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Durgapur, 29th August 2014
Seniors demand principal's removal - Students detain teachers at Durgapur engg college
Chaos prevailed at the Dr B C Roy Engineering College in Durgapur today after senior students detained 220 faculty members and 130 non-teaching staff for several hours demanding the removal of the college principal.
Police and senior administration officials intervened, but failed to resolve the impasse till late evening.
The private engineering college has been passing through rough weather since 20 August after Third Year and Fourth Year students went on an agitation, staging a dharna at the college gate. Alleging that the college principal Mr Shambhunath Basu had frequently been harassing and humiliating students over petty issues, they demanded his removal.


On 22 August, the college administration suspended classes for an indefinite period and asked the students to vacate the hostel. The college authorities claimed that the pandemonium created by the senior students had badly disturbed the academic ambience of the college.
The SDM, Durgapur, in a bid to resolve the stalemate, had held a meeting on 25 August and suggested the college form a committee comprising representatives of the college authorities, students, civil administration and the local police. The committee, duly formed, took up the matter the next day and finally decided to resume classes from next Monday.
But today, when the college started registration of First Year students, the senior students charged that the college authorities had turned a deaf ear to the demand for removal of the principal. At 5 p.m, when the faculty and college staff were about to leave the college, the students, some 400 in number squatted on the road leading to the main gate.
Mr Kaushik Senapati, Teacher In-Charge of the college said: "They detained us for several hours over an issue which we have nothing to do with. The decision to retain or remove a principal is absolutely a matter of the college authority and the university concerned. We have been put to severe inconvenience unnecessarily." He added: "The teachers come to the college from places like Asansol, Burdwan, Bandel and due to this detention they have missed their buses and trains and have no alternative means to go back home." So, he added: "We also have decided to sit inside the college to protest against this assault. Two of the teachers, Mrs Srijata Sen Sharma and Mr Bikramjit Sarkar are already sick and are facing severe discomfort."
The police and one Executive Magistrate attempted to resolve the issue but were unable to make any headway till the last report came in.
Source: The statesman

Durgapur, 28th August 2014
Bank fraud case on Vohra- CBI: Industrialist obtained Rs 139cr loan with forged documents
The CBI today lodged a case against Calcutta-based industrialist Bipin Vohra and others for allegedly cheating Central Bank of India by obtaining a loan of Rs 139.05 crore with forged documents and using the money for purposes other than that stated.
According to a statement issued by the CBI today, Bipin Vohra and two other directors of his SPS Group's Bengal India Global Infrastructure Ltd had entered into a "criminal conspiracy" with the directors of Bholanath Ingots Pvt Ltd, Gouri Iron Steel Pvt Ltd and Subhlabh Steels Pvt Ltd; and B.K. Newatia, the chartered accountant partner of Jaykishan Chartered Accountants, to defraud the bank.
The two other directors of Bengal India Global Infrastructure Ltd — which had a "projected sales turnover" of Rs 3,533 crore in 2012-13 according to the website of the company -against whom the CBI has lodged the case are Sanjukta Vohra and Arjun Kumar Santhalia.
The statement says the accused had "availed credit facilities from Central Bank of India, Mid-Corporate Branch, Kolkata, on the basis of false & forged documents and diverted the funds for the purpose other than for which the same was sanctioned and thereby cheated and defrauded the Central Bank of India to the tune of Rs 139.05 crores".
The CBI today carried out searches at 15 places in Calcutta and Durgapur in connection with the case.
Earlier this year, United Bank of India had declared Bipin Vohra a "wilful defaulter" for allegedly failing to repay a loan of Rs 75 crore that had been granted to SPS Steels Rolling Mills Ltd, the flagship company of the SPS Group. A bank terms a borrower "wilful defaulter" when it feels the person is not repaying a loan despite having the money.
SPS Steels Rolling Mills Ltd has a plant in Durgapur and produces TMT bars used in the construction industry. The company had actor Sanjay Dutt as its brand ambassador.
Bipin Vohra, who had been nominated as the Congress candidate for the Burdwan-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat this year but had withdrawn from the fray citing personal reasons, is the chairman and managing director of the SPS Group, which has interests in steel, trading, hospitality, real estate, entertainment, security services and food processing, among others. The SPS Group has a turnover of Rs 4,000 crore, according to its website.
None of the SPS Group firms is listed on stock exchanges and so, financial details are not readily available in the public domain.
Bipin Vohra rode the steel boom in 2004-08 and diversified into various businesses.
On July 31, Fortune Select Loudon -managed by Fortune Park Hotels Ltd, a subsidiary of ITC Ltd, and property of Embee Resources Pvt Ltd, headed by Bipin Vohra's son-in-law Ranveer Singh -downed shutters. The building is set to make way for jewellery and designerwear showrooms.
Singh had told The Telegraph that the closure was "purely a business decision".
"It was doing extremely well. We were having almost 100 per cent occupancy. It’s purely a business decision to close it because we realised the property could be put to better use," he had said.
Bipin Vohra's group had acquired Hotel Rutt Deen on Loudon Street. Rutt Deen Pvt Ltd, of which Bipin Vohra is the director, used to run the hotel before a management contract with ITC Fortune gave birth to Select Loudon in October 2010.
The SPS Group had joined hands with the Mani Group, a Calcutta-based real estate firm, to acquire the EM Bypass land parcel where Emaar had considered building a hotel. Later, the SPS Group also acquired stakes in Indo-American Electricals Ltd, Bharat Biscuit and Ascon Agro.
Source: The Telegraph

Durgapur, 27th August 2014
Mill threat to shift if land is not given
The owners of an upcoming paper mill in Durgapur, who have invested Rs 20 crore, said today that they would be forced to shift the plant to another state if they did not get land to build two ancillary units.
Asansol-Duragpur Development Authority (ADDA) chairman Nikhil Banerjee said it was not possible to give land "rightaway".
Labour minister Malay Ghatak echoed him. The paper division of Bagalamukhi Steel Product Pvt Ltd has come up on three acres.
Swapan Roy, one of the four owners, said if land was not available, the company would consider selling some of the machinery to factories in the area and treat the Rs 20 crore it had spent on the mill as a "bad investment".
Roy said the ancillary units were required to process raw materials. "If we have to buy raw materials from Mumbai, it would escalate production costs. We might have to shift to another state," he said.
ADDA chairman and Trinamul MLA Banerjee made it clear that the administration would not be able to give land soon. "I cannot provide them land rightaway. We need to hold some more meetings."
According to a senior ADDA official, at least two board meetings are required to take a decision on a land application. The next meeting is on August 30, he said.
There is no time limit for providing land to entrepreneurs, according to ADDA rules. A Durgapur paper mill where renovation was stopped last week because of alleged pressure from Trinamul-backed syndicates would resume work on August 30.
Source: The Telegraph

