in its catchment area.
Apart from the 650-acre airport, BAPL plans to develop residential townships, hospitals, IT hubs and industries in the remaining 1,200 acre. The Mamata Banerjee government, that was initially critical of the project, has made it clear that it will take a call on the rest of the project only after the airport is ready.
The project with land requirement of nearly 2,000 acre, faced multiple hurdles including objections from Coal India during the initial land acquisition stage and later from locals demanding higher compensation. The state government's hands-off policy on land has not helped matters.
"There have been challenges before the project but we have managed to get over many issues and bring the project to this stage. I am confident that the airport will be ready by the middle of this year and BAPL will become the first greenfield airport to commence operations in the east," the official said.
Durgapur, 12th March 2013
Sick New Born Care Unit opened at Durgapur Sub-Divisional Hospital
A new "Sick New Born Care Unit" with a totally furnished new building opened at Durgapur Sub-Divisional Hospital at Bidhannagar. Durgapur Mayor Sri Apurba Mukherjee opened the unit by cutting the ribbon also present on the occassion was Sri Nikhil Bhattacharya MLA Durgapur, Ayesha Rani SDO Durgapur, Onkar Singh Meena DM Burdwan District and other dignitories.
Durgapur, 11th March 2013
Trinamul Sacks factory-ruckus leader
Ashim Pramanik, the INTTUC leader in Durgapur who had laid siege to two factories and a hospital in the past few months, was expelled from Trinamul and its trade union today.
Pramanik, considered close to Durgapur mayor and Burdwan Trinamul chief Apurba Mukherjee, was sacked five days after he stalled work at Graphite India Ltd, the largest producer of graphite electrodes in the country. He had also allegedly led workers to detain officials at Jai Balaji Industries in December and created a ruckus outside the Mission Hospital a few days later.
Pramanik's expulsion was announced by district INTTUC chief Prabhat Chatterjee and Abhijit Ghatak, Trinamul Youth Congress president of Burdwan (industrial), at a news conference. Chatterjee, district Trinamul sources said, leads a party faction opposed to mayor Mukherjee and his associates.
Pramanik said Chatterjee and Ghatak had "no right" to "throw me out" of the party. Mayor Mukherjee refused comment.
Source: The Telegraph
Durgapur, 9th March 2013
Cave-in at Asansol's Barabani
Power connection was restored on Saturday in around 24 villages in Asansol's Barabani, where a subsidence took place, but water supply is yet to resume.
A pipe is being brought from Kolkata and public health engineering (PHE) officials said it could be installed late tonight.
The subsidence, allegedly triggered by illegal mining, ruptured a 12-inch water pipeline and uprooted an electric pole.
"We have already restored power connection and work is on to resume water supply. PHE officials have assured me that water supply would be restored by late tonight. Till, then we will continue supplying drinking water in tankers,: said Ujjal Biswas, the BDO of Barabani who is monitoring the restoration work since yesterday.
The administration has arranged for cars to take school sudents from the affected area to exam centres.
"Buses are not plying on the road. We have come to know that many students in the area are having trouble reaching the exam centres. Many are being forced to walk. So we have arrangeed for cars to ferry students. The kids are walking till the point where the crack end and the cars are picking them up from there," The BDO said.
Source: The Telegraph
Durgapur, 6th March 2013
Recruitment ire at Graphite India
A Trinamul leader accused of detaining officials at Durgapur's Jai Balaji Industries in December today stalled work at the biggest unit of Graphite India, the country's largest producer of graphite electrodes.
Over 500 workers led by Ashim Pramanik, whom Trinamul had disowned after the Jai Balaji unrest but who was seen sharing the stage with the Durgapur mayor a couple of weeks later, demonstrated outside Graphite India Ltd in Durgapur today, demanding that the company hire workers so that the existing employees do not have to work overtime.
Company officials The Telegraph spoke to denied there was any shortage of hands.
The president of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce said workers had to put in extra hours if the load was high but induction of hands was "absolutely the management's prerogative".
Today, armed with INTTUC flags and banners, the protesters sat on a dharna outside the company's main gate at the Sagarbhanga industrial complex from 11am to 2pm and prevented employees from entering.
Pramanik, the joint general secretary of Graphite India Ltd Contractor Workers' Union, said: "The management had in 2008 interviewed 520 youths for contract jobs and shortlisted 70. But they are yet to get appointment letters. The company is short of hands. It is forcing its employees to work overtime without pay. If the authorities don't recruit the youths selected in 2008, we will not allow work here."
Pramanik's union is one of three INTTUC-backed unions in Graphite India.
Sources said most of the 70 youths who were shortlisted became Trinamul loyalists after the party formed the government in 2011.
A senior Graphite India official in Durgapur, where 1,200 people work, said the unit did not have a shortage of hands. "We are managing work smoothly here," he said.
Senior vice-president (corporate) of Graphite India Ltd, Sushil Chowdhury, said in Calcutta: "What happened in Durgapur may be a minor issue and I am not aware of it."
Asked if there was shortage of manpower at the Durgapur plant, he said: "The unions may have their grievances but we have no information about shortage of manpower at our Durgapur plant."
The K.K. Bangur-owned and Calcutta-headquartered company has four plants -----three in India (Durgapur, Bangalore and Nashik) and one in Germany.
The Durgapur plant was set up in 1967 and is the largest of the four. The annual production capacity of the plant is 34,000 tonnes. The company exports around 65 per cent of its output to over 50 countries.
Kallol Dutta, the chief of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "If the load is higher, employees will have to work overtime. In case workload is lower, some may remain idle. But induction of people should absolutely be the management's prerogative."
Today's protest was lifted after a senior manager of the plant, Tamal Bhattacharya, assured the agitators that their grievances would be looked into.
"We have withdrawn the agitation temporarily. But if our demands are not addressed, we will stall work again," Pramanik said.
According to the officials, work at the factory was often hampered as the three INTTUC-affiliated unions came up with different demands "almost every day" and organised sit-ins.
"The three unions come up with new demands almost every day. All of them are trying to show their strength. We have to bear the brunt of their protests. We have informed INTTUC state president Dola Sen and labour minister Purnendu Bose," a senior plant official said on condition of anonymity.
Bose refused comment. District INTTUC president Prabhat Chatterjee, who had after the Jai Balaji unrest said Pramanik did not belong to Trinamul, today refused to speak about him. "The only thing that I can tell you is such an agitation or movement should not be organised without permission from higher authorities."
Durgapur, 5th March 2013
Durgapur lady gets back home
The single-storey house of a domestic help in Durgapur that was sold off allegedly by two Trinamul workers when she was away with her family was today returned to her. The keys to the Amravati house, allotted to Sumita Shaw under a central scheme in 2009, was handed over by councillor Dipankar Laha.
The Telegraph had yesterday reported that Sumita's house was sold off allegedly by Trinamul workers Dinesh Karmakar and Moloy Bauri two months ago.
The Durgapur Trinamul today distanced itself from Karmakar and Bauri. "If anyone from Trinamul is found involved in the illegal deal, he will be punished. Dinesh Karmakar and Moloy Bauri are not our party members," Laha said.
The police said they were looking for the duo. "We hope to catch them soon," said Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy superintendent of police (east).
Sumita, her husband Rajender and their two children had been living at a relative's place in Durgapur. Today, Munna Rajak, who had allegedly paid Rs 35,000 to the two Trinamul activists for the house, said he was disappointed at having "lost" his money.
"I had spent another Rs 5,000 to paint the house. I have requested Lahababu to help me get back the money," the laundry owner said. "I had been told that the house had been lying empty for a long time. I had believed the Trinamul workers."
Durgapur, 5th March 2013
Essar Oil to drill over 300 wells in Bengal to boost methane output
Essar Oil plans to drill up to 300 production wells at Ranigunj (East) coal-bed methane asset near Durgapur in West Bengal, over the next one year to boost methane output to approximately 3 million cubic metres.
The project – including wells and the associated surface infrastructure -- is estimated to cost nearly Rs 2,500 crore. According to Iftikhar Nasir, CEO of E&P business, Essar Energy Plc, Ranigunj currently produces 60,000 cubic metres of methane from 135 wells.
Addressing a tele-conference on Monday, Nasir said the company has received the due environmental clearance for drilling up to 650 wells. "We will immediately drill over 300 wells to reach the desired production levels. The rest of the wells will be added during the life cycle of the field to maintain production at the plateau level," he said.
The company claims to have been "managing production" till the main consumer Matix Fertiliser commissions its facility approximately 30-40 km away from Durgapur.
Essar, currently, has agreements with at least two prominent industrial facilities in Durgapur to supply over 1,00,000 cubic metres of gas.
Durgapur, 4th March 2013
Home sale slur on Trinamul 2
A domestic help in Durgapur has alleged that two Trinamul workers sold her house, allotted under a central scheme, when she had gone with her family to visit an ailing relative in Uttar Pradesh.
Sumita Shaw, 35, also accused police of refusing to register her complaint if she named Dinesh Karmakar and Moloy Bauri, both known Trinamul activists in Durgapur’s Amravati area.
