Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mamata’s grand plans may spell doom for beaches as SUICIDE becomes VIRAL. 258 Tramway employees Declared Illegal, NOT Getting Salary for Three Months, One of the committs Suicide.While Mamata Meets Irom Sharmila In Manipur and turns VAISHNAVI citing


Mamata's grand plans may spell doom for beaches as SUICIDE becomes VIRAL. 258 Tramway employees Declared Illegal, NOT Getting Salary for Three Months, One of the committs Suicide.While Mamata Meets Irom Sharmila In Manipur and turns VAISHNAVI citing HARE Rama Hare Krishna to WOO Voters in Manipur

The draft state action plan on climate change, compiled by various state departments and agencies, has proven the chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee, who at the Beach Festival recently declared her grand tourism plans for Mandarmani and Sankarpur beaches, environmentally incorrect, so to speak.

Not only the death of Children in Bengal Hospitals, Detahs in rural Peasantry and Tea gardens may not deter the Government of MAA MATI Manush. Ananad Bazaar Patrika last day highlighted a TRIBAL Image of Mamata Banerjee, the Brahamin Kanya with her Matua Incarnation! The Organised sector is alos feeling the stings of PORIBORTAN!
Denying charges by the Opposition, the West Bengal government today ruled out any starvation deaths at a closed tea garden of north Bengal's Dooars region. "The allegation of four starvation deaths from Dheklapara is not true. The reports I received from my minister of state, senior officials and the district magistrate doesn't reflect any truth in the allegations," Labour Minister Purnendu Bose told reporters. "Such an allegation is politically motivated. We are opposed to it. Politics on death can't be accepted, rather we condemn it," Bose said stating that the state government is regularly releasing financial assistance to the workers of Dheklapara tea garden. "Reliefs are also being distributed among the affected family on a regular basis in the tea garden, which is under the process of liquidation," he said. The state government has rather taken all steps to prevent starvation deaths in closed tea gardens and similar such areas, besides providing the workers and their family members with medical facilities, the minister said. On allegation of nine deaths in one month, he said that evidences of deaths were not found in three cases while cause of death in six cases was found to be various physical ailments and not starvation. 

Death of five workers in 18 days at a closed tea garden in the Dooars has sparked starvation death row in North Bengal. Though district administration is yet to confirm that the workers died "due to starvation", relief work has been started on warfooting. The district administration has set up medical camps and sent food as "relief" for the workers.

Five workers aged between 25 and 50 years died at two divisions of Dheklapara Tea Estate - a remote garden at Madarihat block of Jalpaiguri district - between December 9 and 27. The garden is closed since 2002. It went into operation in 2004, but only for a few months. Most of the workers either migrated to other states as unskilled labourers or chose to work in stone quarries. The irony simply cannot be lost on anyone: it's one hospital where the death bell keeps tolling with frightening frequency. But for the patients who come to the Malda district hospital in West Bengal in the hope of getting cured, this irony is nothing short of a tragedy. It's a living hell at the hospital, where overcrowded infant wards, a few stray cats and dogs, and filthy floors greet visitors.
Children of a lesser God? Patients languish in this hospital in Bengal's Malda district So it comes as no surprise that 37 children have died here in less than a week, with four crib deaths reported on Tuesday alone. The life span of the 37 casualties in the past week ranged from one hour to three months. The third such incident since November 2011 in this north Bengal town has triggered a debate over the role of the state health machinery.

The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government has not taken any concrete action to improve the sorry state of affairs. The situation is especially worrisome since Banerjee herself holds the health portfolio. Sources said women in labour were admitted to the Malda hospital from the block healthcare units and from neighbouring states, such as Jharkhand and Bihar, and even Bangladesh. Malda's chief medical officer Swapan Jhariat claimed: 'Almost all the infants were brought here in a critical condition and there wasn't enough time to treat them. 

'The children suffered from low weight, pneumonia and birth asphyxia.' State women and child welfare minister Sabitri Mitra, who made a surprise visit to the hospital on Sunday, said: 'It is really a sorry state of affairs. I saw babies lying on the floor, amid filth.' The Malda district hospital is the only state-run health-care facility in the entire region and it caters to over 33 lakh population of the district, besides the residents of other districts such as South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur and Murshidabad.

The hospital is reeling under severe staff shortage - both in terms of doctors and paramedics, Mitra said. 'The patient-nursing staff ratio, which should ideally be 5:1, is almost 40:1. 'It is practically impossible to carry on with such shortage,' she added. Talking about the government's efforts to generate awareness in the rural pockets, the minister said: 'We are carrying out a sustained campaign against early marriage and proper delivery of babies at the block healthcare units.'

The Statesman reports:Unable to cope with penury, a Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) employee ended his life late last night. Vikram Singh (27), who joined as a maintenance staff at the Ghashbagan depot 14 months ago, did not receive his salary for the past four months and committed suicide last night by hanging himself from the ceiling of his room at Nabagram in Konnagar, Hooghly following a tiff over financial crisis with his wife. 

The state transport department put a hold on salary of 258 employees of CTC who joined in the past 14 months. According to the affected employees, the state government did not allow CTC authorities to clear the salary as the new Trinamul Congress-led government has a "notion" that these people were recruited illegally during the erstwhile Left Front regime. Police came to know after speaking to the victim's wife, Mrs Kumkum Singh, that the victim was passing through an acute financial crisis. Last night, they had an altercation when she had asked him to go to a grocery shop. "He refused to go as the owner of the shop would have asked him to clear his dues," said Mrs Singh, adding he secured the door of the room from inside after she went to the grocery shop and hanged himself. "I knocked on the door repeatedly, but he did not respond. Neighbours came rushing after hearing me cry and broke open the door. He was immediately rushed to hospital where he was declared brought dead," said Mrs Singh. The body was later sent to Walsh Hospital for an autopsy.

