QKolkata: Sovan at Mamata’s For Bhai Phota; Air Toxicity Alarming

Your daily lowdown of all things Kolkata.

3 min read
FIle photo of former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Chatterjee recently defected from the Trinamool Congress to the BJP.

1. Sovan Chatterjee Calls On Mamata Banerjee For Bhai Phonta

Former Calcutta mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who had switched to the BJP on 14 August, visited Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s home at Kalighat on Tuesday for ‘Bhai Phonta’, along with friend and fellow Trinamool Congress turncoat Baishakhi Banerjee.

Sources present at the chief minister’s residence during the visit said Mamata and others had spoken to Chatterjee and Baishakhi normally. They said Chatterjee had walked up to Mamata and said he had never missed Bhai Phonta at her home and decided not to miss it this time either.

However, the former minister had given the occasion a miss last year amid strained ties between the mentor and the protégé.

(Source: The Telegraph)


2. Don’t Mix Cricket With Teesta: Sheikh Hasina

“If a Bengali invites another Bengali to enjoy a game of cricket, there is no point 'mixing Teesta' and pouring cold water over it.”

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent out this message on Tuesday as she requested the media to decouple an impending Calcutta visit — to watch the first India-Bangladesh Test match at the Eden Gardens — from the Teesta water sharing agreement.

Hasina confirmed she would be in Calcutta on Day One of the Test beginning 22 November but was quick to add she was coming “only because of an invite from a Bengali”.

(Source: The Telegraph)

3. With Chhath Around The Corner, Lack Of Infra Worries Devotees

With three days to go for Chhath, Kolkata Municipal Corporation is gearing up to arrange for the rituals to be conducted at 11 ponds in the city. The ponds will be opened to devotees by Friday night.

These waterbodies were selected for Chhath rituals after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the state to ensure that Rabindra Sarobar (Lake) was kept out of bounds for the same.

Although the KMC parks and squares department has launched a massive cleaning operation at the selected ponds to ready them for the celebrations, the pace of work for setting up infrastructure for Chhath devotees at these ponds has been slow.

(Source: The Times Of India)


4. Air Toxicity Is Here To Stay, Warn Experts

The city’s ambient air quality that deteriorated alarmingly on Kali Puja-Diwali night is likely to inflict more pain in the coming days. Significantly, the PM2.5 level in the run-up to the festival was much less, thanks to the continuous drizzle that drenched the city since Wednesday. But rampant bursting of crackers on Kali Puja night undid it all.

While the safe limit of PM2.5 is 60 µg/m3 , it shot up to 288-475µg/m3 from Monday midnight to 2am on Tuesday.

“With the progress of the night, the air quality kept improving, courtesy the amazing self-healing ability of the atmosphere. But the piling-up effect that begins now might accelerate the decline of air quality in the coming days with temperature inversion,” said Sudipto Bhattacharya of Saviours and Friends of Environment.

(Source: The Times Of India)

5. Rarely Spotted Bird Found Dead In Siliguri; Fireworks Blamed

The noise demon seems to have taken its toll in the winged world.

A hooded pitta, whose sighting is considered to be very rare in Bengal, reportedly fell victim to bursting of firecrackers in north Bengal’s Siliguri on Sunday night. From north Bengal, sporadic sightings of the bird had earlier been reported.

Sajal Nandi, a businessman and a resident of Siliguri’s Rabindra Nagar area, spotted a dead bird in his garden on Monday morning. “On getting closer, I found that it was a hooded pitta. Being a wildlife lover, I know how difficult it is to sight the bird in the wild. I soon informed members of a local NGOs and also the forest department,” he said.

(Source: The Times Of India)

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