Trinamul denied its workers were involved, but assured that the single-storey house would be “returned” to Sumita. The police, too, denied the allegation of refusing to take Sumita’s complaint.
According to the domestic help, who earns Rs 2,000 a month, she, her husband Rajender and two children had gone to Uttar Pradesh in January. When they returned on February 24, they found another family occupying their house, said Sumita, who is now staying with relatives in Durgapur.
"The person occupying our house said he had paid Rs 35,000 to Karmakar and Bauri. I went to the New Township police station a number of times, but I was told that the complaint would be accepted only if I excluded the names of the two Trinamul activists," Sumita said.
Sumita, whose husband is a labourer, said the house was allotted to her by the Durgapur municipality in 2009 against Rs 5,000.
Today, she lodged a complaint with the sub-divisional officer of Durgapur Ayesha Rani A.
Munna Rajak, a laundry owner who is currently staying in the house with his family, said he had requested Karmakar and Bauri to help him get a house at a cheap rate. "They showed me the house and I paid them Rs 35,000. I was not aware that the house belonged to another family. If I get my money back, I will vacate the house," Rajak said.
The Durgapur municipality had in 2008 and 2009 constructed around 1,400 houses for homeless persons under the Valmiki-Ambedkar Awas Yojana. The houses, 176sqft each, have a bedroom, a kitchen and a toilet.
The houses cannot be sold, nor can the beneficiaries rent them out. The house has to be handed back to civic authorities if the occupant decides to move elsewhere.
Asked about the allegation, Trinamul councillor Dipankar Laha said: "I learnt about the incident last night. The house will be returned to Sumita Shaw. We will inquire how the deal took place. But our party was not involved."
Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy commissioner of police (east division), said: "I have no information that the woman's house was sold off by two Trinamul workers. We have no reservation against receiving complaints. I will look into the matter." Source: telegraphindia.com
Durgapur, 3rd March 2013
Durgapur Steel Plant achieves record output
Durgapur Steel Plant of SAIL has recorded the all-time best 11 months production in all major categories — hot metal, crude steel, saleable steel, continuous casting, blend mix and sinter.
Congratulating the DSP collective for this performance, P.K. Singh, CEO, said: "Dedicated efforts of the employees, and synergy among all departments along with cooperation from all stakeholders, have brought in this stupendous achievement in the plant. I am confident that with this momentum, DSP is poised to record the best-ever performance in this financial year (2012-13)."
During the current fiscal (April 2012 to February 2013), the plant has recorded growth in the production of hot metal, crude steel and saleable steel by 7 per cent, 6 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively. Highest percentage growth was achieved in sinter output (12 per cent over that in 11 months of the previous fiscal).
In February, Durgapur Steel Plant overshot the monthly production targets; production of hot metal was at 128 per cent of the target, crude steel at 125 per cent and saleable steel at 119 per cent.
The output of special steel and value-added products in February reached a level of 81 per cent of the total saleable steel production.
Durgapur, 2nd March 2013
Durgapur residents sought intervention of DM on land selling issue
Residents of Kantaberia and Borgoria mouzas of Durgapur sought intervention of the district magistrate and the chairman of Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA), after they found that the land which they sold nine years ago for setting up an industrial unit are being resold now to some realtors as residential plots. Both the village Kantaberia and Borgoria at the outskirts of Durgapur has seen property prices sky rocketing in recent years after work for the proposed airport and the peripheral road around Durgapur began.
In 2004, a Patna-based private investor procured 37 acres of private land in Kantaberia and Borgoria mouzas for setting up a Ferro-alloy unit and promising job to each of the recorded owner and vendor of land. However, for the past nine years, the land lay idle, with not a single step taken to set up the promised industrial unit. The entrepreneurs, Mr. Ashoke Agarwal and Mr. Dilip Kumar, who bought the land from the local villagers for a paltry Rs 66,000 per acre promised to set up a rolling mill here.
The agreement documents concluded between the original land owners and the entrepreneurs says the latter agree "to employ one person of the recorded owner and vendor of land at Kantaberia and Borgoria in Laudoha block. They will be provided (jobs) as per his skill & experience."
The original land owners, however, noticed to their surprise that some land-brokers, allegedly engaged by the entrepreneurs, Mr. Agarwal and Mr. Kumar were negotiating with private parties intending to buy residential plots. Kantaberia villagers Mr. Haren Ruidas and Mr. Anadi Garai said they had sold the land for a paltry Rs 66,000 per acre in the hope of promoting industrialization and securing jobs. "What we see now, they have invited realtors, and the promise of setting up an industry has vanished and so did our getting a job."
Local Trinamool Congress workers, meanwhile, have started an agitation protesting against the move. Mr. Ajit Sadhu, the block Trinamool Congress leader alleged: "The locals had sacrificed the prime land for industry, which would have generated employment and we will not allow the land to be parceled out as residential plots under any circumstance. He also said that, Mr. Moloy Sadhu, a resident of B-Zone locality in Durgapur, is the key person engaged by the entrepreneurs trying to sell the land to private realtors.
The entrepreneurs, Mr. Ashoke Agarwal and Mr. Dilip Kumar, meanwhile, have vanished from the industrial hub. They didn't respond to questions from media persons. contacted over the phone, Mr. Agarwal said: "We don't want to discuss this matter."
Local residents have lodged a written complain with the district magistrate, Burdwan and the chairman, Asansol Durgapur Development Authority demanding immediate steps to prevent the entrepreneurs' move. The Chief Executive Officer, ADDA, Mrs. Antara Acharya said today: "We have received the complaint and on Monday will to discuss the matter officially." She added: "For any alteration of the nature of the land, the entrepreneurs need to seek no objection certificate from us."
Durgapur, 1st March 2013
Coke oven battery rebuilding process for DSP completed
SAIL has completed rebuilding of a coke oven battery for Durgapur Steel Plant. The battery (No 2), a part of the Rs 3,000-crore modernisation cum expansion plan for DSP, was made operational this week. The rebuilding process of the 4.45-metre tall battery with 78 ovens and advanced pollution control systems, however, witnessed about two year time over-run. Two other components of the grand project for DSP – a 0.75 million tonnes a year bloom cum round caster unit and a one million tonnes a year medium structural mill – are affected by similar delays and still not ready for commissioning. SAIL’s plant management is tight-lipped about cost over-runs for its ongoing projects. The listed PSU-steel producer has faced time and cost over-runs in all its ongoing plant level projects. DSP’s three unit project is supposed to increase steel production by 64 per cent. According to SAIL Chairman C.S. Verma, these facilities at DSP would enable it to produce steel through the continuous casting process and ensure more profitability.
Durgapur, 27th Feb 2013
5 more held for Muthoot gold heist
Five persons, including a woman, were netted in Dhanbad on Wednesday in connection with the Rs 13-crore heist at Muthoot Finance in Durgapur, Bengal, on February 1.
With this, the number of arrests in the case has reached 10. But, key accused Dasarath Mahto is still absconding.
Three of the five arrested in the small hours of Wednesday have been identified as Vibhishan Mahto, Nandlal Mahto and Ambika Devi. Police have refused to name the other two who are still being interrogated and are likely to spill the beans on others.
It is suspected that the interstate gang had members from Munger and Gaya in Bihar, where raids are imminent.
SP Ravi Kant Dhan said three district police teams raided as many villages in as many subdivisions to recover Rs 1.52 lakh in cash, two gold chains, a Rs 85,000 bike bought with the booty, an SUV involved in the daring robbery, a five-chamber revolver with three loaded cartridges, 23 pieces of .12 bore cartridges and a mobile phone.
While Rs 96,000 in cash was recovered from Vibhishan's house, the gold, the bike and Rs 34,000 were found on Nandal. Ambika had Rs 22,000 in cash at her village home.
"We knew the booty had been divided and a part of the gold sold. So, we formed three raid teams," Dhan said.
Sindri DSP Chandan Kumar Sinha raided Gudwa village in Nirsa, while the team that cracked down at Sonardih village in Sindri was led by Baghmara DSP Sanjeev Kumar. Govindpur circle inspector Ravindra Rai, on the other hand, raided Bhitia village in the same subdivision.
Dhan refused to divulge who among the five was arrested from where for the sake of investigations. He, however, confirmed that all were directly involved in the 36kg gold heist from Muthoot Finance's Beniachity branch in Durgapur, 110km from Dhanbad.
"We have information about involvement of some more people from Munger and Gaya. Raids are on and more arrests will be made," he added.
Wednesday's was the third set of arrests made since the Hollywood-style heist.
Three persons were apprehended from Dhanbad's Sadhobad village on February 5 and 3kg of gold recovered.
A team of Dhanbad and Durgapur police raided the home of Dasarath and arrested his wife Guria Devi, brother-in-law Ajit Kumar Mahto and mother-in-law Tunia Devi. Police believe they were just "receivers" of robbed items.
Two others ' Amod Chowdhury, who police said was directly involved in the robbery, and Sujit Mahto, the brother-in-law of Dasarath ' were arrested a day later. Around 10 per cent of the 36kg gold stolen were recovered.