Senior CPI-M leaders visited the victim's house and spoke to his wife. The body was later brought to the CTC depot at Ghashbagan where Vikram's co-workers paid him homage. Mr Kalyan Kumar Das, another affected employee, said Vikram had asked him for some money, but he failed to help him as he was also passing through the same situation. "He was further depressed after watching the state transport minister, Mr Madan Mitra's comment on news channels that the state government will no more give subsidy to transport corporations," said Mr Das. "We had provided all documents the CTC authorities had asked us to submit at the time of our joining. Again after the change of guard in the state all the employees had to submit their documents, but Mr Shantilal Jain, CTC chairman, did not forward our documents to the state government," alleged Mr Das, adding some more employees may choose the same path if the state government keeps "betraying". 

The state transport minister Mr Madan Mitra today termed the incident as unfortunate and said that the matter is being probed into. Mr Mitra said he spoke to the employee's mother who told him that her son did not stay with her but was yet to get the details as to what led to the suicide. He said it is being falsely propagated that the government's decision to withdraw subsidy has compelled the employee to commit suicide. He, however, reiterated his yesterday's statement today by saying that the subsidy would not be withdrawn at one go but it would be done in phases. When questioned on the delay in disbursing salaries and pension benefits of transport employees, Mr Mitra admitted that the government somehow managed to give the salary for the month of November adding the issue is of prime concern to the chief minister Mamata Banerjee who would hold a meeting with the heads of the transport corporations on Friday. "I can assure you this much that the government would deal the issue with a humanitarian face," he added. "The state is witnessing farmer suicides in the districts and starvation deaths in closed down tea gardens. Now even workers are commuting suicides and that too, working in state government undertaking transport units," said the Leader of Opposition, Surjya Kanta Mishra. He demanded that the next of kin of the deceased CTC employee be adequately compensated.

The Staetesman reports:During the beach festival, Miss Banerjee had said: "I am told Mandarmani is the only beach on which one can drive cars. It has the potential to become a major tourist spot", adding that she has plans to decongest Digha and turn the beaches of Mandarmani and Shankarpur into international sea destinations "capable of rivaling Goa". Driving on the beaches on Mandarmani would not only be harmful to the beach environment, but would also spell doom for biodiversity as the beaches of Mandarmani and Sankarpur are known to be carpeted with Red Fiddler crabs; they are also some of the few places where casuarina groves are still untouched. 

The draft of the state's action plan for climate change, which is being formulated by each state as a part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), clearly attributes the abnormal rate of sea level rise on the state's coastlines, to, apart from global warming, subsidence of the land mass near the coasts and also to "developmental activities". "Frequency of severe cyclonic storms is increasing over (the) Bay of Bengal and the sea level is rising globally, however, the level of rise is higher along the coast line of West Bengal, mostly due to subsidence of the land mass near the coast and also may be due to developmental activities, leading to submergence of islands in the eastern region of the coast," the report says. The chief minister, as if to put balm on the sore, had directed the Digha Shankarpur Development Authority (DSDA) chairman, Mr Debashis Sen, to submit a status report on Mandarmani's illegal hotels in a week. But one can't help but doubt the intention when the chief minister herself spoke of developing resorts in these places. 

The average sea level rise has been 1.3 mm per year along the Indian coast. However, tide gauge observations at Diamond Harbour port indicate a sea level rise of 5.7 mm. Subsidence in the region is at the rate of 4 mm per year. Any unplanned development would mean a threat to more than 70 lakh people living near the coasts in West Bengal. Sea level rise is expected to exacerbate inundation, storm surge, erosion and other coastal hazards. A lesson or two may be taken from Goa where, with years of tourist inflow, the two rivers Mandovi and Zuari have become highly polluted due to the on-boat casinos and unchecked flow of municipal waste. The sourness in the Mamata-Congress ties remained as Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday declined to extend his stay in Bengal by a few more hours despite a formal request by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who was scheduled to return from her electoral trip to Manipur. 

While the Union Minister said he had other engagements in Delhi and that he had telephonic conversations with the Chief Minister, Congress insiders said Ramesh had no other choice but to "return the courtesy" after the "Chief Minister persistently avoided a meeting with him for the past two days" and he was left to hold talks "on crucial rural development issues" regarding the State with his Bengal counterpart Subroto Mukherjee. "The Chief Minister had earlier been cordial enough to meet Ramesh at a private television channel's office but this time she avoided him and did not even attend the programme on Netaji (Subhas Chandra Bose's) birthday where the two were scheduled to share the same dais" the senior PCC leader said. Incidentally, the Minister who was visiting the three naxalite-affected districts — Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore — of Bengal touched a raw nerve by coming out with a suggestion to improve paddy procurement mechanism in the State. He was speaking against the backdrop of recurrent farmer suicides in Bengal on account of the non-availability minimum support price for paddy. 

While the PCC has repeatedly asked for an all-party delegation to visit districts to inquire about the rising incidents of farmer suicides — reportedly 25 in the past eight months — Banerjee said there was only one such death "exclusively related to agricultural crisis". Ramesh said the State should adopt measures like engaging women self-help groups in paddy procurement. "In Purulia, I found farmers getting Rs 750 in place of of Rs 1080" he said adding "village SHGs should be involved in procurement like in AP and Chhattisgarh.

Palash Biswas
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