Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court today refused to interfere in the West Bengal panchayat election schedule announced by the State Election Commission but pulled up the poll body, asking it to conduct itself in a neutral manner and consider its observations as a wake up call. Making scathing observations against the Commission over its conduct with regard to the panchayat polls process, a division bench comprising Justice B Somadder and Justice A Mukherjee said the SEC had floundered in upholding its constitutional obligations. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe bench said that it was expected that the Commission would redeem itself by treating the court’s observations as a wake-up call.The court refused to interfere in the schedule announced by the Commission on a petition claiming that notification should provide all dates from nomination to that of result and prayed for quashing of the notification.The bench said that the SEC’s decision to reduce the number of phases for panchayat elections in the state from 3 to 1 in it second notification without providing necessary clarification inevitably raised eyebrows and was avoidable. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe SEC had initially announced that panchayat elections were to be held in three phases from May 1 to 5, but in another notification following a single bench order that had directed rescheduling of elections, it had appointed only May 14 for polling in the entire state.The court said that the SEC had itself invited litigations by its conduct and observed that it should have instead acted in a manner that allayed apprehensions and grievances of stakeholders. The bench also directed that the observations made by this court could not be used by any political party or individual participating in the elections.The observations were made in its order disposing of an appeal by Ritju Ghosal, a general secretary of West Bengal state unit of Indian National Congress, against a single bench judgement that refused to interfere in the SEC decision on the poll schedule.
Kolkata: A smartphone app aimed exclusively at the prevention of vector-borne diseases by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, was launched on Thursday afternoon by Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.This is the first time in India when a civic body has brought out an app exclusively on the preservation of vector-borne diseases. The app will be available only on android devices as of now and support for iPhone users will come on September 7.It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed all the civic bodies in the state to conduct garbage cleaning drives regularly and take immediate steps when people suffering from fever are detected in the areas under their jurisdiction. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe app contains the symptoms of dengue and malaria, along with the dos and don’ts that need to be followed to prevent occurrence of the diseases.The addresses of all the 144 malaria detection centres and 15 dengue detection centres have been provided in the app. The telephone numbers and e-mail IDs of key persons in KMC’s Health department have also been provided. The people will also get information about new announcements of KMC’s Health department through the app. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSenior civic officials said the app will help create awareness among the people. The state government has already given Rs 4 crore to KMC to carry out massive awareness programmes to prevent dengue and malaria.The civic authorities had launched a massive awareness campaign in January and started a drive against vector-borne diseases, keeping in mind the fact that mosquitoes have changed their breeding season due to global warming.Special teams have been formed, comprising health workers and their counterparts in the Conservancy department, to visit every household for ensuring that garbage gets cleaned everyday and the underground reservoirs and overhead tanks are cleaned as well. The civic authorities have also urged people to clean the containers where water is stored, at least once a week. Visits are being regularly made to institutional buildings, hospitals, nursing homes and central and state government offices. The KMC authorities have urged the management that looks after the institutional buildings, to see to it that broken and unused furniture is kept on the roof and empty plastic cups and bottles are cleaned from the premises.Civic officials regretted that despite intense awareness campaigns, people are not following KMC’s instructions and in many new constructions sites, garbage is not cleaned regularly and water stored in containers is not cleared weekly.Also, some people have reservation against KMC clinics, as blood tests for dengue and malaria are conducted free of cost and medicines are also given for free.
Kolkata: Former Bengal captain Shyam Sundar Mitra Thursday died following prolonged illness. Mitra, 82, was being treated for a heart ailment. “He was suffering from heart ailments and was being treated at a private hospital in Salt Lake and breathed his last this morning,” Cricket Association of Bengal sources said. Popularly known as SS, the top-order Bengal batsman played 59 first- class matches and averaged 50.13 with a career-best score of 155, but despite having played some heroic knocks in the 1960s, Mitra was never selected to play for India. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata CAB had conferred Mitra with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and in 2017 football club Mohun Bagan, too, bestowed him with the same honour. “It’s a really very sad and disheartening to hear his demise. He was a leader on and off the field and a perfect gentleman. He was a great statesman one of the leading cricketers Bengal has produced,” CAB joint-secretary Avishek Dalmiya said. “My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved. May his soul rest in peace,” he added. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Raju Mukherjee, in his book ‘Eden Gardens: Legend & Romance’, has written that Mitra was victim of politics and was “distinctly unlucky not to have played for India in the 1960s when his performances against all oppositions, especially against India’s premier team, Mumbai, yearned for higher honours”. “SS, it is said, was omitted by Bechu Dutta Ray, the East Zone representative in the national selection committee, because he (SS) did not wish transfer his allegiance to the concerned selector’s local club, Sporting Union! Whether this report is authentic or not, the fact remained that all those who played for India in the 50s, 60s and early 70s were actually from Sporting Union!” Mukherjee wrote.