Durgapur, 27th August 2014
State of affairs has deteriorated in Durgapur thanks to govt's indifference
Engineering colleges run by different private education trusts are on the brink of collapse in and around Durgapur and the state of affairs further deteriorated recently due to the absolute ‘indifference’ by the state government for more than a fortnight.
The situation, according to a section of social activists, "is a result of desperate bids by a section of college operators looking for a chance to down the shutters of their colleges as they cannot afford bearing the hefty interest burden charged by the banks against their loans."
Dr Kalyan Adhikari, a social activist and a professor of Earth Science, said: "Most of the engineering branches have become unpopular and have failed to woo the freshers and the private engineering colleges have become victim of menace. So they are trying either to downsize or in some cases planning to wind up, leading to a grave situation."
Durgapur, popularly known as an 'education hub' had witnessed mushrooming of engineering colleges since 2000-01 and saw the growth of seven new private and one new government run engineering colleges, besides the Regional Engineering College being elevated to the status of National Institute of Technology, a deemed technology university, in 2005.
Of them, six are in a shambles these days due to plenty of 'unsold' seats and growing overhead costs because of the 'idly' sitting faculty strength.
Three such colleges, according to the sources, have been put up for sale due to the desperately shrinking demand for engineering seats.
Two engineering Colleges run by SKS Education Trust in Durgapur are the worst hit as its National Board of Accreditation-certified Bio Technology courses have no takers. Mr S K Sharma, chairman of the Trust said: "In our Bio Technology and Instrumentation Engineering branches we have zero admission this year." The trust has been passing through turmoil this year as both the trust's colleges have witnessed continued agitation by teachers, students, the desperate termination of 75 faculties and penal measure against as many as 250 students in a fortnight. Mr Sharma alleged today: "In the continued stir in front of my college, we have spotted faculties of Dr B C Roy Engineering College heading the agitation. They are also discouraging students coming to our college midway."
The faculties however have complained of harassment by the authority and claimed: "The College had assigned us to work as marketing executives and had placed us at railway stations, bus terminus, to get hold of students coming to Durgapur for engineering."
Mr Sharma said: "That order was revoked however. The role of state administration to help ending the impasse too was not up to the mark." Today, the SDM, Durgapur, Mrs Kasturi Sengupta, tried to resolve the crisis and held discussions with both the parties separately but failed to negotiate. She said: "I tried but nothing positive could be achieved. I shall report the matter to the DM, Burdwan."
Dr B C Roy Engineering College, run by another trust here, has remained closed since 22 August allegedly due to the wrath of senior students.
Mr Dulal Mitra, president of the B C Roy Trust said: "It is a conspiracy to close our college and the local administration is failing to resolve the crisis." "This appears to be a bid to close our college," said Dr Adhikari. This college too has failed to recruit required number of students.
The Durgapur Institute of Advanced Technology Management (DIATM) in Panagarh run by another Trust has recorded zero admission in Information Technology and one of its neighbouring colleges in Panagarh just had 15 students this year.
Kanad Engineering College in Budbud has suspended operation and Aryabhatta Engineering College has also recorded poor admission. Mr R N Majumdar, Chairman, DIATM said: "Only 35 per cent seats could be filled this year. It's a grave and shocking situation, which we couldn't anticipate."
Till 1 August 18,000 seats of total 40,000 capacity with the government-run Engineering Colleges could be filled in the state.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 26th August 2014
Steel unit pulled up for air pollution
The state Assembly's Standing Committee on Forest & Environment, while inspecting the secondary steel units in and around Durgapur, caught one unit flouting the West Bengal Pollution Control Board norms and ordered the authority to install devices to check air pollution immediately.
The Standing Committee headed by Mr Srikanta Mahato is visiting the Asansol - Durgapur industrial zone for a two-day inspection tour to examinse adherence to environment pollution norms, particularly those relating to air pollution, on the part of the industrial units here.
The committee visited six units in Durgapur today; tomorrow it will visit eight units in Asansol. Mr Mahato said: "Most of the units are observing the norms prescribed by the WBPCB but one unit, we found had not installed an electrostatic precipitator, a device used to minimise air pollution." The unit, Haldia Steels in Angadpur-Raturia industrial complex, has been accused of causing extensive air pollution by releasing Suspended Particulate Materials (SPM) in large quantities, causing severe inconvenience to the localities adjacent to the industrial complex. Mr Mahato said: "We have cautioned them to install the device at the earliest or face harsh action by the state government." The committee comprising MLAs Mr Dibakar Hansda, Mr Amjad Hossen and Mr Jayanta Naskar was accompanied by officials of the WBPCB while inspecting the factories.
The Committee members also spoke to the local villagers and took their opinion about the magnitude of pollution in the area.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 25th August 2014
Labour minister intervenes to help solve crises in Durgapur paper mills
State Labour Minister today intervened to help resolving the crises arising in two under construction paper mills in Durgapur. An under construction paper pulp production unit in Bashia village near here stopped work allegedly after falling victim to extortion by the Trinamul Congress backed syndicate. On last 22 August they issued notice of work suspension. The matter sparked off sensation as the chief minister was at Singapore to buy fresh investment and the ruling Trinamul Congress ruled out the charges.
The factory authority also didn't register any complaint against the syndicate members. Mr Babu Khandelwal, owner of the unit claimed: "I was going to invest Rs 25 crore here but as it appears that West Bengal was still not an investment-friendly state and I would shift the unit elsewhere."
State Labour Minister Mr Moloy Ghatak today invited the managerial staffs of the proposed paper unit. Mr Ardhendu Hazra on behalf of the proposed unit met the minister at Kolkata and later said: "There was no political problem as such and the minister has asked us to initiate construction work. "We have planned to invest Rs 25 crore there." Mr Moloy Ghatak, labour minister said: "I have told the police and block administration in Laudoha, Durgapur to look into the matter." Mr Khandelwal meanwhile said today: "I am at Jammu now and I shall consider resumption of construction work after I return."
The authorities of a secondary mill turned paper mill also met Mr Ghatak today seeking his intervention in further procurement of land. The plant on 4 acres named Bagalamukhi paper mill in Muchipara in the town, as the officials said, has planned to introduce a 25 ton per day initially. Mr Swapan Roy, official of the plant after the meeting said: "We want to resume production by Kali Puja and work on this direction is in progress." He said: "We want more land to set up ancillary unit otherwise we would have to procure raw materials from Mumbai which would cause the cost of production to go up."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 25th August 2014
Power mongers deserted Cong to join TMC: Adhir
"From Singur to Singapore ~Didi has completed a circle and has started talking just the reverse now comparing to what she kept telling in 2007-08," said PCC president Mr Adhir Chowdhury while addressing a worker's convention here today.
A section of power mongers have deserted the Congress in West Bengal and joined the Trinamul Congress. "They are opportunists and the Congress won't reserve any berth for them," he said. He was addressing a gathering of nearly 600 party men at an auditorium in the town here. Mr Chowdhury said: "What the chief minister says, appears to be skeptical as she has changed a lot. Once she has started enjoying power, greedy persons, people with controversial identity have started flocking to her nest and she must be prepared to have a lesson from them in the future."
Describing about Trinamul Congress's industrial policy he said: "Its dwindling like anything. Once she says something and the very other day she is saying just the opposite. She had massacred Singur's fate few years ago and now she's trying to buy fame at Singapore selling her day dreams."
While criticising the ruling Trinamul Congress, Mr Chowdhury made sharp dig at party General Secretary, Mr Mukul Roy saying: "Once he was the accountant of the wagon breakers and after his party assumed power, he became the chief accountant in handling Saradha fund on the party's behalf. "We are eager to see the CBI booking him on several charges in the days ahead."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 25th August 2014
Durgapur's reputation as an education hub has takes a beating
Durgapur's reputation as an education hub has taken a beating with suspension of classes, student unrest and termination of faculty members becoming the order of the day.
Meanwhile, Mr Partha Chatterjee, state education minister, said that the state government will take stern action against the teachers who are demonstrating at various engineering colleges in Durgapur.
On 3 August, trouble broke out at the Bengal College of Engineering & Technology for Boys and for Girls - the two institutions run by the SKS Education Trust, which has seen the termination of 92 faculty members and punitive steps being initiated against 254 students.
The college set up in 2001-02 faced unrest from the beginning of this year as faculty members refused to double up as 'marketing executives' to lure students from around Durgapur.
"The marketing activities we were compelled to perform left faculty members miffed," explained Mr Abhigyan Dixit, one of the ‘punished' teachers. His colleague Mr Sudip Majumdar levelled more serious charges: "The principal and vice- chairman humiliated us in front of the students."
The college allegedly flouted prescribed norms of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and issued an official notice stipulating a 8.5 hour work schedule and even on National Holidays faculty members were expected to turn up for work, claimed sacked faculty members.
Mr B B Thakur, Manager, Administration clarified the college's stance saying: "They are making ridiculous allegations. The lack of professionalism of a section faculty members harmed the students' interests and vitiated the academic environment."
The retrenched teachers have sought intervention of the Chief Minister's office, and the West Bengal University of Technology. On Wednesday the administration is expected to address the concerns of the aggrieved teachers.
Goons allegedly hired by the college authorities today roughed up a lady faculty member Mrs Kuhu Mondal. She alleged: "A miscreant who identified himself as Dulal Upadhyaya came out of the college compound and caught hold of my hand and started dragging me in the presence of policemen. He also abused me using filthy language." The faculty members lodged a police complaint with the New Township PS in this regard."
On 22 August the Dr B C Roy Engineering College suspended classes on the plea that students had been threatening the teaching and non-teaching staff as they had not been allowed to rag freshers.
The college is run by the Dr B C Roy Education Trust and Mr Dulal Mitra, president of the Trust alleged: "The administration's indifference to the crisis has compelled us to down shutters temporarily." Today, after a meeting with aggrieved students, faculty and college authorities, Mrs Kasturi Sengupta, SDM, Durgapur said: "I have asked the police to convene a meeting before resumption of classes. Also the college has been told to set up a committee where student representatives will be accommodated and this committee will meet regularly to arrive at a solution."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 22nd August 2014
Another Durgapur college shuts doors
Another college in the industrial town has been shut down for an indefinite period on Saturday, close on the heels of termination of the services of 92 teachers of the Bengal College of Engineering and Technology (BCET).
Trouble erupted in Dr B C Roy Engineering College in Fulljhore on Friday as more than 3,000 students started an agitation demanding removal of college principal Somenath Basu. Students of second, third and fourth years sought the removal alleging that Basu frequently misbehaved with them. The college authorities on Friday night instructed all boarders to vacate the hostel.
College chairman Dulal Mita, however, told TOI: "A section of students have been trying to disturb the first-year admission process. We will not allow indiscipline in the college."
In another development, teachers who were sacked from BCET started a relay fasting from Saturday to protest against the authorities. They brought out a rally in Bidhan Nagar on Friday demanding intervention of higher education minister Partha Chatterjee in the affairs of the college and their reinstatement.
On Thursday, the BCET sacked the teachers for their refusal to join in promotional activities of the college in bus stands and railway stations. They were asked to go around and bring students from the townto fill up vacancies.
Source: Times Of India