Durgapur, 22nd Feb 2013
9th Handicraft Fair
The 9th Handicraft Fair is running from 22nd February to 8th March at Durgapur Haat, Palasdihia, opposite to City Centre. Time: 2 PM to 8.30PM. The entry to the fair is Free of cost. The fair is organised by West Bengal State Export Promotion Society, Dept of Micro and Small Scale Enterprise and Textile, Govt of West Bengal.
Durgapur, 20th Feb 2013
Locals foil abduction bid
A group of miscreants allegedly attacked a 22-year-old call centre employee and tried to abduct her at the posh Uday Shankar Bithy in City Centre on Monday. Locals rushed to the spot after hearing her cries and the miscreants managed to escape. None has been arrested yet.
Ajay Kumar Nand, police commissioner of Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate, said police were trying to trace the goons' car.
The victim, a resident of Malda, stays at a women's hostel in Durgapur. "She works in a private call centre and has informed police that the abductors tried to force her into a white Indica car when she was returning to her hostel. Police are trying to trace the car. However, she has failed to recognize the abductors. An FIR has been lodged and police have started a probe," Nand added.
Durgapur, 19th Feb 2013
Fair At Raniganj, Ronai
Fair at Ronai, Raniganj Pir babar mela.
Durgapur, 19th Feb 2013
Assets axe falls on CPM leader
The Burdwan CPM has expelled a zonal committee member in Durgapur on charges of accumulating illegal assets in the party's name.
Sources said the decision to sack Raktim Choudhury was part of the CPM's "rectification drive" before the rural polls and was taken at a district committee meeting yesterday. "Most CPM cadres approved the move," a party worker said.
"We have decided to weed out corrupt cadres and leaders as part of our rectification drive in the district. We have learnt that Choudhury used the party for his own gain. His property does not match his income. So, we have expelled Raktim," said Amal Haldar, the CPM district secretary in Burdwan.
Choudhury said he was yet to receive any letter asking him to leave the party. "I will speak only after I get such an order," he said.
Choudhury, who joined the CPM in 1988, is known to be close to a senior party leader and former MLA of Durgapur.
The Burdwan CPM had in December and January expelled 53 party members on charges of "maintaining secrete links" with Trinamul and of corruption. The move was said to be the largest one-time purge in the Bengal unit of the party in recent memory.
The expulsions were attributed to "purifying" the party in Burdwan, a Left bastion before the Assembly poll debacle in 2011.
Several party workers in Durgapur alleged that Choudhury supplied construction material and coal to factories in the nearby Angadhpur industrial estate by using his influence.
Asked if Choudhury used the money he earned supplying construction materials to amass wealth illegally, a CPM leader said: "He worked with a co-operative society in Durgapur and earned Rs 5,000 a month. It is surprising how he built a sprawling bungalow in the posh City Centre area. He also owns two SUVs. This made the residents question the source of his income. If the money came from the business he runs, it is wrong."
Choudhury’s bungalow is on 5 cottahs in City Centre, where the market rate is over Rs 25 lakh a cottah.
The CPM also accused Choudhury of extorting money from factory owners in Durgapur by threatening labour unrest in plants.
Durgapur, 19th Feb 2013
Improper behavior towards handicapped persons by bus employees.
The family members of some handicapped person's society has deposited a protest letter to the Durgapur Sub Divisional Paribahan Adhikarik for improper behavior towadrs their wards. According to Society's Soumen Upadhayay on 6th Feb near Asish market a 18 yrs old Handicapped person has been thrown out of the bus by a bus employee. He has been wounded in the knees and hand. He is still under treatment. This treatment towards the handicapped persons are regularly hapening. He has urged the Sub-Divisional Adhikarik to take proper action against the Bus employee involved in the incident.
Durgapur, 19th Feb 2013
A dead body has been found in a pond in Durgapur.
A dead body has been found in a pond in Waria, Durgapur. The dead persons name is Shiba Chaudhury, age 27 yrs. Police are investigating throughly how the person got drowned in the pond.
Durgapur, 16th Feb 2013
Essar Work resumes
Normal work has begun from yesterday (Saturday) afternoon in the Essar Oil's coal-bed methane project at Durgapur. Work stalled at the two coal-bed-methane pits in Nachan village started normal production following assurance by the company officials that the demands of the villagers will be fulfilled with immediate priority. Work was stopped on Friday by villagers who are protesting against "unfulfilled prmises".
In a three-and-a-half hour long tri-partite meeting at the office of the block development officer of Faridpur, Mr. Manish Sharma, a team of Essar Oil led by the project head of the Raniganj coal-bed methane block, Mr. Debjit Kar assured the villagers present at the meeting that Essar would start work of constructing a metal road at Nachan village from Tuesday. The officials said the other promises, such as construction of three more roads, drains and renovation of the local burning ghat would also be fulfilled soon.
Durgapur, 15th Feb 2013
Essar Work Stopped
Nearly 50 villagers, most of them construction material suppliers, today stopped work at two Essar Oil pits near Durgapur for the third time in less than a month accusing the company of not keeping "promises".
The villagers claimed Essar Oil, which is extracting coal-bed methane in Laudoha's Nachan, had not constructed four metal roads in the village and drains, nor renovated the local burning ghat as it had "promised" when 4 acres were acquired from around 100 villagers two years ago.
"Essar has started extracting coal-bed methane from one of the pits and work is going on in another, but the promises are yet to be fulfilled. We have decided not to allow them to work unless senior executives come here and take steps," said Chandan Goswami, a local Trinamul activist who had given land.
The protesters led by Goswami went to pit No. 54, which is under construction, around 10.30am and asked the engineers and labourers to stop work. "They shouted slogans against our company and asked us to leave. We got scared and left," an Essar engineer said.
The engineers and labourers at pit No. 53 were also allegedly threatened and asked to leave. A team from Laudoha police station urged the villagers to withdraw the agitation but to no avail.
A senior Essar Oil official said from Mumbai: "It has become a regular practice of villagers to stop work in the area. As of now, we are trying to settle the issue through discussions. But if the interruptions continue, we will seek the help of the government." Trinamul's Laudoha block president Sujit Mukherjee said the protesters were party supporters and their demands were justified.
Durgapur, 14th Feb 2013
Cycle Rally from Durgapur to Dhaka
India-Bangladesh friendship cycle rally to start from Durgapur to Dhaka and back organised by Durgapur Subdivisional Voluntary Blood Donor's Forum in association with Rotary Club of Aerocity, Durgapur, to create awareness on blood donation and AIDS today from 10am.
Durgapur, 13th Feb 2013
53 Burdwan CPM members expelled
The Burdwan CPM leadership has expelled 53 party members in Durgapur on charges of secretly maintaining contact with Trinamul, being involved in corruption and instigating factionalism, the largest one-time purge in the Bengal unit of the party in recent memory.
A senior CPM leader in Burdwan said the leadership had received several complaints against the 53.
The CPM had started a "rectification drive" after the Assembly polls, weeding out "undesirable" elements who the party thought were responsible in varying degrees for the debacle.
Sources in the Burdwan CPM said the process to expel the 53 members, including DYFI zonal committee president Biswanath Roy Chowdhury, had started in November last year. The decision to axe them was taken in two district committee meetings held in December and January.
A source said the expelled members, most of them contract workers at Durgapur Projects Ltd, formally joined Trinamul and its labour arm INTTUC after their expulsion.
The sources said the expelled party members were "close to" a senior Citu leader who is also a CPM district committee member. The party has initiated a probe against the leader, a resident of Durgapur, for his "non-communist" lifestyle and "hobnobbing" with industrialists to "suppress" the trade union movement.
"We need to bring fresh blood into the party in place of rotten and corrupt leaders. We have to rebuild the party’s image," said Amal Haldar, the CPM district secretary.
Durgapur, 10th Feb 2013
Works at Essar stalled by protesting villagers
Essar Oil's upcoming coal-bed methane (CBM) project in Dhabani village faced another round of resistance on Sunday with more than 500 villagers, reportedly led by Trinamool Congress leaders, blocking the Pratappur-Kantaberia Road for more than six hours. They demanded jobs for locals and proper compensation.
Subrata Chatterjee, a member of Trinamool village committee of Dhabani, alleged that the firm had failed to fulfill the promises it made. "Instead of recruiting locals, they have been taking ex-servicemen as security guards. Our ponds and wells have dried up due to their pit excavation and even irrigation water has been polluted by their poisonous effluents. We demand proper compensation and jobs for locals," he said. Villagers also demanded to repair a road the company's heavy vehicles use every day.
However, Pandaveswar MLA Gouranga Chatterjee felt it was unjustified for those who had sold land to the company to agitate now. "If the project gets stalled, it'll affect the fertilizer plant in Panagarh," he warned. Even CPM district secretary Amal Halder said the agitation was politically motivated since the projects were planned by the Left government. "Trinamool wants to destroy these mega projects. Let people realize the mistake they have made by voting this party to power," he added.
Sunday's blockade was lifted after Laudoha police station OC Sandip Chattoraj spoke to the agitators. He also arranged a meeting - to be held on Monday - between the locals and the company officials. "If Monday's meeting remains inconclusive, we'll stop the CBM project in Dhabani," Subrata Chatterjee threatened.
