QKolkata: Durga Ma Arrives; GJM Calls Off Strike in Darjeeling
Read The Quint’s compilation of the top stories from Kolkata.
1. Talks Bell Ends Hill Strike
The 104-day-old strike in the Darjeeling hills will be called off at 6am on Wednesday, Bimal Gurung said, a few hours after Union home minister Rajnath Singh announced a meeting within a fortnight to "discuss all related issues".
Rajnath also appealed to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leadership to withdraw the shutdown. Singh's promise to convene a meeting within a fortnight, sources said, provided Gurung with the reason to announce the decision to lift the strike.
“We have decided to keep the hills open from 6am tomorrow,” Gurung told The Telegraph in the evening
2. Ma Arrives, Thousands Throng Kolkata
Thousands thronged Durga Puja pandals across Kolkata on Tuesday, in order to mark Maha Sashti Puja, even as police implemented heavy security measures for the festival.
Among the security measures is a collaboration between Kolkata police, the women and social welfare department, the department of child development and some NGOs, called the ‘Bandhu Kolkata’, according to Joint CP (crime) Vishal Garg.
3. Puja Drives Record Surge in Airport Footfall
The rush to return home during Puja or escape the festive chaos has resulted in a record spurt in footfall at the city airport.
On Sashthi, NSCBI Airport registered a never-before passenger count of 60,000. The average daily figure is around 35,000.
As many as 52,000 of the the 60,000-odd passengers who passed through the airport were domestic fliers. The skewed distribution is hardly surprising, given the handful of international flights the airport handles.
4. Mukul Roy Applies for Belur Diksha
Suspended Trinamool MP Mukul Roy has applied for mantra diksha or initiation at Belur Math.
Roy, who had resigned from Trinamool's working committee before being suspended by the party yesterday, met Swami Smaranananda, the president of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission at Belur Math, this morning and sought his blessings.
He then filled up a form, which any devotee seeking diksha has to do ahead of fixing the date and time for participating in the ritual.
“Usually, when people move towards a significant decision in their lives, they seek blessings from gurus. That’s why I have come to Belur Math,” Roy said. “I do visit Belur Math often. Whenever I come here, my mental strength goes up.”
5. ‘My Father Took His Call But I’m Staying With the Party’: Subhranshu Roy
For Subhranshu Roy, two-time MLA from Bijpur in 24 North Parganas, it was a tough choice between following Mukul Roy out of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) or stay on with the party. Ultimately, he chose the party.
“My father took a decision. I have taken mine. I respect my father. But I have decided to stay on in the Trinamool Congress under the aegis of chief minister Mamata Banerjee,” Subhranshu, 34, told The Indian Express.
6. 'Baahubali' Comes Alive on Kolkata Streets
The gigantic T-town production that set the silver screen ablaze two times over – first in 2015 and then in 2017 – is now taking the streets of Kolkata by storm.
And fuelling this high-pitched excitement is a multi-crore Durga Puja pandal, conceptualised by members of Sreebhumi Sporting Club, organisers of the annual festival that draws lakhs of visitors to VIP Road every year during Navratri.
But this season, the club's certain, the footfall will beat all records. Courtesy its heavy embellished puja arena designed as a near-flawless replica of the expansive Mahismati kingdom from the world of S S Rajamouli's imaginative brilliance – Baahubali – created within Hyderabad's Ramoji Film City .
(Source: The Times of India)
7. Pollution Notice for World Cup
The state environment department wants the pollution level to stay within the limit in and around Salt Lake stadium during the Fifa U-17 World Cup.
Environment secretary Arnab Roy recently issued a notification to police, the Calcutta and Bidhannagar civic bodies and the state pollution control board regarding this.
The notification is based on Central Pollution Control Board guidelines that bar any activity in and around the stadium during the World Cup that would increase air pollution.
Some of the actions spelt out in the notification are enforcing PUC (pollution under control) rules for vehicles and stopping the burning of garbage.
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