Durgapur, 22nd August 2014
Syndicate trouble stalls Durgapur mill revival
A Jammu-based company trying to revive a closed paper mill in Durgapur had to stall work today because of alleged pressure to buy construction materials and hire labourers from two rival syndicates run by Trinamul leaders.
The allegation of strongarm tactics was made a day after the foreign minister of Singapore, which the chief minister visited to court investments, said businessmen of his country were looking for political and legal stability and security as key factors before investing in any Indian state.
Babu Khandelwal, the owner of Star Industries that owns a ferro alloy factory in Jammu, said he was regretting his decision to buy an industrial unit in Bengal to the extent that he had been "left with no option but to tear my hair"
Star Industries purchased Maa Chandi Paper Mill in Laodoha, 25km from Durgapur town, in June. The mill was shut down by its former owner two years ago and Star Industries was carrying out renovation and upgrade before reopening it.
"I purchased the closed paper mill for Rs 2.75 crore in June and decided to enhance production to 100 tonnes a day from 25 tonnes. We were constructing a boundary wall but two syndicates run by two Trinamul factions constantly pressurised us to take construction materials and labourers from them," Khandelwal said.
"Initially, we had agreed to take the materials from both but they began to forcibly supply more than our requirement," he added, a charge that has been frequently levelled against syndicates elsewhere in the state, including Rajarhat. Last week, the Trinamul leadership issued a circular warning party members in North 24-Parganas against involvement in syndicates.
"I now have no option but to tear my hair over my decision to buy a factory in Bengal. I had never thought I would have such an experience here. I have a ferro alloy plant in Jammu but have never faced such a problem there. I have decided to stop work at the mill for an indefinite period," Khandelwal said before boarding the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express from Durgapur.
The Star Industries owner, who had planned to begin operations in January next year, said he had informed labour minister Malay Ghatak and police about the problem. Khandelwal had come to Durgapur two days ago to discuss the syndicate issue with local Trinamul leaders.
Paper mill manager Ardhendu Hazra alleged that around 2,000 villagers "led by local Trinamul leaders belonging to both factions" today demonstrated in front of the plant gate. "I received two calls from persons claiming to be members of the two syndicates. Each demanded that construction materials and labourers be taken from him and threatened to stop work if we did not," Hazra said.
He said Star Industries needed around 50 workers to build the boundary wall.
"Each syndicate wants that all the labourers be hired from it. That is not possible because if we hire labourers from one, the other creates problems. Whenever we seek a consignment of sand or bricks, the syndicates send double the amount and force us to buy it. We are not able to complete the wall because Trinamul activists are disrupting work," Hazra said.
He said minister Ghatak had assured the mill of help. "We approached the police too today, but they wanted us to name the demonstrators. We could not do so as we don’t live here and don't know the people. It is the duty of the police to find out who took part in the demonstration," Hazra added.
He alleged that local Trinamul leaders Manas Mandal and Tapas Mandal led the two syndicates. The two leaders could not be contacted.
Sujit Mukherjee, the Trinamul president of Laodoha block, said he knew that Manas and Tapas ran syndicates and had disrupted work at the mill. "I have told my seniors in the party about them and sought action," Mukherjee said.
Ghatak said: "I have told the local police to take action against those disrupting work at the mill, irrespective of political colour."
Uday Ghosh, the officer in charge of Laodoha police station, said a team was patrolling the area.
Source: The Telegraph

Durgapur, 21st August 2014
Hurdles to biometric plan
Over 1,500 miners and clerical staff of Eastern Coalfields Ltd's largest mine by output struck work for three days to protest the company's decision to replace the manual attendance system with a biometric one to prevent proxy attendance.
The ceasework at Jhanjra Colliery in Durgapur was lifted today after the management assured the ECL unions that the biometric system would be introduced in all mines in phases.
ECL sources said the biometric attendance system, in which an employee's retina is checked, was introduced as a section of workers allegedly marked themselves present even though they remained absent and also manipulated entry time in collusion with some attendance clerks.
The striking workers had demanded that the company either revert to the manual attendance system or start the biometric procedure at all 105 mines together. Because of the three-day ceasework at Jhanjra, which produces 4,500 tonnes of coal a day, ECL lost Rs 6.7 crore, company sources said.
"The new system will be introduced in all the three units of Jhanjra Colliery within a month. In the rest of the mines, biometric attendance will be started in phases," said Niladri Roy, the general manager (technical) of ECL.
Source: The Telegraph

Durgapur, 21st August 2014
BAPL to develop affordable housing project in Durgapur
Infrastructure company Bengal Aerotropolis Projects (BAPL) today said it will develop an affordable housing project in Durgapur in West Bengal, marking its foray into the segment.
"Continuing with its vision of developing societal infrastructure for West Bengal, BAPL, which is currently developing country's first aerotropolis in Durgapur has entered into the affordable housing segment," a release said.
The company has tied-up with construction firm Larica Group to develop a 10,000 units budget housing project spread over an area of 10.56 acre within the residential precinct of Sujalaam - The Sky City in Durgapur.
"Targeted at the lower income group (LIG) category, the project will be taken up in phases and about 2,000 units will be developed in Phase-I," the release said.
Prices of the apartments will range between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 12 lakh. "The announcement assumes paramount importance, considering that the state has an urban housing shortage of around 13 lakh units," the release said.
As per industry estimates, West Bengal is likely to face an acute housing shortage of 2.68 million units by 2030 and about 99 percent of this shortfall will account for the households belonging to the economically weaker section (EWS) LIG categories.
Source: business-standard