"Today, some of our employees were temporarily prevented from discharging their duties. The work has since resumed and there is no impact on supplies. We continue to engage with the community on a long lasting and symbiotic relationship and are hopeful of quick resolution to all pending issues. We are thankful to the government and administration for the support and guidance it is providing," an Hiral Vohra, PRO of Essar spokesperson said. Essar Oil project director Apurba Ranjan and PRO Hiral Vohra refused to comment when contacted by media.
Durgapur, 9th Feb 2013
Mati Utsab at Panagarh near Durgapur
Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee inaugurated "MAATI UTSAV" the festival of Earth at Panagarh, near Durgapur. Inaugurating the festival at Panagarh, yesterday, CM made it very clear that she will not be deterred by opposition's criticism and divulged her plan to organize more such festival throughout the state, in days to come.
At the inaugural function was present, noted writer and social activist, Mahashweta Devi, noted painter and close Mamata aide, Jogen Chowdhury and Suvaprasanna and also noted song writer, lyricist and singer, Nachiketa.
'Mati Utsav' (Earth festival) aims at promoting cultures and traditions of rural Bengal that are fast losing out to urbanization. Theme-based activities relating to agriculture, fisheries, handloom, tourism and culture have been incorporated in the festival to help boost rural life. Panagarh, barely 13 Km from the industrial town of Durgapur is virtually on the 'confluence' of the agricultural and the industrial regions in Burdwan district, has been chosen as the venue as it synthesize the lifestyle, livelihood and societal setup of the two poles, - industry and agriculture.
Durgapur, 8th Feb 2013
Two more persons have been arrested from Dhanbad in connection with the February 1 gold robbery at Muthoot Finance’s Durgapur branch, taking the number of those held in the case to seven.
Police said Siddhanth Singh, 26, alias Babu Raj and Ranjit Giri, 28, were arrested from the Sindhri area of Dhanbad in Jharkhand last night.
Durgapur, 8th Feb 2013
Eleventh edition of Aahohan, 2013, a techno-management fest of National Institute of Technology in Durgapur in association with t2 will be organised on the institute campus from 7PM.
Durgapur, 7th Feb 2013
Two more persons have been arrested from Dhanbad in connection with the February 1 heist at Muthoot Finance's Durgapur branch and around 10 per cent of the 36kg gold stolen has been recovered.
The arrest of Amod Chowdhury, who police said was involved in the robbery, and Sujit Mahato, the brother-in-law of the gang leader Dasarath, takes the number of persons held in the case to five.
The five were brought to Durgapur today and remanded in 14 days' police custody.
Yesterday, a police team from Dhanbad and Durgapur raided the in-laws' house of Dasarath in the Jharkhand town and arrested his wife Guria Devi, another brother-in-law Ajit Kumar Mahato, and mother-in-law Tunia Devi. Dasarath is absconding.
The police arrested the three during the raid but sources said the other two were nabbed in the same house. It is, however, not clear if a second raid was conducted.
According to the police today, 4kg of gold ornaments kept in pitchers and buried in the Dhanbad house have been recovered in total. The police have also recovered Rs 4.42 lakh in cash from the building.
The police today pegged the cost of the recovered ornaments at Rs 1.16 crore.
In Durgapur, deputy commissioner of police Sunil Yadav said: "We have learnt that Dasarath Mahato was the leader of the gang that robbed the Muthoot Finance branch. Most of the gang members are based in Jharkhand, one of them hails from Purulia. We hope to arrest all of them soon."
As news of the gold recovery spread, depositors flocked to the Muthoot Finance branch in Benachity to know if their ornaments were found.
Muthoot officials told the customers that the recovered gold was still with the police.
Durgapur, 6th Feb 2013
Three persons were today arrested from Dhanbad in connection with the Rs 13-crore heist at the Muthoot Finance branch in Durgapur and 3kg of gold worth around Rs 84 lakh was recovered from them.
A police team from Dhanbad and Durgapur raided the home of Dasarath Mahato, one of the accused in the robbery, early today and arrested his wife Guria Devi, 30, brother-in-law Ajit Kumar Mahato, 30, and mother-in-law Tunia Devi, 57. The police said the trio were the "receivers" of the robbed items. Dasarath, however, was not found at home
Dhanbad police chief Ravikant Dhan said: "The family (in Sadhobad village) had purchased several expensive articles in the past one or two days, arousing our suspicion. So we decided to raid the house."
Dhanbad police said they contacted their counterparts in Durgapur and got information on the robbery.
The police said 3kg of gold (less than 10 per cent of the 36kg looted), Rs 4.04 lakh in cash, a country-made pistol and two live cartridges were found in the house. A TV set, a refrigerator, two LCD sets, six ceiling fans, two mixer-grinders and two music system sets were also seized from the arrested persons.
Dhanbad deputy superintendent of police R.N. Sharma said the booty was found in a pitcher kept buried under the earth in front of the house. "We dug up the soft earth and retrieved the jewellery and cash," he said.
On Friday, a gang of eight had looted 36kg of gold from the Muthoot branch in Durgapur’s Benachity, 110km from Dhanbad.
The police said Muthoot Finance’s tagmark was on the recovered jewellery. "The seized currency notes had the signatures of employees at the Muthoot branch. The signatures were identified by the Muthoot officials who came with the police team from Durgapur that carried out the operation with us," said Sharma
Dhanbad police said Dasarath had been arrested two years ago in Jharkhand in connection with the theft of two motorcycles. "He is out on bail," police superintendent Dhan said.
The police said that since his marriage in 2008, Dasarath had been living in his in-laws' house. He constructed a house 50 metres from his in-laws' home
Dhan said the police were conducting raids to arrest Dasarath. "This is the biggest gold haul in Dhanbad. Raids are being conducted to arrest Dasarath Mahato," he said
"The remaining gold and cash may or may not be in Dhanbad. The others involved in the robbery may or may not be from Dhanbad. We can't say anything more for the sake of investigations," Dhan said.
The deputy commissioner of police of (east division), Durgapur, Sunil Yadav, who was part of the swoop , was not available for comment.
A police officer in Durgapur said: "We will hold a news conference tomorrow. We can’t say anything now."
Yesterday people who had mortgaged gold for loan from the Muthoot branch had demonstrated in front of the that the company had staged the robbery.
Durgapur, 5th Feb 2013
People who had mortgaged their gold with Muthoot Finance for loans in Durgapur gheraoed the regional manager today, claiming the company had staged the over Rs 12-crore robbery.
A CID team from Calcutta that visited the Muthoot office today said none of the eight alarm bells was pressed during the robbery on February 1.
Contacted, George Kuruvila, the senior regional manager of Muthoot's Calcutta division, said the gang members were standing close to the alarm bells, which prevented the employees from pressing them.
Kuruvila said the allegations of the borrowers were "not true". "We expect the police to arrest the culprits soon and bring back the gold. The quantity of gold stolen is worth about Rs 13 crore. The gold was insured as is the practice," he said in Calcutta.
In Durgapur, over 50 people demonstrated outside the company's office and alleged that only those lockers were targeted that had large quantities of gold.
"The 29.30gm of gold I had mortgaged for a loan of Rs 52,000 was looted but the 18gm of jewellery I kept to borrow Rs 30,000 was intact. Why did the robbers only target the lockers that had large quantities of gold? How did they come to know about the particular lockers?" asked Lipika Ghosh, 30, a homemaker.
Some borrowers also accused the Kerala-based company of withholding information.
"The company officials are not telling us anything. Yesterday, they said they would give us compensation after deducting a portion when we repay our loan. But that's all. None of our questions is being answered. They are making us wait for hours," said Indranil Sur, a 40-year-old businessman who had deposited 74.6gm of gold to borrow Rs 1.35 lakh.
The demonstrators surrounded regional manager Suresh Kumar when he came out of his room to speak to them.
"Why did the company lack adequate security arrangements at its office where such a huge amount of gold was kept? We mortgaged our ornaments with Muthoot Finance thinking that our gold was in safe hands," said Biswajit Neogi, 45, a businessman.
A member of the CID team that inspected the Durgapur office said "there were eight alarm buttons but none was used" and pointed out that on January 31, "a robbery attempt was foiled at Muthoot's Chandernagore branch after an alarm button was pressed".
He added that the only guard in the building "was aged and the robbers overpowered him easily".
Regional manager Kumar tried to pacify the agitators by saying they would not lose on their gold. "The people whose gold was robbed on Friday will be compensated either in cash or gold soon after they repay the loan. It would be difficult for us if they want it immediately. The process will take some time," he said.
Asked about the complaints of lack of adequate security arrangements, Kumar said the company had taken enough precautions.
Kuruvila, too, said: "We will strengthen our security further. Usually, there is one security person in a branch and two if the branch is big."
Friday's robbery of 36kg of gold in Durgapur is perhaps the biggest heist in the state in recent memory.
Durgapur, 4th Feb 2013
A CID team will arrive in Durgapur from Calcutta tomorrow to investigate the Rs 12-crore gold heist at the Muthoot Finance branch.
"After every big crime, we visit the spot and gather facts. This is because if we are asked to investigate the case officially in future, we will have all information with us," a CID officer said.
