QKolkata: Mukul Quizzed By ED; All-Women Fleet of Cabbies Soon

Your daily lowdown on all things Kolkata.

6 min read
Mukul Roy

1. Mukul Shows Up For ED Quiz; Mirza Suspended

Mukul Roy made himself available for questioning in the Narada sting operation probe at the Enforcement Directorate office here on Thursday, a day before he was scheduled for questioning on 10 November.

The Trinamool heavyweight turned BJP leader had requested ED on Wednesday to bring forward the questioning by a day in view of a BJP rally here on Friday .

In another development that may have ramifications for Roy, the Bengal government on Thursday suspended IPS officer SMH Mirza in a case relating to sub-inspector Soubhagya Das' suicide. Das, attached with the Barrackpore Commissionerate, had killed himself soon after police slapped bribery charges on him. He left a suicide note claiming innocence.

Das' wife had later lodged a complaint with Barrackpore police alleging two officials, including Mirza, were responsible for the death.

Mirza's suspension, coming close on the heels of Roy joining BJP, assumes significance on the ground that investigating agencies are trying to find out if the suspended officer, purportedly seen taking money in the Narada footage, did so at Roy's behest.

(Source: The Times Of India)

2. Dengue Claims 62-Year-Old in Upscale South Kolkata High-Rise

Dengue has gripped Kolkata.
Dengue has gripped Kolkata.
(Photo: iStock)

A 62-year-old woman who tested positive for dengue died on Wednesday. A resident of Ballygunge Circular Road, Sampat Devi Baid had been down with fever for the past few days. Locals expressed worry that the Aedes Aegypti, which carries the dengue virus, has started breeding in this posh locality. As the fever refused to subside even after medication, her son Amit took her to Belle Vue Clinic on Wednesday. Doctors admitted her in the ICU around 4pm since her platelet count was extremely low. Her blood sample reports confirmed she was NS1 positive. The patient kept sinking and died around 11.30pm. On Thursday , when the state filed a report on dengue in Calcutta high court, Baid's family was performing her last rites.

The Residence, a high-rise apartment on 221 Ballygunge Circular Road where the Baids live, is just 1.5km away from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation's malaria clinic at Ballygunge Phari, which also receives blood samples for dengue tests.

“We have been bearing about the dengue outbreak and the deaths for all these days. Now we have lost a family member to the onslaught. We are scared and concerned that the vector-borne disease has started rearing its head in our neighborhood as well,’’ said Purnima Baid, the victim's daughter-in-law who flew in from Bhubaneshwar on Thursday morning after getting the news of the death.

(Source: The Times Of India)


3. Women-Only Chauffeur Service Ready to Hit Road

A woman returning home alone in a cab at night need no longer make her family and friends anxious. Come February, she will have the option of choosing a woman to steer her home safe.

Calcutta's first women-only chauffeur-on-call service is apparently the launch pad for a regular taxi fleet with women drivers in less than a year.

The Azad Foundation, a non-profit organisation that had launched the service first in Delhi in 2008 and recently in Jaipur and Indore, has trained around 500 women as drivers and is looking to fill a gap in Calcutta that has become pronounced in recent years.

"We keep getting mails and phone calls asking when women drivers would be available here ( in Calcutta). For now, only the chauffeur-on-call service would be available. This will be just like hiring a private car for a few hours," said Dolon Ganguly, programme director at the Azad Foundation.

(Source: The Telegraph)


4. Govt Against Feb Poll in JU

The state government has " advised" Jadavpur University to keep campus polls on hold in response to vice-chancellor Suranjan Das' letter seeking permission to hold the elections in February.

Das on Wednesday had sought the permission, following a resolution adopted in a meeting of the university's executive council on Tuesday.

The council is the university's highest decision-making body.