Durgapur, 19th August 2014
Small entrepreneurs unhappy in Durgapur
At a time when the Chief Minister has taken a trip to Singapore to seek investment for the state, the small-scale industry entrepreneurs here have expressed deep concern about their fate during a meeting with the Zilla Parishad Sabhadhipati, Burdwan at the District Industries centre, Durgapur, this afternoon alleging the dearth of initiative by the state to help them revamp their enterprises.
Refractory owners and fly-ash brick manufacturers along with the other SSI unit operators in Asansol- Durgapur industrial hub thronged the meeting at the DIC when Mr Debu Tudu arrived to listen to their grievances today.
Mr Santosh Tantia, secretary, Fly-Ash Brick & Block Manufacturers' Association said: "Nearly 30 of our units are facing huge crisis and are on the verge of closure. This is due to non-availability of orders. Though the Supreme Court had passed an order asking the states to ensure the extensive usage of eco-friendly fly-ash brick, West Bengal's attitude hasn't changed as yet. The government constructions too are not using our bricks and this is leading to our gloomy fate gradually."
Mr Ashoke Chakraborty, secretary, Refractory Manufacturers' Association of Bengal alleged: "We are not getting required land for the purpose of our expansion or for setting up new units. Also the big industries in our state that together buy refractory items worth Rs 4,000 crore annually are showing inclination towards the ceramic units of other states for some unexplained reason. We have approached the Sabhadhipati to look into the crisis today."
Mrs Mou Sen, Deputy Director, ancillary industries, meanwhile said: "The state already has earmarked 40 acres of land for the ceramic units at Asansol where a ceramic cluster is planned. There is no land crisis as such. The operators of ceramic units, as per the present land usage policy of the state, have been asked to participate in open bidding to buy their berth, but many of them have not taken part in bidding."
The Sabhadhipati, Mr Tudu said: "I have heard their grievances and in some places the entrepreneurs also have complained of extortion by some syndicates. I have asked them to come in another meeting at Burdwan next month and put their grievances in writing."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 18th August 2014
Acid attack on teacher
Two unidentified youths threw acid on a High School teacher at the Andal Railway town locality on the night on 17 August, and sped away in a motorbike.
The victim was first taken to a eye-hospital in Raniganj and then shifted to a eye care specialty hospital at the City Centre locality in Durgapur. 34-year-old Ram Luresh Yadav suffered grievous eye injury.
Ram Luresh, according to his family members, "Was at home and at around 10:30 p.m, someone knocked on the door of his Thana Road residence and called for him. He opened the door and we heard him scream." His family found him lying on the road, writhing in pain, with his hands covering his face. He teaches at a local Hindi High School. Meanwhile, police arrived within minutes of being informed of the incident and the teacher said in his statement that the assailants threw acid on his face the moment that he opened the door.
Police said that the assailants were allegedly waiting on a motorbike and they fled after the 'operation'. Police, however, are yet to ascertain the motive of the miscreants. Ram Luresh told police that he had an argument with one of his former colleagues Lagan Khan a couple of years ago. Lagan was later transferred to Chittaranjan. Ram Luresh alleged, "While leaving, he had threatened me saying that he would see to me later. I suspect his involvement behind the attack." Police will interrogate Lagan.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 17th August 2014
Maid attempts suicide in City Centre, Durgapur
A domestic maid attempted suicide today by jumping off a roof-terrace of a physician's house in the City Centre locality in Durgapur town this afternoon. Police sent her to the local government hospital and interrogated the physician for two hours.
The 16 year-old maid was allegedly scolded by the physician as she was talking over the cell phone to an unknown person.
Dr Samir Kanta Dutta is a physician with the Birbhum District Hospital in Suri town and stays with family. He said: "I have told her not to talk to strangers over the phone. Rather I insisted she keep in regular touch with her family over the phone." The girl ran to the roof terrace in a temper and jumped off after being scolded at around 1:30 p.m. The physician informed her family at Bolpur. Doctors said that she is not critically injured and has a hairline crack on her waist.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 17th August 2014
80 passenger buses taken off roads at Panagarh as mark of protest
Eighty passenger buses from different Birbhum districts and passing through Panagarh today suspended service to protest against the alleged assault of the crew members of a bus yesterday.
Trouble started when one Kripamoy Mondal, a farmer, of Trilokchandrapur in Kanksa PS area in Burdwan was pickpocketed last afternoon while he was travelling with his daughter Manisha in a passenger bus for her admission to the B.Ed course at an Asansol-based institution.
The farmer had caught the thief and had asked the bus people to stop the vehicle, which request, however, was ignored by the bus conductor.
Mr Mondal brought charges of the conductor’s nexus with the accused, alleging that the conductor had paved the way for the accused's escape at Muchipara crossing on NH-2, Durgapur. Mr Mondal later told his neighbours about the incident. His daughter could not get admission to the college as the entire sum of Rs 21,000 was stolen.
The locals thereafter apprehended the bus on its return journey through the village crossing, detained the conductor and the driver and allegedly snatched cash amounting to Rs 7,500 from their possession.
Police later intervened and recovered the cash and released the bus on condition that the conductor would assist the police to book the culprit.
The Inttuc-backed Birbhum Zilla Sadak Paribahan Shramik Union today suspended bus services through Panagarh on the ground that police was negligent in rescuing the detained crew of the bus. Mr Jamirul Mallik, secretary of the union said: "Police have failed to give adequate protection to the bus crew and we have suspended operations as a token protest."
He hinted that the strike might continue tomorrow. Police meanwhile have initiated a hunt for the culprit. Mr S M H Meerza, SP, Burdwan said: "I have instructed the Kanksa PS to do the needful accordingly."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 15th August 2014
Bengal College of Engineering terminates 13 more faculties
Bengal College of Engineering & Technology, a private engineering college today further terminated 13 more faculty members leading to fresh anarchy.
On 13 August, two colleges run by the same education trust had dismissed 22 faculty members on disciplinary grounds. Also, the college today brought out a fresh faculty recruitment notice, which has irked the agitating teachers and non-teaching staff members. They intensified movement demanding revocation of the termination order to the faculty members. The authority however said: "The recruitment notice was pre-scheduled and was just part of a regular feature and was nothing unusual." Mr B B Thakur, administrative manager said: "The fresh recruitment notice has no connection with the recent termination of faculty members."
The dismissed teachers today camped in front of the college and spoke about the autocratic attitude of the college authority. One retrenched teacher of Computer science & Engineering, Mr S Dasgupta alleged: "They have always overlooked the crisis of the teachers and their attitude has maligned the dignity of the faculty members." So complained Mr Pradipta Banerjee, Mrs Jhuma Chatterjee, two among the 35 retrenched teachers.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 12th August 2014
Andal farmers protest against Aerotropolis
Just ahead of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's scheduled journey to Singapore, a section of farmers in Andal today staged a protest dharna in front of the district administration here today alleging that the proposed airport city project has been 'eating up' their land with any heed being paid to providing compensation to the land owners and agriculture labourers.
Aerotropolis, the proposed airport city planned in Andal, is a Joint Venture project in which Singapore's Changi Airport Authority is a stakeholder and Chief Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee had attended the ceremony naming the airport as Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport on 19 September last year, when she declared that aviation activities will commence in the airport by December 2014.
But the airport city has consistently been facing rough weather, either due to paucity of funds or unresolved land problems. The Director General of Civil Aviation is yet to give permission for airport operations as the High Tension power transmission cables passing across the 3,315 metres runway were yet to be removed.
Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited (BAPL), the project promoter, was provided 2300 acres of land surrounding a defunct British India aerodrome in Andal by the state since 2007 in phases but the project required 70 acres more for the shifting of the HT power transmission cables and the process of fresh requisition for the purpose began last February.
On 24 June the company was accused of grabbing farmland owned by a bunch of farmers like Mrs Swarnalata Majhi, Mrs Madhurirani Dey, Mr Anil Mukherjee despite a Court injunction at a locality near Andal. On 6 August, the private infrastructure developer agency's officials were hounded out by the farmers and farm labourers in Ichhapur locality in Laudoha block, who were aggrieved that their consent was not sought before requisitioning their land.
The villagers of Ichhapur, numbering about a thousand, today marched to the SDM, Durgapur's office today to protest against the requisition of land for the project. The villagers allege that the district administration is acting in a one-sided manner and is not in a mood to listen to their grievances. "They are grabbing our land without our consent and no notification by the state for the purpose was served," according to a villager.
The BDO, Laudoha, Mr Manish Sharma said: "We are monitoring the issue and are holding talks with the farmers from time to time. I am not aware why they came to the SDM's office on the issue today."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 12th August 2014
ECL suspends employee accused of murder
Eastern Coalfields Limited, a Coal India subsidiary has suspended a foreman accused of murdering an electrical equipment supplier.
On 2 August, Mr Kedar Pal, the mechanical foreman of ECL's Central Jambad colliery had surrendered to police after a 42 year-old supplier Asim Mukherjee was killed during a scuffling at the colliery office. Since Kedar was the unit secretary of the Trinamul Congress's Inttuc at the colliery, some miners alleged that the supplier was murdered out of political grudge, which however was rejected by the police after primary inquiry.
Mr Kedar Pal had entered into a hot altercation with Asim Mukherjee over poor supply of materials and during this they got engaged in a scuffling.
Mr Kedar Pal had allegedly hit Mukherjee's head with a helmet which led to fatal injury and he succumbed while being shifted to the local hospital there. Mr Pal was ordered police remand for a week and yesterday the ACJM Court, Durgapur further ordered jail custody for him for an another week.
The Jambad mine authority also had assigned Mr B K Das, the personnel manager of the colliery to probe into the matter, which also suggested no political motive behind the murder. The ECL, according to Mr N K Saha, the colliery's custodian manager: "Today the authority has put Mr Kedar Pal under suspension till indefinite period."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 11th August 2014
TMC rivalry affects Essar Oil
Group rivalry between two Trinamul Congress factions led to the absolute halt of project work for a day at an Essar Oil Limited factory near here.
Essar Oil has dug eight wells to help in the extraction of coal-bed Methane in Akandara village in Kanksa PS area in Burdwan. Since the beginning, the villagers have obstructed the project on the grounds that it has been occupying vested farmland without any authority or compensation through jobs, and that the submersible pumps installed for the project have allegedly drastically brought down the village's water-level. The Trinamul Congress factions have been at loggerheads over the project to display their individual strength. Today, one faction led by Mr Azizul Midya obstructed the approach road to the project and also forced the workers to vacate the eight wells dug across the village. Mr Midya's aides even slapped those workers who were reluctant to leave their workplace without the company authority's permission. Mr Midya alleged: "The project has been hitting our daily life badly. But our block leaders are in a nexus with the senior officials of the company and are overlooking the inconveniences caused to the locals."
The block leader of the party in Akandara, Mr Prodyut Banerjee condemning Mr Midya act, said: "We have been cooperating with the project officials following our party's guideline. We won't allow any hooliganism in the name of the Trinamul Congress here. The inconveniences of the villagers are being discussed at length with the project officials and the district administration."
Elsewhere in Durgapur, Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) ~ a Coal India subsidiary ~ today suspended a worker for allegedly molesting a co-worker. The suspended worker, Mr Indradeo Modi, was the Inttuc's branch secretary of ECL's Nimcha colliery in the Satgram area.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 9th August 2014
Man hacks wife to death, arrested
A sponge iron factory labourer was handed over to the police after he killed his wife with a dagger in front of his mother-in-law in a village in Jamuria PS area of Asansol this evening. The police arrested him on murder charges and also sought medical supervision as the youth suffered multiple injuries after he was beaten up by locals.
Twenty nine year-old Jiten Dhibor, a sponge iron factory labourer of Bijpur in Jamuria police station area married 26 year-old Ganga six years ago and they had a four-year-old boy child. Locals told police that the youth had driven out his wife and son from the house a few days back and today in the afternoon Ganga's mother Fulvati took her daughter and grandson back to Bijpur. Jiten however was not at home. After returning he got furious on seeing his wife.
He dragged Ganga out of the house and started hitting her ruthlessly and finally killed her, said the locals.
"He was behaving like a crazed person and was abusing his wife and repeatedly hitting her with the dagger that sliced her head within a couple of minutes," said Hiren Mondal, a local villager. The woman was screaming and some persons went to her rescue but, Hiren said: "It was too late then."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 7th August 2014
Register of Presidency University sent back to Durgapur Government College
Presidency University registrar Prabir Dasgupta has been sent back to Durgapur Government College on Wednesday.
Though education minister Partha Chatterjee stated the move to be a routine development, varsity sources said that Dasgupta was having trouble with the higher authorities of Presidency.
"Dasgupta's lien has come to an end. As per government service rules, he has been asked to join Durgapur Government College from where he had come to Presidency University on lien," Chatterjee said.
Dasgupta was not available for comment as he didn't take the calls made on his mobile. Sources in the university added that the registrar was pulled up on several occasions and was even accused of leaking inside information to the media. According to sources, the authorities felt this to be against the reputation of the university.
Dasgupta also faced the government's ire when he stood by security guard Pappu Singh during the attack on Presidency University by outsiders.
Former vice chancellor of presidency University Malabika Sarkar was instrumental in recruiting this professor of geology as the register of the university. Dasgupta played a very important role in the management and running of the university during Sarkar's tenure. However the present vice chancellor of the university Anuradha Lohia was not available for comment.
Source: Times of India