A police officer said the gang of eight robbers had taken away the CCTV recorder from the Benachity branch on Friday, which was making it difficult to trace them. "If we had the CCTV recorder, we could have identified the culprits as they did not cover their faces," he said.
"This is the first time in Durgapur and Asansol that robbers have taken away a CCTV," the officer said.
Two days after the heist, the police seemed clueless about the identity of the robbers, who took away 36kg of gold ornaments and coins.
"We are yet to make any breakthrough. We suspect that the gang had come from some neighbouring state. Past records of crimes in the Durgapur-Asansol belt, such as bank robberies and kidnappings, show that the culprits were from Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh," the officer said.
Several Durgapur residents said they were worried about the gold jewellery they had kept in lockers and vaults of banks in the town.
"We feel it is safer to keep jewellery in banks than at home. But after the Muthoot robbery, we are feeling scared. We don't know what we should do," said Subrata Sit, a land broker.
Durgapur, 3rd Feb 2013
Two men on a motorbike and posing as policemen stopped an elderly lady in Asansol on Saturday and took away her gold ornaments worth Rs 1 lakh, saying wearing them on roads was banned.
Durgapur, 3rd Feb 2013
Vechiles came to halton NH2 in Raniganj for 40 minutes on friday night after a wild elephant that destroyed houses and shops stepped onto it.
Durgapur, 3rd Feb 2013
People who had mortgaged gold for loans today made a beeline for the Muthoot Finance office in Durgapur, a day after robbers took away gold worth Rs 12 crore in what police said was the biggest such heist in recent memory.
The final evaluation report prepared by the Kerala-based company today revealed that the gang of eight had taken away 36kg of gold ornaments and coins from the branch in the heart of Durgapur and 500 metres from a police outpost.
"Officials said the 48.5gm of gold ornaments that I had mortgaged for Rs 1.18 lakh had been taken away. I am shattered. The officials said that after I repay my loan, they would give me cash compensation according to the prevailing market rate of the gold I lost," said trader Sadanand Tiwari.
Trader Tarak Chakraborty, who had borrowed Rs 8.5 lakh by depositing 600gm of gold ornaments, said: "Around 500gm have gone. The company has promised to compensate me after I repay my loan. I cannot repay the loan right now and if the price of gold decreases in the meantime, I will be a looser."
Senior Muthoot officials arrived in Durgapur this morning from the company’s regional headquarters in Calcutta and started a probe.
The officials refused comment but the company said in a media release this afternoon: "We assure all our customers and patrons that all their interest will be completely safeguarded. Our customers will not incur any loss as their ornaments are fully insured."
A trader who has a shop near the Muthoot branch said he did not see anyone coming or leaving on vehicles at the time of the heist. "A police jeep was patrolling the stretch then. How could they not spot eight youths walking down a road with rucksacks? Even if they had, they should have got suspicious," he said.
The police said all police stations in neighbouring districts and in Jharkhand had been alerted. "The robbers may not immediately try to sell the gold fearing arrest," said Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy commissioner of police.
Durgapur, 2nd Feb 2013
Eight armed robbers broke into the office of Muthoot Finance in the heart of Durgapur this afternoon and took away gold ornaments and coins worth about Rs 5 crore after overpowering the guard.
The robbers also took away Rs 14 lakh in cash and the CCTV so that it becomes difficult for police to trace them.
The police said this was the biggest heist in Bengal in recent years. The daylight robbery in a busy market area took place within 500 meters of a police outpost.
The police said two of the robbers, both in their mid-20s, entered the rented office of Muthoot Finance in Benachity around 3.15pm posing as customers and asked one of the employees how to apply for a loan.
"The youths spoke in Hindi. After I explained the process, one of them said he would speak to a partner and started talking over the cellphone," the employee said.
Within 15 minutes, six more youths arrived at the office on the second floor of a three-storied building. "One of the youths pulled out a revolver and snatched the gun of the guard. The robbers threatened to blow up the office if we raised the alarm," the employee said.
The robbers held guns to the heads of some of the customers, took the vault keys from an employee, stuffed gold ornaments into rucksacks and fled. The 20-odd customers and employees alerted people outside around 30 minutes after the robbers fled. The passers-by informed the police.
"We are interrogating the customers and employees and have alerted neighbouring police stations," said Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy commissioner of police (east division).
Durgapur, 1st Feb 2013
A person of Laudhia in Durgapur was jailed by Durgapur court for 10 years and fined 3 thousand for raping a minor. According to police sources 28th April 20011 this person named Manik Ruidas Bauri has raped his neighbours 6 years old daughter by luring her with chocolates.
Durgapur, 31st Jan. 2013
The mini bus fare of Asansol and Durgapur are going to hike from 1st Feb. The first phase fare is going to increase by Rupees one. Then 5 paisa will be increased by every kilometer. According to Mini Bus association the bus fare has last increased in September 2008 but now the running cost of the mini Buses has increased manyfold so the hike is neccessery.
Durgapur, 31st Jan 2013
Rectasy-- The annaul fest of NIT, Durgapur ends on a high note. UK based band Green Date performed at the event. Over 5000 college students from accross the country attended the event.
Durgapur, 31st Jan. 2013
A mother of a married woman was arrested on the charge of tricking his daughter in sexual relationship for money. Police has arrested the mother and six youths and one person is absconding. According to Police the woman age 32 years stay in Palasdiha, Durgapur with his husband in a rented house. Her father and mother stay just in the next street. Her father is ill and mother runs a tea and fries shop. Her husband runs a fast food shop in City Centre. She visits her mother and father regularly for her fathers illness. Her mother serves her tea and after that she gets unconscious and then she was raped in that unconscious state she thinks. But when she asked her mother she laughed and avoided the question. She then stops visiting her mothers place. But some youths of the locality were pressuring her to vist her mothers place. She thinks that those youths are involved along with her mother in exploiting her. Last saturday she reported the matter in written to Asansol Durgapur Police and hence six persons and her mother were arrested. Police has conducted test on the accused by goverment doctor. Soon the result will be there. The court has given 14 days jail remand of the accused.
Durgapur, 29th Jan. 2013
At least 10 employees of Essar Oil were held hostage by villagers in Burdwan's Jathgoria on Monday morning over a land compensation dispute. While the CPM blamed the Trinamool Congress for the crisis, the local police refused to send help to the besieged employees. The political undertone was unmistakable in the explanation provided by Kanksha police station OC Biswajit Mukherjee: "It is not the policy of the state government to forcibly grab and so I have not sent police or RAF to the spot."
To add to the Trinamool Congress government's embarrassment, Essar Oil CEO Iftikar Nasir was one of the industry faces showcased by Mamata Banerjee at the Bengal Leads conclave in Haldia less than two weeks ago.
This is the third such incident in quick succession. In October-end, senior officials of the Haldia-ABG Group were allegedly abducted by Trinamool trade union toughs, which ended in the group walking out of Bengal. In December, Trinamool strongmen muscled into the Kolaghat bridge construction site and forced a stop-work for two days.
Now, the land agitation threatens to hold up Essar Oil's Rs 3,000-crore green fuel project. The firm has six coal bed methane (CBM) wells in Jathgoria, some 15km from Durgapur, and is scouting for land to step up production by 400% to 2 lakh standard cubic metre â€" given the projected demand from the upcoming Matix fertiliser plant at Panagarh and the transport sector that needs CNG. It also caters to Graphite India and Philips Carbon in the Durgapur industrial belt.
On Monday, 10 employees were on the way to the site when they were barricaded by a mob around 7.30am and confined at a house. The company informed police but the OC refused to send any forces. The police got in touch with the villagers and "requested" them to release the employees, Mukherjee said. "I told them that they have right to fight for land but should not hold officials hostage," he said. The employees were let off after half an hour.
In the afternoon, Essar officials went to the state secretariat seeking police protection. "For the past few days we have been witnessing disruptions and blockades in Jathgoria either through extortion by locals or land syndicates. The nuisance continues unabated despite assurance from the government," the company's letter to home secretary Basudeb Banerjee states. Banerjee sent them to ADG (law and order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha.
The administration needs to sort it out quickly because the Mamata Banerjee government will be holding 'Mati Utsav' at Panagarh next month.
Local CPM leader Bireswar Mondal accused Trinamool men for the disruption. "Essar Oil took up the project during the Left Front government in 2008. The Trinamool is behind the present crisis that will spoil the huge potential of the project. The Matix fertiliser plant is the biggest and only upcoming private fertiliser plant in the state and the CBM project will change the socio-economic scenario of Asansol Durgapur," Mandal said.
Villagers alleged they have been denied the right price for the land. Essar Oil has sunk four CBM wells on 12 bighas in the village without paying owners for the last two and a half years, they said. "I have taken back my fenced plot today," said Sk Ziarul, who owns five cottahs in the project area. Ziarul's claim was endorsed by Trinamool-run panchayat sabhapati Seikh Barkat Mondal, who said he had informed local MLA Nikhil Mukherjee. "We got land pattas way back in 1975, but were denied the price. We have taken it up with the BDO, SDO and local OC," Ziarul said.
