QKolkata: Mamata Warning to Municipalities On Dengue & More

Your daily lowdown on all things Kolkata.

6 min read
Mamata Banerjee 

1. Battle Virus Or Lose Board

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday warned municipal boards that she wouldn't hesitate to dissolve them if they did not do enough to prevent the spread of dengue.

"We have to work hard in the field. All municipalities and panchayats have to work on the ground (to prevent the spread of dengue). We are giving money to the civic bodies to undertake the effort. If any municipality does not work, I won't hesitate to dissolve the board," the Chief Minister said at Nabanna, which houses her office.

She was quick to iterate that the dengue outbreak in Bengal was nothing to panic about and that the situation in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat was worse.

(Source: The Telegraph)

2. BSNL Calls ‘Sleeping’ Subscribers

An elderly homemaker in Jadavpur picks up the receiver to hear an unusual plea. "Madam, BSNL theke bolchi… apnar landphone theke toh call-e hochhe na. Ektu phone-tone korun (Madam, I am calling from BSNL… no calls are made from your landline. You should make a few)." This is how state-owned BSNL is trying to coax its customers in Calcutta into using their landlines more in the age of mobile telephony.

Sources said quoting a survey by Calcutta Telephones this month that 20,000-odd BSNL landline users across the city and its outskirts have been paying their rentals over the past three billing cycles but have stopped making outgoing calls.

BSNL has decided to call each of these subscribers to encourage greater usage.

(Source: The Telegraph)


3. Bong Touch to Tata Design

Pratap Bose, 44, like all non-resident Bengalis, loves visiting Calcutta and gorging on ilish and mishti doi . When he was young, it was a mandatory once-a-year visit during summer holidays to "my jyatha's place at Ballygunge". Today, in between designing his company's turnaround and launching the HorizoNext vehicles, he manages to visit the city once in four years, maybe.

Bose, the design head of Tata Motors, who sits in Coventry and manages three design studios worldwide, was particular about the right colour variant of Tata Motors' Nexon for its Calcutta launch at Taj Bengal on 9 September.

It had to be the Moroccan Blue with the striking white waistline if Nexon were to succeed in Calcutta.

Bose, a quintessential non-resident Bengali, grew up in Mumbai in the 70s and graduated from Ahmedabad's National Institute of Design ( NID) in 1997.

(Source: The Telegraph)


4. No Pall Bearers, Parsi Man Denied Ritual Farewell

The cremation of a Parsi against his family's wishes earlier this month has created a furore within the community and focused attention on the practices and rituals that it has zealously protected for centuries.

Fifty-five-year-old Maneksha Bhesania passed away on 4 October 2017 and his ageing mother and other family members wanted the last rites to be held at the Dakhma or the Tower of Silence in Beliaghata. But he was ultimately cremated at Keoratala, as pall bearers could not be arranged within 24 hours, the stipulated time for completion of last rites in accordance with Zoroastrian customs.

The news of this cremation triggered a furore in the community , forcing the Calcutta Zoroastrian Community's Religious and Charity Fund (CZCRCF) to issue a statement pleading helplessness for the non-availability of pallbearers.“There was a death in the community recently where the family desired the traditional Dakhma form of disposal. This could not be arranged as we had insufficient pallbearers... The family desired tradition to be maintained, were denied it and had to settle for cremation, which we deeply and sincerely regret. There were subsequent occasions when we were fortunate to have volunteers but it is not an unlikely scenario that we will not always have sufficient pallbearers. To the extent possible, we shall see that the wishes of the deceased's family members are fulfilled. But, where it becomes impossible, everyone will have to please understand,“ the notice stated. Only Parsi males can be pallbearers.

(Source: The Times of India)


5. A Dozen National Award-Winning Language Films To Screen At KIFF

The Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) is introducing a new section this year. It will showcase best feature films in 12 languages that won a Rajat Kamal and a cash award of Rs 1 lakh each at the 64th National Awards.

The decision has come as a blessing for cine buffs from Bengal who don't get a chance to watch award-winning films from various parts of India. Film scholars feel this segment will help gauge the standard of contemporary movies from other industries.

Kaushik Ganguly , who incidentally was in the 64th National Awards' jury committee of the Film Friendly State, is happy with this move, not only because his `Bisorjon' will be screening in this section. “The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has an Indian Panorama. But not all of the films there have won the National Award. By introducing this new section, KIFF is offering a panorama of Indian films that have won National Awards. From next year onwards, I have proposed to include a retrospective of great masters from Kolkata,’’ said Ganguly.

Santwana Bordoloi's ‘Maj Rati Keteki', which won the Best Assamese Film award this year, will be a big draw for Adil Hussain's fans in Kolkata.

(Source: The Times Of India)


6. MLA Moves SC Over Aadhaar Bank Diktat

Mohua Moitra
Mohua Moitra
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Mohua Moitra)

Trinamool Congress MLA and party general secretary Mahua Moitra on Monday filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the directive issued by banks to all account-holders making Aadhaar submission mandatory by 31 December 2017, failing which the accounts will be frozen. Moitra also sought relief for new bank customers for whom Aadhaar submission is mandatory now.

Moitra said, “The petition has been filed in my capacity as a private citizen.The State Bank of India, of which I am a customer, has informed me that if I fail to submit my Aadhaar details by 31 December, my account could be frozen or made inoperational. This is illegal. I, therefore, moved the court as a citizen. The petition has been filed today.’’ Moitra, who reached Kolkata from New Delhi late on Monday, had been consulting senior Supreme Court lawyers.

Her petition challenges the recently introduced Rule 2 (b) and Rule 2 (c) of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017. These rules introduced by the Narendra Modi government on 1 June, mandates the submission of an Aadhaar number to banking companies by 31 December, failing which (a) no individual can open a new bank account, and, (b) all individuals already having an account shall be disallowed from utilising the accounts, which will be rendered in-operational.

(Source: The Times of India)


7. At This Jagaddhatri Puja, Men ‘Cross’ Gender Barrier to Worship

The saree-clad figures in minimal makeup seemed pretty regular adults, conducting ‘dashami devi baran'. If you look closer, you will find they are all men. This has been a regular practice at the Gaurhati-Tentultala Jagadhatri Committee Puja, about 35km from Kolkata, in keeping with an ancient ritual.

The sartorial diktat dates back to 1762, when the festival was first started by Maharaja Krishnachandra Roy.

The 255-year-old Puja along with its distinctive ‘devi-baran' feature attracts scores of people from all over Bengal, especially because the men, belonging to the local Bhabanisangha Club, has regularly produced national-level volleyball champions, are determined to not let go of the ritual.

On Monday, the last day of the Puja, these men blew conch-shells and clutched thalis close to their chests to perform the aarati with perfect ease. None of the onlookers batted an eye, or scorned at the public display of perceived “unmasculinity”.

(Source: The Times Of India)

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