Durgapur, 4th August 2014
ATM ruse over phone
An employee of a private company in Durgapur has alleged that Rs 41,000 was taken away in phases from his account hours after he disclosed his ATM PIN number to a caller who identified himself as a State Bank of India official.
In complaints to the subdivisional officer and the bank, Madhusudan Nayak, an employee of Graphite India Ltd, said he watched helplessly as text messages alerting him about money being used from his account for online shopping beeped on his cellphone.
By the time Nayak went to the nearest ATM kiosk to block his card, Rs 41,000 had been withdrawn from his account.
"A male voice identifying himself as an SBI official asked for my ATM card number and pin number. He said the details were needed for verification and upgrade of my card. He told me that services would be discontinued if I did not provide the details," Nayal said today.
The private firm employee said the caller's "fluent English" made him believe what the man was saying. "What could I do? He was speaking like any other customer care executive," Nayak said.
Within 30 minutes of getting the call, Nayak got a text message on his cellphone informing him that Rs 2,500 had been debited from his account for a payment to an online shopping site.
"I received 20 messages in total in a span of three to fours. I calculated that Rs 41,000 had been withdrawn from my account. I tried calling back the number but found it switched off. I realised I had been cheated."
Most banks create awareness among customers through text messages urging account-holders against disclosing ATM pin numbers.
Durgapur SDO Kasturi Sengupta said she would forward the complaint to the police for necessary action.
Source: The Telegraph