Another land owner Sk Shahjahan said the 12-bigha land under Plot No 63, 109 and 110 belong to tribals and scheduled castes and minority community. Sudhir Bauri, another land owner, claimed that only 16 locals got jobs in the Essar project.
Burdwan district magistrate Onkar Singh Meena has directed the Kanksha BDO to hold a tripartite meeting to solve the problem. "Only four villagers are yet to get price for their patta lands in Jhatgoria," the DM said.
Durgapur, 29th Jan. 2013
Durgapur Steel Plant employees have lodged a police complaint accusing local Trinamul workers of occupying a co-operative society office near their residential quarters.
The employees of the SAIL-run plant, who lodged the complaint at Durgapur police station last night, said the under-construction building near City Centre had been turned into a club, where Trinamul held a free health camp inaugurated by Durgapur mayor Apurba Mukherjee.
The event in the single-storey building was organised under the banner of Vivekananda Sanskritik Parishad. Invitation cards were also sent to those living in the steel plant quarters, near which the building is located.
"Some youths led by local Trinamul leader Parimal Agasthi demanded that we give them the keys to the building. They wanted to set up a club there. When we refused, Agasthi became furious and told us they would break the locks. The youths have been occupying the building since last week. It is surprising that the mayor attended a health camp yesterday in a building that houses our co-operative society office," said Anil Ghosh, the director of Durgapur-SAIL Employees' Primary Common Service Co-operative Society Ltd.
The area falls under ward number 22 of Durgapur municipality, where the mayor is the councillor. Trinamul said the under-construction building was frequented by criminals and drunkards which prompted party workers to turn it into an "office of our organisation to hold social activities".
"The people who live in the quarters had been trying to sell the plot to a realtor who wanted to set up a shopping complex there. Now they are complaining against us because we resisted their move," said Agasthi, who, the residents claimed, looks after civic work on behalf of the mayor in his ward.
The SAIL had in 1993 leased out a 150-acre plot to the steel plant employees. Of that, around 55 acres was allotted for roads, overhead water reservoirs, a children's park, gardens and schools. On the remaining 95 acres, a duplex private housing came up where 1,875 families live now.
The building for the co-operative society office was being set up on 1.74 acres that was actually earmarked for schools but remained vacant as nobody showed interest.
B. R. Kanungo, the steel plant spokesperson, said he was not aware of the Trinamul encroachment and would seek a report from the co-operative society.
Mayor Mukherjee refused comment. Although most police officers remained tightlipped, an officer at Durgapur police station just said "a probe has been initiated"
Durgapur, 28th Jan. 2013
The management of Jai Balaji Industries (JBIL) has lodged a complaint against the Inttuc leader of its workers' union, Asim Pramanik, at Coke Oven police station recently alleging that Pramanik has threatened its brass over telephone to reinstate the three suspended workers.
The three workers - Arun Pal, Robi Acharya, Anna Ghosh - were suspended on December 17, last year for allegedly threatening the senior officials during a board meeting. The GM (electricals) of the factory, Arun Kumar Thatoy, was also beaten up at his Bidhan Nagarore residence following the suspension order. The company management had accused raised fingers towards on December 15 last year allegedly by Asim Pramanik and his accomplices for the attack.
Talking to TOI on Sunday, Niranjan Gourisaria, general manager (in charge) of JBIL, said that about a couple of weeks back Pramanik threatened them over telephone with that the senior officials would face dire consequences if they didn't take back the three employees. "We have suspended them and the matter is being looked after by the labour commissioner now. Pramanik can't force us. We have lodged a complaint against him," he added.
Meanwhile, Pramanik claimed that he is innocent and falsely implicated by the JBIL management. "So far, police have not intimated me about any such FIR. Police should check and verify the voice on the phone," he added.
Inttuc district president Prabhat Chatterjee said that Pramanik is not their member. "The JBIL management should take action against him instead for his hooliganism."
Asim Pramanik continues to disturb a number of units in Durgapur despite the denial by Prabhat Chatterjee though. He is also disturbing the only super speciality hospital outside Kolkata in the state- The Mission Hospital in Durgapur.
Sunil Yadav, ADCP of Asansol Durgapur Police, said police have started a probe. But this fresh incident has created a stir in Durgapur once again in industrial circles.
Durgapur, 26th Jan. 2013
A 40 ft flame of fire broke out in Jamuria ECL New Kenda colliery. According to miners smoke was comming out for last 10 days and from wednesday night fire erupted with great flames. According to sources there were many illegal mines in the area so due to spontenous heating fire broke out, but the situation is under control now.
Durgapur, 25th Jan. 2013
After the formation of Asansol Durgapur Police Commisonarate, some of the cases under section CRPC has got under their juridification. For those cases the lawyer has to visit the commisonarate court instead of Durgapur court. According to Durgapur Lawyers they are not getting required co-operation from the commisonarate court, so in protest they have closed down all work on thursday in the Durgapur court. They demanded that those cases be trial on Durgapur court. Due to the stop of work many persons face great inconviences as they were awating for their hearing on court.
Durgapur, 24th Jan. 2013
Pinnacle Infotech Solutions in association with Dibendu Barua Chess Academy organised a chess tournament (Workshop) Pinnacle Shatranj 2013 at Bidhannagar, Durgapur on 23rd Jan 2013.
Durgapur, 24th Jan. 2013
Six armed youth on two motorcycles took away Rs1.5 lakh in cash and gold ornaments from a petrol pump in Asansol on Tuesday night. Police said the gang hit the pump owner and an employee on the head with the butt of revolver before fleeing.
Durgapur, 24th Jan. 2013
A knockout cricket tournament was organised by Trinamul Yuba Congress at Tilok Road, Agragami Maidan. Hon'ble Mayor Sri Apurba Mukherjee, Deputy Mayor Sri Jahawar Banerjee was present at the opening ceremony.
Durgapur, 17th Jan. 2013
Bengal is set to unveil a new incentive policy for manufacturing companies willing to invest in the state. But that may not be enough. For Bengal to lead, it must first follow investor-friendly states, feel investors.
Land was perhaps the only discordant note struck in the otherwise optimistic presentation by Anil Dhawan, executive director, SAIL. Bengal's biggest investor wanted the state government's help in transferring land for its Kulti project and removal of encroachments, which is stalling the proposed expansion plan in Durgapur.
"Bengal's manufacturing potential need not be showcased, we believe in it. SAIL intends to ramp up its production from the present 4.5 million metric tonne to 9 million metric tonne (after the completion of the Durgapur and Burnpur projects)," he said.
Dr Saugat Mukherjee, regional director, CII, said: "We have tried to convey to the government the hopes and aspirations of the industry. We are very optimistic that the government will consider all these while rolling out its industrial policy."
Durgapur, 15th Jan. 2013
Andal Police on Sunday night raided a hideout of gangsters coal mafias involed in illegal coal trade in Parascole Colliery's abandoned ECL quarters and seized a huge cache of arms.
Dreaded don Bijoy Singh and two of his associates - Arun Singh and Ajoy Singh - were also picked up during the raid. The trio was sent to police remand for 14 days.
The crackdown comes in the wake of chief minister Mamata Banerjee's instruction to Asansol-Durgapur commissionerate to take stern action against the hooligans in the area. Apparently, Mamata wasn't happy with the commissionerate's functioning and she had criticized the cops after some goons allegedly opened fire on Trinamool Congress supporters when they were on their way to the chief minister's meeting in Asansol on January 10.
Asansol-Durgapur Police's ADCP (east) Sunil Yadav said that 100 bullets, a sword, two country-made muskets, one double-barrel gun, one revolver, one 9-mm pistol and four country-made pipeguns were seized by police from three different hideouts of the trio. "We have started probing why they had kept such huge quantity of illegal arms," he added.
Seizure of arms and ammunitions before the panchayat polls has created a stir at the Andal coal belt.
Trinamool Congress leaders alleged that the coal mafias were back in the fray to create trouble in the ensuing polls for the Left Front. CPM workers rejected the allegations and claimed that they have been arrested in fabricated cases and illegal coal mining has flourished in Andal, Jamuria, Baraboni and Salanpur under Trinamool patronage.
Durgapur, 15th Jan. 2013
Surrendered Maoists including the likes of Jagori Baske and Suchitra Mahato will now be entrusted with the duty of protecting the very people on whom they had once unleashed a reign of terror.
These 32 Maoists who had given up arms will be inducted in the National Volunteer Force (NVF) as special home guards in Jangalmahal. They include Jagori Baske, Rajaram Soren, Shova Mandi, Suchitra Mahato, Sukhdeb Mahato, Sikha Hansda, Rumpa Mahato, Astami Mahato and Lakshimani Mandi among others.
On Monday, they joined Battalion One of the NVF at Raturia in Durgapur to begin their 42-day training under battalion commandant Bhabotash Dutta. Once the training is complete, the former rebels will be inducted in NVF's 7th Battalion. Their posting will be decided by SPs of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore.
The former Maoists came in a special bus for their training and were given a warm welcome by IGP (western zone) Gangeswar Singh and Asansol Durgapur Police commissioner Ajay Kumar Nand at the Raturia batallion headquarters.