The higher education department on Thursday sent a letter to Das, reiterating its November advisory that students' union elections be kept in abeyance. The subject of the letter read: "advice on elections to students' unions in the higher education institutions in Bengal". Many have termed the advice " an interference" in the autonomous institute's functioning.

Registrar Pradip Ghosh acknowledged receiving the letter.

(Source: The Telegraph)


5. AAI Seeks Land to Build City's Second Airport

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had asked the Mamata Banerjee government to identify a site for Kolkata's second airport. Though the state has cited the existence of a second airport in south Bengal near Durgapur, AAI has turned down the feasibility of promoting it as Kolkata's second airport as it is nearly 200km away from the city . It plans to write to the government again, seeking land closer to the city .

“All four metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata – need two airports each. The sites have been identified for Delhi and Mumbai. Tamil Nadu will finalise the site shortly. West Bengal is yet to do that for Kolkata,’’ AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said in Delhi on Thursday .

The Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport at Andal near Durgapur is a nearly four-hour drive from Kolkata. The flying time between Kolkata airport and Andal is 20-25 minutes. According to airport officials, a city airport ideally needed to be located within an hour's drive or at most an hour-and-a-half away .

“Kolkata's second airport has to be closer to the city. Durgapur cannot serve as Kolkata's second airport. We are writing to the state government again on this issue,’’ Mohapatra said.

(Source: The Times Of India)


6. U-17 Model to Spare KIFF-Goers The Sting

The Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata which was revamped for the U-17 Football World Cup.
The Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata which was revamped for the U-17 Football World Cup.
(Photo: Ishadrita Lahiri/The Quint)

Before the U-17 World Cup, the state administration had made its best efforts to clean up the area around Salt Lake stadium, with an eye to keep dengue at bay as foreigners were expected to visit. Now, it is time for the officials to take steps to clean up the waterbodies around Nandan as the Kolkata International Film Festival starts on 10 November.

The Nandan area is being spruced up, and work to clean up the waterbodies has also started, said an official.

Filling up the waterbody at Nandan had been discussed since cleaning it was a regular problem. Officials added that often the visitors to the culture complex are in the habit of throwing plastic packets and cups in the water. “The PWD will surely clean up the waterbodies before the film festival starts here and the work has already started,’’ said a senior official. He said that a large number of foreign tourists are expected to visit the complex for the film festival. “So, cleaning up the waterbodies, which have turned into an eyesore, is a major requirement.“

The Rabindra Sadan complex has also been decked up and the gardens redesigned and landscaped, the official added. The garbage dumped near the pond behind Nandan will also be removed. “We will be spraying pesticide soon and removing the garbage,’’ he assured.

Inside the complexes, the information department has put up six display boards, which will show clips of the movies that are part of the film festival. “Some trees have been trimmed and the gardens have been made more accessible to the visitors,’’ the official said.

(Source: The Times Of India)


7. Senior Tax Officer Found Dead at Home, Wife Arrested

A 52-year-old senior commercial tax official was found dead at his Garia home at Ramkrishna Sarani near the Garia railway station late on Wednesday night. Sukriti Roy was hospitalised the day before for a sedative overdose. He was treated and discharged on Wednesday morning, only to be found dead a few hours later, seated on a wicker stool, his neck tied to the window grille of an under-construction puja room on the roof. Police have arrested his wife, Chandana.

According to police, Roy was the joint commissioner of commercial tax with the state Directorate of Commercial Taxes. His relatives and neighbours broke open a door to find his body. The victim's father Subodh, a retired school teacher, claimed that Chandana called him on Wednesday evening to inquire about Sukriti's whereabouts. “She insisted that my son had come to my house,’’ said Subodh. This apparently led him to suspect that something was wrong. So Subodh and his other son Kajal rushed to Sukriti's home only to find him dead. They informed police.

Chandana told TOI, “My husband was suffering from mental trauma and tried to kill himself as his brothers wanted to grab his property. He used to torture me on their insistence.’’

(Source: The Times Of India)

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