Durgapur, 4th August 2014
Contractor's post-mortem report points to blood clot, not cardiac ailment
The post-mortem report of ECL contractor Ashim Mukherjee shows he died of haematoma, a swelling of clotted blood at the back of his head, not of any cardiac ailment as suggested by a Trinamul leader.
Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy commissioner of police (east), today said that according to the post-mortem report, "Ashim Mukherjee died of haematoma on the right side of the back of his head"
A doctor who was told about the case spoke of "traumatic impact" that could lead to death.
Partha Pal, the medical superintendent of The Mission Hospital in Durgapur, said: "Haematoma is a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues. In this case, it appears that the haematoma was caused by traumatic impact. Traumatic impact can lead to death."
Asked whether Mukherjee was suffering from any cardiac ailment, Yadav said the post-mortem report had not suggested he was suffering from any such disease or that the death was caused by a heart attack.
"We did not find any cardiac ailment of Mukherjee mentioned in the post-mortem report," he said.
On August 2, Mukherjee was allegedly beaten up by Trinamul trade union leader Kedar Pal at the Jambad opencast mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd in Andal.
One of Mukherjee's employees and eyewitness Kartik Dhibar had said on August 2 that Pal, who was the secretary of the INTTUC-backed trade union at a coalmine, kicked and punched electrical maintenance contractor Mukherjee, and banged his head repeatedly against a wall.
Mukherjee fell to the ground unconscious and was later declared brought dead at a nearby ECL hospital.
Trinamul Pandaveswar block president Narendranath Chakraborty, who looks after INTTUC unions in the area, had said that Mukherjee was suffering from "cardiac ailments" and collapsed from "chest pain during the argument" with Pal.
Today, Chakraborty declined comment. The matter "is under police investigation", he said.
Today Pal was suspended from the Koyla Khadan Mazdoor Congress of the INTTUC, which means he also lost his post as the outfit's unit secretary in the Jambad mine.
"We have suspended Pal after we found him guilty in our inquiry. His conduct has maligned the image of our trade union and the party. So we have suspended him for an indefinite period," said Hareram Singh, general secretary of INTTUC-backed Mazdoor Congress at Eastern Coalfields Ltd.
INTTUC sources said they had found that Pal used to demand money from contractors who supplies materials in ECL mines in the area.
Police sources said Pal told investigators during interrogation last night that an altercation had started between him and Mukherjee over his helmet.
"Pal told us that he asked Mukherjee to buy a new helmet as the current one had become old and shabby and he had thrown the helmet on the ground for fun, and that is how the altercation started. Shortly afterwards, Ashim clutched his chest and collapsed," said a police officer quoting Pal.
Mukherjee's younger brother Anup Mukherjee said his brother "had no cardiac problem and he died because of the beating as he refused to pay money to Pal".
The altercation happened around 10am on August 2 outside the gates of the Jambad mine in Andal.
A CPM delegation led by former Asansol MP Bansagopal Chowdhury visited Mukherjee’s house in Asansol town today and spoke to the family.
"There is complete lawlessness and unrest going on in the Asansol industrial belt as well as in the state. We hope the police will investigate the case properly," Chowdhury said.
Source: The Telegraph

Durgapur, 2nd August 2014
Contractor dead, union leader held
A leader of Trinamul's labour arm was arrested on murder charges today after an Eastern Coalfields Limited contractor died following a scuffle with him and the family of the deceased linked the death to an unpaid extortion demand.
Kedar Pal, secretary of the INTTUC-backed trade union at a coalmine, kicked and punched electrical maintenance contractor Ashim Mukherjee, 36, and banged his head repeatedly against a wall, the victim's employee and eyewitness Kartik Dhibar told The Telegraph.
The fracas took place around 10am outside the gates of the Real Jambad opencast mine in Andal, 210km from Calcutta. Ashim, who fell unconscious, was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.
Ashim's brother Anup, who lodged the police complaint on the basis of Kartik’s account, said: "My elder brother had told me the INTTUC leader was demanding money from him. He was killed because he had refused to pay."
Pal surrendered to police following instructions from the INTTUC leadership, a rare response from a ruling establishment racked by extortion charges against its functionaries and under pressure to send a positive message to industry.
Trinamul recently suspended three party and trade union activists accused of violence or extortion in the Asansol-Durgapur belt and allowed police to start criminal cases, although several senior party leaders accused of criminal offences continue to evade action.
The police haven't slapped extortion charges on Pal, though, because Anup "could not provide specific details", an officer who didn't wish to be named said.
A Raniganj-based contractor associated with ECL said extortion demands by ruling party activists were common in the industrial belt.
"ECL has 105 mines spread over Jharkhand, Burdwan, Birbhum and Purulia and engages 400 contractors, who have to keep the union leaders in good humour to be able to go on working," he said.
"We had to keep Citu happy during Left rule; now we have to pay INTTUC leaders. The only difference is that the demands for money have grown significantly in recent times."
Ashim is survived by wife Chinmoyee, a three-year-old son, his parents and three brothers with whom he lived in a two-storey house in Asansol.
Kartik said he and Ashim had come to the mine this morning to discuss payment dues with a manager. He said the trigger for the attack was a quarrel over the parking of the duo’s motorbike outside the gates.
"Some of Pal's men picked up a helmet we had left behind on the bike and threw it to the ground. When Ashim asked Kedar, who was sitting under a shade nearby, why he was harassing him, an argument started and turned into a scuffle," Kartik said.
The Trinamul leadership tried to distance the party and its labour arm from the incident. Labour minister Moloy Ghatak, an MLA from Asansol (north) with a significant following in the industrial belt, blamed "personal animosity" between Ashim and Pal.
Asked to explain, he said: "I don't know the real reason for the animosity, our local sources told us there was some problem between them."
Narendranath Chakraborty, Trinamul block president in Pandaveswar who looks after the INTTUC union in the area, claimed Ashim was suffering from "cardiac ailments" and collapsed from "chest pain during the argument". Anup denied his brother had any cardiac ailments.
Chakraborty said the INTTUC had started an internal inquiry and called an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the matter.
Source: The Telegraph

Durgapur, 30th July 2014
Cong wins Alloy Steel Union Poll
The Congress labour arm INTUC today won the union election at Alloy Steel Plant, a central public sector unit in Durgapur, defeating two Trinamul workers' union factions and the Citu.
An election to pick the bargaining union was held for the first time in 45 years at the steel plant. The factory earlier had a forum of Citu and Intuc members. But since the change in Bengal in 2011, Trinamul has been demanding an election. The Trinamul union is INTTUC.
Two rival INTTUC unions Alloy Steel Employees' Association, headed by veteran Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay and Misra Ishpat Workers' Union led by Prabhat Chatterjee, which is close to INTTUC state president Dola Sen - contested the election defying the party's one-factory, one- union policy.
Earlier, Chattopadhyay, during a visit to the Durgapur Project Limited, had appealed to the rival Trinamul faction to "unite" with the unit he heads at the plant.
Today, the Chattopadhyay led union, formed in 1999, secured 143 votes out of the total of 951. Yhe newly-formed Prabhat Chatterjee led union bagged 64 votes. The Intuc union got 410 votes and the Citu 327 votes. "The workers were unhappy with the INTTUC for its regular factional squabbles and the Citu for its highhandedness and rejected both of them. We were the natural choice," said Bikash Ghatak, president of the Intuc affiliated Alloy Steel Workers' Union.
Source: the telegraph

Durgapur, 20th July 2014
Deputy sales tax commissioner in net for taking bribe
A deputy sales tax commissioner and a clerk have been arrested after being caught on camera for allegedly accepting a bribe and remanded to four days police custody.
A trap was laid by the police, following a complaint and the duo - Charukesh Bhattacharya and Goutam Roy were caught on camera accepting a bribe of Rs 25,000 yesterday, Asansol-Durgapur Additional Police Commissioner Sunil Yadav said today.
The duo had initially stopped a scrap iron-laden truck at Bhiringi More here yesterday and demanded a bribe of Rs 1.2 lakh from its driver despite being shown valid papers.
The driver called up the transporter, who in turn complained to Burdwan District Magistrate Saumitra Mohan.
The district magistrate complained to the police, who sent out plainclothesmen to contact Bhattacharya and Roy and pretended to seal the deal for Rs 25,000.
The two were caught on camera taking the money and were immediately arrested.
Mohan said there were complaints of extortion against Bhattacharya.
They were produced before a local court this morning and sent to police custody for four days.
Source: business-standard

Durgapur, 17th July 2014
Bengal's first private airport in Andal near Durgapur to begin operations by December
After a long wait, the Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL)-promoted airport at Andal, near Durgapur, is finally on course to start domestic flight operations in the next six months.
Though declared ready for commercial operations in April 2013, delay on the part of State electricity distribution utility in removing high tension transmission lines running across the airstrip delayed flight operations.
Named after Kazi Nazrul Islam - a famous Bengali poet - the only private airport in the region will be aided with an airport city (Aerotropolis), spreading over 2,000 acres, in the lines of Changi Airport of Singapore. Changi is the single largest stake holder (26 per cent in BAPL).
According to Partha Ghosh, MD, the company has already invested nearly Rs 650 crore in building the airport and approximately Rs 350 crore on city side development. Ghosh is one of the three lead-promoters of BAPL, holding approximately 18 per cent each.
Hurdles removed
Admitting that the delay in starting flight operations impacted the company's revenue potential for last one year, he said the problem was set to be resolved.
The electricity lines could not be shifted in time, due to land acquisition issues in the alternate route.
To strike a solution, the State Government now awarded a contract for laying underground cables across the airstrip. "Nearly, 50 per cent of the over transmission wires have been removed. We expect the flight obstructions to be fully removed in the next two months," he told Business Line. This should help BAPL to approach the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for final clearance. BAPL will invite the airline operators in a meeting to finalise the flight operations. Sources said that a State-owned and a private airline company had envisaged initial interest to start operations to Delhi and Mumbai.
Lower Charges
To ensure economic viability of the project West Bengal Government recently offered three-year sales tax remission on ATF (aviation turbine fuel) sales through the airport.
ATF constitutes nearly 45 per cent of operation cost of airlines. The sales tax waiver therefore should make the airport a lucrative station for refuelling.
To make the proposition more attractive, BAPL may offer night parking at one-third the cost of Kolkata airport, located some 200 km away.
"Fuel tax waiver, coupled with low parking charges, should make the airport enticing enough for airlines," Ghosh added.
Source: the hindu businessline