Gangeswar Singh said that 12 out of the 32 former Maoists are women. "We have made special arrangements for their 42-day stay at the barracks. They will be provided training in two halves everyday. We wish them a peaceful life from now onwards," Singh added.
The surrendered Maoists were happy to lead the lives of civilians. Jagori Baske said, "I want to forget my past and wish to concentrate on my future for the sake of my son." Shobha Mandi was content that peace had returned to Jangalmahal.
Thirty two new students have joined the number one batallion of NVF at Raturia in Durgapur yesterday for a forty two day training as special home guards at junglemohal districts. All these 32 people are once dreaded Maoist ultras involved in various sub versive activities in Purulia, West Midnapore and Bankura.
The list includes Jagory Baske, Rajaram Soren, Shova Mandi, Suchitra Mahato, Sukhdeb Mahato, Sikha Hansda, Rumpa Mahato, Astami Mahato, Lakhsimani Mandi etc. On 5 January at College Maidan in West Midnapore, chief minister has handed over job letter as special home guards in police to these Maoist ultras who have surrendered before the police agreeing to the special package anounced by the state government.
All these former ultras will be absorbed by the 7th batallion of NVF after completing the 42 days stenous training at Durgapur. Then they will be given posting by the police superintendents of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore. Commandant of number one batallion of NVF in Durgapur, Bhabaotosh Dutta will be in charge of their training.
The surrendered Maoist came in a special bus to Durgapur and being welcomed by IGP (western zone), Gangeswar Singh and comissioner of police, Asansol Durgapur Police Comissionerate, Ajay Kumar Nand at the Raturia batallion headquarters.
Talking to the TOI, Gangeswar Singh said that 12 out of the total 32 former Maoists getting training from today morning are women. " We have made special arrangements for them athe barrack for staying for this 42 days. They will be provided training in two halves everyday. We wish them peacefull life from now onwards,"Singh added.
Jagory Baskey, for instance has arrived with her eight year old son along with her for the training. " I want to forget my past and now wish to concentrate on my future for the sake of my son,"she added. Shobha Mandi said that she is happy that at last peace has prevailed in junglemohal.
All these Maoits ultras are very much aware of gurela warfare and are accustomed to handle lethal weapons and land mines, which they have learnt during their stint in the jungles
Durgapur, 14th Jan. 2013
ASSO-76 A organisation of Madhyamik 1st batch students of B-Zone Boy's, MP High School organised its 12th get together and cultural programme at Bidhan Bhaban, Durgapur-5 on 13th Jan 2013. The program started with all the members and their families it was also joined by senior teachers and principle's of the school. At evening a grand cultural program was organised by ASSO-76 members performing their familes, members and also artists from Kolkata.
Durgapur, 14th Jan. 2013
1st Anniversary of Disha Eye Hospital, Durgapur branch was celebrated at Srijoni Auditorium, City Centre. The director of Disha eye hospital, Mayor Sri Apurbo Mukherjee, Painter Sri Samir Aich and many dignitories along with a huge numer of media persons were present.
Durgapur, 13th Jan. 2013
National Youth Festival and 150th year of Birthday celebration of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated with great pomp and show by Vivekananda Bani Prachar Samity, B-Zone, Durgapur-5. A great statue of Swami Vivekananda was unveiled at a nearby rotary and it was inaugaurated by the CEO of Durgapur Steel Plant. A educational exhibition was conducted by the students of the Samity. Also Swami Vivekananda's messages with huge placard were domonstrated through out the township.
Durgapur, 13th Jan. 2013
National Youth Festival and 150th year of Birthday celebration of Swami Vivekananda was also celebrated by Bidhannagar Housing Society, Durgapur Blood Donors Society at the Indian Oil Pump in Bidhannagar. A blood donation camp was organised on this occassion and also the drivers of the ambulance of the society were felicitated.
Durgapur, 11th Jan. 2013
CM announces new districts in Asansol belt "For the sake of better administrative effectiveness, we have decided to bifurcate Burdwan into two new districts - Burdwan Rural and Asansol Durgapur," announced chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Asansol on Thursday. She said the proposal had been accepted in an all-party meeting and had also got the nod at the secretariat level.
"It will take some more time to shift and transfer the offices for the new district headquarter (Asansol) and create further infrastructure," the CM said.
While laying the foundation stone of Kazi Nazrul Islam University at the Polo Ground in Asansol, the chief minister criticized the previous Left Front government for setting up only one university in the state during their 34-year rule.
"But in a span of only one and a half years our government has approved four new universities including a private one while another is in the pipeline. Classes of Kazi Nazrul Islam University will begin from July this year. We have already appointed professor Anuradha Mukherjee as the vice-chancellor," she added.
The chief minister felt she had done a "national duty" by setting up a university in the name of the great poet who is a national hero not only in India but also in Bangladesh.
Besides the university, Mamata laid the foundation stone of a host of other projects including a drinking water project and a mega retail shop that will sell products of various self-help groups. She also showered her bounties on the district by giving away pattas, cycles and certificates to locals.
Mamata projected Burdwan as a potential industrial hub. "In Panagarh, out of the1458 acres of land under the industrial park, 1185 acres have already attracted investments worth Rs 12,000 crore. This will give employment opportunities to about 12,000 people. New brick clusters will come up at Baraboni, Kulti and Salanpur," she said. The second phase of the industrial park will be in Durgapur, she added.
"We have also decided to set up a hotel management and catering institute at Durgapur on five acres of land with an investment of Rs 10.50 crore. It will be run by the state tourism department," the CM announced. Sail and Kobe Steel of Japan is jointly setting up a steel plant at Durgapur which is the second of its kind in the world, the CM said.
At the gathering, Mamata Banerjee boasted of the achievements of her government: "We have done so much work only within the span of a year and a half and I have statistics to prove it. But a section is trying to malign us purposely. I request you to remain calm and not react to what they are saying."
Addressing the problem of illegal coal gangs operating in the industrial belt, she directed Asansol Durgapur Police to take proper measures and prevent illegal entry of guns.
Quoting figures from 2009 -10 to the last year she tried to establish how much work has been done by her on every front compared to left regime including minorities development. She said that she dreeams of having a kisan mandi, cold stoarge, ITI in every blocks of the state. " We have done so much work only in one and half years and I am giving you statistics. But a section is trying to malign us purposely. I request you to remain calm and don't react to what they are saying,"she added. She directed the Asansol Durgapur Police to control the ongoing gang war of coal mafias and also warned that illegal guns should not enter Andal. Seize all arms, she added. Some misctreants alleghedly fired at a trinamul rally in Parascole in Andal, who are coming to CM's rally in Asansol today. She also gave away pattas, cycles, certificates in today's rally. Education minister Brataya Basu and MP Mukul Roy accompanied her.
Infact the anouncement was expected from her in her maiden visit as chief minister of the state at Asansol after over one and half years. She after collecting latest updates on the stage from Burdwan DM, Onkar Singh Meena said that the proposal has been accepted in all party meeting and also got nod from the seretarial level.
" It will take some more time for shifting and transferring of offices for the new district headquarter ( Asansol) and create further infrastructure, she said. The formation will take place after panchayet polls, sources said. Laying the foundation stone of the Kazi Nazrul Islam University at historic Polo Ground in Asansol, this afternoon the chief minister said that in the 34 of left front rule only one university has come up in the state. " But in one and half years only we have approved four new universities including a private and another is in the pipeline. From July this year classes of the Kazi Nazrul Islam University will start and already we have posted a new vice chancellor, Professor Anuradha Mukherjee,"she added.
She said that her government believes in finishing the proposed projects and not only in laying foundation stones. " Today I have done a national duty. Kazi Nazrul Islam is a truly national hero not only in India but also in Bangladesh but so far he has been neglected and nothing has been done in memory of him in his birth place Churulia near Asansol,"the CM added.
In Panagarh, out of the total 1458 acres of land under the industrial park already investments worth about Rs.12,000 crores have come up on 1185 acres of land and about 12,000 people will get job. New brick clusters will come up at Baraboni, Kulti and Salanpur, she said. She said that at Durgapur the second phase of industrial park is coming up with a cost of over Rs.8 crores. " Even we have decided to set up a hotel management and catering institute at Durgapur on 5 acres of land with an investment of Rs.10.50 crores. It will be run by state tourism department,"she said.
Laying foundation stones of several projects like hosts of drinking water project from the dias and a mega retail shop for selling products from various self help groups she said that if Asansol Durgapur is upgraded and improves then it will have cascading effects in the surrounding districts like Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum. Bolpur, Raghunathpur, Borjora, Purulia, Mejia, bankura all towns will also get benefit from these investments of Asansol Durgapur. She said that Sail and Kobe Steel of Japan is jointly setting up the world's second steel plant of its kind at Durgapur. All these will help further employment in the industrial belt, she added.
She directed the Asansol Durgapur Police to control the ongoing gang war of coal mafias and also warned that illegal guns should not enter Andal. Seize all arms, she added. Some misctreants alleghedly fired at a trinamul rally in Parascole in Andal, who are coming to CM's rally in Asansol today. She also gave away pattas, cycles, certificates in today's rally. Education minister Brataya Basu and MP Mukul Roy accompanied her.