Durgapur, 12th July 2014
6 died in bus-mini truck collision in Bankura
Six persons including a five-year-old child died and 20 others injured when a bus in which they were travelling collided with a mini truck on the Sonamukhi-Beliatore road near Badarkoda village under Beliatore Police station this morning, police said.
The driver of the bus, travelling from Sonamukhi to Durgapur, and five persons including the child died on the spot while 20 other passengers were badly injured in a collision with a mini truck, Bankura SP Mukesh Kumar said.
A search for the truck, which fled away soon after the mishap, has been initiated, he added.
Among those injured few were admitted to the Bankura Medical College while others were taken to the Bishnupur Sadar Hospital, the SP said.
Source: business-standard

Durgapur, 10th July 2014
Land transfer tax waived for Durgapur aerotropolis
The owners of projects such as schools, residential complexes and hotels under the aerotropolis project areas at Andal near Durgapur will receive a tax deduction for the purpose of transferring land.
The decision was taken during a meeting at Writers' Buildings. It has been learnt that 10 per cent tax will be exempted, which is taken for land transferring purposes. It may be recalled that the lands were acquired from local farmers for this project and the tax was to be imposed for transferring of the land.
Industry and commerce minister Partha Chatterjee said after the meeting at Writers' Buildings that a discussion took place on this project in the meeting and the project will come up as soon as possible.
It has been learnt that Changi's proposed airport will be set up in 600 acres of land and 1,800 acres of land will be used for the other projects, which include the construction of schools, hotels and housing complexes.
Work on the project is at present being continued in full swing, though the deadline for it was 2012-end.
The project's promoter, Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL), has initiated talks with major carriers for participation.
The airport has significant potential with a huge catchment area in the Durgapur-Asansol-Dhanbad region.
The region has many public sector units such as Durgapur Steel Plant, Eastern Coalfields Ltd, Bharat Coking Coal Ltd and IISCO Steel Plant, and the airport will thus have many potential users.
A senior official of the Industry and Commerce Department said that several airlines have already offered to operate flights from Andal.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 10th July 2014
Durgapur realtors grab portion of a pond for commercial purpose
A group of realtors have grabbed portion of a large pond and have started erecting concrete walls allegedly for the purpose of planting commercial establishments surrounding the water body in Bhiringi locality, the commercial hub in Durgapur town.
The land sharks reportedly have formed a syndicate and have engaged heavy earth moving machineries and their brokers are to be seen supervising the job of earth leveling and erecting construction of concrete guard walls surrounding the pond.
The water body, popularly known as 'Kulu Pukur' bearing the plot number 1776 is a century-old water body catering to the needs of the locals. It spreads over some 6 acres and is owned by a number of stakeholders, who have inherited it from their ancestors.
A local body, Ambagan Unnoyon Samiti, has brought the matter to the notice of the Burdwan DM, Dr Soumitra Mohan, seeking his stern intervention into the bid of pond filling and erecting concrete wall across the water body.
The members of the samiti alleged: "Filling up of the water body is in contravention of the Section 17 A (II) of the Fisheries Act 1984 that prescribes stern action against the offenders. We have demanded immediate stoppage of the illegal act and also harsh action against the persons running the syndicate aiming to construct commercial establishments across the pond." In 2008-09, the samiti had prevented a similar bid.
The district fisheries department, meanwhile, has taken cognizance of the pond takeover and is gearing up to check it. Mr Debashis Palui, Assistant Director, Fisheries, Burdwan told The Statesman: "We have started preparing for an inspection and the matter is also to be forwarded to the commissioner of the local civic body there. Besides our action, he is also supposed to take penal measure against the offenders."
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 9th July 2014
NSHM plans Rs 350-crore expansion
NSHM Knowledge Campus is planning a Rs 350-crore expansion plan which includes taking the NSHM brand beyond Bengal by setting up a new campus at Lavasa, Pune, and a NSHM Knowledge University in Durgapur.
Currently, NSHM runs eight colleges offering 28 different courses from its twin campuses in Kolkata and Durgapur. As a run up to its ambitious new growth plans, NSHM formally announced the coming on board of cricketing legend Ravi Shastri as its Goodwill Ambassador yesterday.
"Ravi Shastri would spearhead our initiative to inspire and invigorate the students to become champions in their own way. NSHM Knowledge Campus plans to do skills training of about 100,000 students in the next five years in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation," said Mr Bipin Vohra, Chief Mentor, NSHM Knowledge Campus.
"NSHM is set to roll out an ambitious Rs 200-crore expansion plan in setting up NSHM Knowledge University at Durgapur after getting required permissions from the Government of West Bengal which would increase our student base to 10,000. We also plan to start our campus at Lavasa, Pune, at an outlay of Rs 150 crores," said Mr Cecil Antony, Managing Trustee, NSHM Knowledge Campus.
NSHM Knowledge Campus has received a Letter of Intent (LoI) from the Government to start a self-financed private University in West Bengal, he said. NSHM, in support of meritorious and disadvantaged students, has started the Asha Jyoti Scholarship Programme that will benefit 250 meritorious students each year with scholarships worth more than Rs 3 crores giving access to quality education and higher learning at NSHM's Kolkata and Durgapur campuses.
In order to bridge India's skill deficit, NSHM Knowledge Campus has started to impart training to the students under NSHM Udaan Skills Foundation in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). A slew of short term courses in partnership with professional and government bodies, aimed at equipping students with skill sets that make them employable or help them start their own venture, is currently on.
Source: times of india

Durgapur, 8th July 2014
102 JnNURM buses to ply in Durgapur
The state owned South Bengal State Transport Corporation is set to launch 102 new JnNURM buses by the end of August, especially to cater to the needs of urban passengers . These are mini-buses with 28 seating capacity equipped with most modern travelling experience.
Eighty of the new buses will be introduced in Asansol & Durgapur alone to help restore the city services which were put on hold one & a half decade ago due to paucity of resources and poor returns. Mt Tamonash Ghosh, Chairman, SBSTC told reporters that 22 other buses will be introduced in long-routes like Digha, Puri, Mayapur, Bakreswar, Tarapith, Bishnupur and Purulia's Ayodhya Hills - the tourist destinations in South Bengal.
The SBSTC used to run long distance buses, which too ceased rolling due to continued operating losses. The SBSTC Suffers due to unutilised manpower besides running of over-aged fleet of buses. However the transport minister in 2012 had assured that 80 to 100 new buses would be given to the ailing company which would help reducing the number of over-aged buses.
Despite of continuous reduction in over-aged fleet, the State Transport Units still had 35.82 percent of overage buses on 31 March 2009. This was due to diversion of funds earmarked for procurement of buses to meet operational costs and absence of long term fleet planning by the STUs, a report suggested.
To help rolling out its buses the company, according to its official report tabled in 2009, 'SBSTC had to bear Rs 38.25 as per Kilo Metre cost of transportation in which wages contribute Rs 21.92, although it earns Rs 18.16 in every kilo meter.' This exposed that the buses failed to generate the required wages amount from their day and night run and the income from buses trailed by Rs 3.76 per km compared to expense per km.
With the introduction of new buses, the sick transport major is expecting to firm up its gross turnover which, according to the senior officials, would transmit reduction of state's subsidy accordingly.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 8th July 2014
Wheel & axle production by DSP set to go up
'Wheel & Axle' ~ two major components to help run the Railway services supplied by SAIL's Durgapur Steel Plant here might get increased at par with the augmentations in freight services by the end of this fiscal especially in the wake of the Union Railway Budget.
The Union Railway budget has proposed a number of new trains across the country, but those accordingly would require more coaches leading to further increase in wheel & axles. The DSP, as a consequence, will beef up production of both wheels and axles. Apart from Quarter 1, in June, DSP recorded 24 per cent growth in production of Wheel & Axle, officials said. Mr P K Singh, CEO, DSP praised the performance of the Wheel & Axle plant for its achievement. "This is our significant achievement in a special and value-added product," Mr Singh said.
During the 2013-14, DSP recorded the best ever dispatch of saleable steel, total loco wheels, S-profile loco wheels for high speed locomotives. In 2012-13, DSP produced 48,000 wheels, which was enhanced to 56,000 in 2013-14 year and according to the senior DSP officials: "The plant has targeted a challenging turnout of 60,000 wheels by the end of 2014-15." In 2012-13, the plant had produced 5,800 pieces of axles that were increased to 8,800 in 2013-14 and subsequently at par with the increase in wheel figures, the DSP is set to produce a whopping 9,600 number of axle production by the end of 2014-15, the senior DSP officials claimed. Incidentally, the DSP also developed and supplied for the first time 87 special quality WAG 9 wheels for electric locomotives to the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works - the pioneering locomotive manufacturer of the Indian Railways. By catering to this special requirement of the Indian Railways, the DSP could broaden its product basket, the officials claimed.
Source: The Statesman

Durgapur, 6th July 2014
Labourers die after inhaling poisonous gas
Three labourers have died after inhaling poisonous gas while excavating a well at Badambagan in Egra under Raniganj PS area on Saturday morning. The deceased were identified as Tapan Ruidas (50), Suraj Ruidas (20) and Sudhansu Ruidas (32).
Retired professor Mrinal Banerjee had purchased a plot in Badambagan and handed over the well excavation job to them. Tapan and Suraj are father and son and Sudhansu is their helper. Sources said they had already dug the well 35 feet deep in the last one week.
At around 8 am on Saturday, Sudhansu first went inside the well, then the father-son duo. But none of them returned. Locals then informed the Raniganj fire station. Two fire tenders arrived from Raniganaj and Durgapur to the spot. The OC of fire station in Raniganj, Tapas Chatterjee, himself tried to go down. But, Chatterjee said he started couldn't breathe properly and hence had to come out.
At around 10 am, the rescue team from ECL arrived and recovered the bodies. They were declared brought dead at Raniganj primary health centre. ADCP (central) of Asasnol Durgapur Police Commissionerate, Biswajit Ghosh said prima facie it seems they died after inhaling poisonous gas.
Source: times of india

Durgapur, 5th July 2014
Power lines to go underground to make way for Durgapur airport
Several kilometres of power transmission lines will have to be realigned and laid underground to make way for a greenfield airport project that is being implemented near Durgapur in West Bengal.
The extra high voltage (EHV) transmission line was a major hurdle in the progress of the project, which was announced in 2009.
The realignment of the EHV line, belonging to the West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Ltd, became necessary due to stipulations by the airport regulatory authorities.
For Bengal Aerotroplis Projects Ltd (BAPL), which is implementing the airport city project, the realignment became a necessity as no tall structures are allowed within a specified perimeter of a runway. "The realignment will now be over 25 km of which some will be underground.. which is a rarity for a power line," officials associated with the project said. The job has been assigned to L&T and the cables are being requisitioned from South Korea.
The project spread over 1,818 acres is located in Andal ahead of Durgapur in Bardhaman district and is close to Ranigunj coalfields. However, it is this hinterland that gave the project its birth pangs and Coal India Ltd put up a stiff resistance when the project was first conceived in 2009, saying that prime coal reserves would be locked up if an airport came up in this area. The project had to be reworked and its area was curtailed from the original 2,300 acres.
The government of the day did the land acquisition, handing it over to West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation which then leased it to BAPL.
Although after coming to power, the Mamata Banerjee government had reservations about the project seeing it as a case of land grab in the garb of an airport, the Chief Minister later came around and named the airport Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport after the poet. The entire project entails an investment of Rs. 10,000 crore.
The project, in which 26 per cent equity is held by Changi International Airports of Singapore, entails setting up an airport over 600 acres and an industrial city over the rest of the land. The airport has a capacity of one million passengers of which 80 per cent is expected to be business traffic.
The project is slated to ease journey time for the people in the industrial belt of Jharkhand, particularly those from Dhanbad and Ranchi, who have to travel to Kolkata to emplane for Delhi. It will also help the people in the Durgapur steel belt. The air traffic control tower, the runway, and the terminal buildings have been kept in a state of readiness. BAPL also has a MoU with the Punjab government for implementing a similar airport city near Ludhiana, the company said.
Source: the hindu

Durgapur, 3rd July 2014
Durgapur Steel Plants records 7% growth in finished steel output in Q1
Durgapur Steel Plant of SAIL recorded 7 per cent growth in finished steel production in Q1 (April-June) of this fiscal.
Three major finished steel units -- section mill, merchant mill and wheel & axle plant -- recorded growth of 10 per cent, 14 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.
"The finishing mills in the plant witnessed excellent growth in the first three months. We have made plans to enhance production substantially in the remaining period of the year," said P K Sing, CEO of DSP.
The production of special and value-added products represented 76 per cent of the total saleable steel output of DSP.
Source: thehindubusinessline

Durgapur, 3rd July 2014
Heavy rainfall in Durgapur, life standstill !
Incessant rains for just a couple of hours virtually flooded all the 42 wards under Durgapur Municipality, throwing life out of gear.
Even the Chandidas market in Steel Township B-Zone was water logged. The rains started around 6.30 am today and still continue to pour on some time heavily some times giving a little relief, inundating important roads like Sarat Chandra Road and Vidyasagar Avenue in Steel Township, Bhagat Singh Road Near C-Zone, DMC More in City Centre and many parts of the city.
A number of primary and secondary schools had to be closed early today with the premises remaining water logged.
Though the water is fast receding in steel township for better drainage system in our steel stownship.

Durgapur, 2nd July 2014
Tapas's kin express 'shock' at remarks--- Sister says speech a complete mismatch with his character
Tapas Paul's childhood mentor ~ his elder sister ~ and her husband today expressed shock over the actor-turned -politician's controversial remarks at their residence in Durgapur's posh Bidhannagar locality today.
Both were deeply shocked when they saw Tapas making such 'derogatory' comments against the weaker gender.
Durgapur and its suburbs have many childhood memories of Tapas. He, as stated Mrs Chandana Dasgupta, elder sister of the actor: "Was a student up to class II at Laudoha FP School in the outskirts of Durgapur. I used to take care of his education in the childhood days." Chandana is a teacher of a local Primary School in Bidhannagar here.
Mr Manik Dasgupta, Chandana's husband said: "I used to look after his education up to class VII."
The couple staying at their residence in Sector 2 A in Bidhannagar, said that, Tapas has been visiting their house over the past several years. Chandana said: "He is a soft-hearted man. The way he was seen talking is a gross mismatch with the character of my brother as a person."
"I was deeply shocked to see him talking rubbish and called him up. I scolded him and he listened to me quite patiently." She further said: "I am not going to defend him as he has made a gross mistake. I am rather curious to learn what prompted him to act in the way that he did."
Mr Dasgupta, Tapas's brother-in-law said: "He has always been a kind-hearted man and has extended cooperation to many, even to those he never knew. Such words that he spoke, I think was not pre-planned and there might have been enough provocation. This needs to be inquired into."
Source: The Statesman

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