Durgapur, 11th Jan. 2013
A mild earthquake with a huge cracking sound was felt in Durgapur around 9.30pm. No loss of life or property was reported till now. But the sound and its vibration was felt in every corner of Durgapur.
Durgapur, 10th Jan 2013
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the upcoming Panagarh Industrial Park near Durgapur would attract an investment of nearly Rs 12,000 crore.
According to Banerjee, the State Government has already allocated 1,185 acres to various companies at the park and they would generate nearly 12,000 jobs initially.
She was addressing a gathering at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the proposed Kazi Nazrul Islam Minority University at Asansol.
The Chief Minister also said the State has invested about Rs 8 crore to develop the second phase of Durgapur Industrial Estate.
Durgapur, 8th Jan 2013
H&R Johnson (India), an arm of Prism Cement, has drawn up a capacity ramp up and retail expansion plans for the next couple of years. The firm is looking at significantly increasing its export volumes by tapping the neighbouring markets with products to be produced at its upcoming plant at Durgapur in West Bengal.
"It is in the process of coughing up Rs 400 cr from its coffer to significantly increase its retail presence from 25 to 300 by 2015 and ramp up its capacity substantially from the present level of 51 million sq meter per year," a top official of the company, told FC on Tuesday.
The Hyderabad-headquartered firm, a leading player in ceramic and vitrified tiles, bath-fittings, kitchenware, has been growing at nearly 20 per cent per annum, which is higher than the industry average of 10-15 per cent, Ravi M Ojha, GM (east), H&R Johnson (India), said.
"Although the final capacity of the plant is yet to be worked out, the proposed Durgapur plant of the company, for which the firm has already acquired land and in the process of getting other clearances, will be the single largest tiles plant in the country in terms of capacity," said Ojha. "At present, we have 25 outlets, which is being taken up to 70-80 by March, this year and eventually to 300 by 2015. In the eastern India, we will be having 25 outlets by March, 2013 and 75 by 2015. The number of premium signature outlets will also go up from 17 at present to 20 by March, this year," he said.
The firm at present exports its products to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe and some neighbouring countries, albeit an insignificant volume. "Once the Durgapur plant comes up we will tap the neighbouring markets of Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmarmore aggressively because these markets are closer to east or Kolkata," said Ojha.
Durgapur, 4th Jan 2013
Gangster shot in Andal, rivalry suspected: A notorious gangster involved in the coal trade was shot at while he was playing carrom at a local club in Ukhra in Andal police station area on Wednesday night. The bullets missed the victim, Chandan Burman, by a whisker. Burman has been admitted to Mission Hospital in Bidhan Nagar with splinter injuries to his legs and abdomen.
Sunil Yadav, ADCP (east) of Durgapur, said the attack seems to be a fallout of the rivalry between coal mafia gangs. Four persons have been named in the FIR but nobody has been arrested yet, added Yadav. On Thursday, Yadav also led a team of police officials to Amdahi and Kailashpur villages in Laudoha and served notices to families of six persons accused of killing another coal gangster Seikh Selim in October 2012. The court order has asked the absconders to surrender within three days, failing which their properties will be attached. These six offenders have been identified as Seikh Sajahan, Seikh Safikul, Seikh Ziaul, Seikh Vombol, Seikh Laltu and Seikh Bubu and they reportedly belong to Selim;s rival gang.
Fights between rival coal gangs have been plaguing Durgapur and adjoining areas for quite some time now. On December 31, two persons - Seikh Lalu and Seikh Montu - were murdered. Lalu was one of the accused in the Selim murder case. While Lalu's family lodged an FIR against block Trinamool Congress leader Sujit Mukherjee, the leader claimed he was being falsely implicated by CPM leaders.
Pandaveswar MLA Gouranga Chatterjee alleged that Trinamool leaders were trying to restart illegal coal mining in Laudoha and Andal areas.
Meanwhile, police are cracking down on illegal coal mining gangs. On Wednesday, 35 tonnes of coal were seized from a fuel coke factory in Baraboni.
Chandan Burman, a notorious coal mafia don has suffered splinter injuries after miscreants fired at him and hurled bombs while he was playing carrom in a local club at Ukhra under Andal Police Station area here last night. The incident occurred at around 9 PM.
The bullets missed Burman but he has suffered splinter injuries in his legs and abdomen and has been admitted to The Mission Hospital in Bidhan Nagar.
Sunil Yadav, ADCP (east) of Durgapur said that it seems that the attacks are due to control of the area of the rival coal mafia gangs.
Four persons have been named in the FIR and so far nobody has been arrested in this connection, Yadav added. On the other hand Sunil Yadav led a huge police force at Amdahi and Kailashpur villages of Laudoha Police Station today and served notices to families of six absconders on Durgapur Court order to surrender within three days otherwise their property will be croked. On 25 October last year coal mafia don of Kailashpur, Seikh Selim (50) was killed and these six persons named in the FIR are absconding.
They are Seikh Sajahan, Seikh Safikul, Seikh Ziaul, Seikh Vombol, Seikh Laltu and Seikh Bubun. All of them belong to Seikh Selim's rival gang led by Seikh Amin.
On 31 December two perons, Seikh Lalu and Seikh Montu have been murdered. One of them, coal mafia Seikh Lalu was one of the accused in Selim murder case at Laudoha. Police has not arrested any body in this case. The family members of Seikh Lalu, has lodged FIR against Sujit Mukherjee block trinamul president. Incidentally, another trinamul seva das leader, Durjoy Biswas has been arrested on November last year allegedly for involved in conspiracy to kill Seikh Selim. Gouranga Chatterjee, MLA of Pandaveswar alleged that the trinamul congress leaders are trying to restart illegal coal mining in Laudoha, Andal areas and the coal mafias have been killed due to infighting within several leaders of TMC. Sujit Mukherjee claimed that he is innocent and has been falsely framed by CPM leaders.
Illegal coal mining has restarted and in Kanksa Police has seized 150 tonnes of illegal coal from a brick kiln. Police has also seized yesterday about 35 tonnes of coal froma fuel coke factory in Baraboni. Local people have ghearoed a private mining operators office in Baraboni alleging that large quantities of jhama coal is pilfered from a private captive coal mine there in connivance of trinamul congress leadership.
Durgapur, 2nd Jan 2013
Tax sleuths searched the premises of a West Bengal-based leading steel and iron products producer and registered a case for alleged central excise duty evasion of at least Rs 30 crore.
The central Revenue department officers carried out the search and seizure operation last week at close to dozen premises of Shree Parasnath Re-Rolling Mills Ltd at Kolkata and Durgapur, official sources said today.
During the operation, carried out by over 100 tax sleuths, the officers found an office unit of the company operating from a cattleshed in a residential area in Durgapur.
The searches led to recovery of voluminous incriminating documents that indicated huge evasion of central excise duty, the sources said.
The company was allegedly evading duty by showing less quantum of manufactured goods, they claimed.
Prima facie, the estimated evasion of central excise duty is estimated to the tune of over Rs 30 crore, the sources said. An email query seeking response of the company was not replied.
Sources said the directors of Shree Parasnath Re-Rolling Mills Ltd were also questioned during the operation carried out by officials of the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence here. The company has since deposited Rs 15 crore on account of alleged evasion by them, the sources said. (PTI )
Durgapur, 1st Jan 2013
In what seems to be a revenge killing, a murder accused was shot dead at his Amdahi residence under Laudoha police station area on Monday morning. While Seikh Lalu, 32, the accused, died on the spot, his associate Seikh Mansur was injured and admitted to Durgapur subdivisional hospital.
Seikh Lalu is one of the key accused in the murder of Madhaigunj coal mafia, Seikh Selim, 50, on October 25. Both Lalu and Mansur belonged to Selim's rival group, led by Seikh Amin. Sylvan Murugan, SCP (east) of Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate, rushed to the spot immediately after the incident and said: "Laudoha Police has already started investigations and so far nobody has been arrested. We have deployed a police picket in the area. Combing operations too have started," he added.
At around 10.30am on Monday, a gang of 10 armed miscreants reached Lalu's house riding motor cycles. "They fired at him and Mansur from close range and fled from the spot. Local people then informed Laudoha Police. Though police started search operations on key roads, the miscreants managed to flee by then," said sources. Laudoha Police feels that Monday's murder is a revenge killing."It's a fallout of gang rivalry between Seikh Selim and Seikh Amin, who once used to be Selim's protege," said sources. Durjoy Biswas, a local Trinamool Congress Seva Dal leader was recently arrested in connection with the murder of Selim in October.
The DD of Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate probed the murder case of Seikh Selim. Police also sezied an improvised carbine from the alleged killers of Seikh Selim later during custody interrogations.
Durgapur, 1st Jan 2013
Kalpataru Utsab was going on in Durgapur. A mela which was held every year on this occassion was also organised at Gamon Bridge Maidan. The mela attracts a huge no of visitors every year with flower exhibition, vegetable exhibition, book fair and others. Like every year it has started from 1st Jan and will remain upto 10th Jan.