QKolkata: Black Flags for BJP in Hills; U-17 Teams Love Mishti Doi
Here is The Quint’s compilation of top stories from Kolkata.
1. Black Flags Greet BJP Team in Hills
Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh and some other party leaders were greeted with black flags by supporters of the Binay Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Jana Andolan Party in Kalimpong on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Morcha president Bimal Gurung had appealed to people to welcome the BJP – on a three-day trip to the hills – for the sake of Gorkhaland.
A day before, disgruntled Morcha leader Tamang had asked the BJP to make its stand clear on the statehood issue or risk facing protests from the public when the delegation reaches the hills.
2. Mukul: BJP Not Communal
Suspended Trinamul Rajya Sabha member Mukul Roy today said the BJP was not "a communal force" while recalling the Bengal ruling party's long association with the other.
"I do not consider the BJP a communal force. The Trinamul Congress had been an ally of the BJP since its inception in 1998," Roy told reporters during an informal interaction this evening.
The timing of the comment assumes significance, as speculation is rife on Roy's possibility of joining the saffron camp following his six-year suspension from Trinamul. The suspension – linked to alleged anti-party activities – followed his resignation from the party's working committee on 25 September.
3. Rice Turns Pricey in City on Bangla Scarcity Bogey
A dip in production of rice in Opar Bangla has prompted middlemen to play mischief in Epar Bangla, pushing up the retail price of the staple diet that unites both Bengals.
The retail price of different varieties of rice has risen by up to 20% in Kolkata markets, prompting the Bengal government to blame "the artificial crisis" on "a section middlemen and speculators" and threaten action against them.
4. Mishti Doi Hits the Sweet Spot With U-17 Teams
The quintessential mishti doi has bowled over the English, Chilean and Iraqi footballers who have arrived in the city for the Fifa Under-17 World Cup since the start of this week. The players of Mexico, the fourth team in the group, reached the city on Wednesday evening and will get to taste the city's famed sweetened yoghurt if the team manager gives the nod.
"All the teams have strict dietary requirements and curbs on desserts. But mishti doi is one thing that the managers of three teams have taken fancy to. We are serving it in all three meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner — and the boys are loving it," said Neelabh Sahay, the executive chef at Novotel, where the teams are camping for the entire tournament.
5. 600 State Buses, Ola for Matches
The government will run more than 600 special buses for the U-17 World Cup matches at Salt Lake stadium.
The transport department will offer special permits to Ola to run 130 shuttle buses. Passengers picked up from across the city will be dropped close to the stadium.
Apart from Ola, the government will also run shuttle services. The buses can be tracked through the government's Pathadisha app.
6. Rain, Not GST, Affects Sale of Sweets on Bijoya Dashami
Rain and not GST affected the sale of sweets during Bijoya Dashami celebrations when Bengalis visit each other and savour sweets, some leading confectioners of the city have claimed.
Partha Mullick of leading sweetmeat shop 'Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick' said, "GST would not have affected the sale of sweets on the occasion of Bijoya Dashami. But rain was the spoilsport on all important festivals of Bengal - from Raksha Bandhan to Bijoya Dashami this year. The sale was hit due to rain this puja as some of the customers could not come to our outlets when it rained," he said.
7. Green Fine on CMC
The National Green Tribunal today slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) for not complying with an order to file a report on air pollution caused by burning of dry leaves and waste in the Maidan area.
This is the first instance of the green tribunal slapping a fine on a government wing in Bengal.
"Despite repeated orders, the CMC, whose mayor is the environment minister of the state, has not submitted the report that the tribunal has asked for," said environment activist Subhas Datta, the petitioner in the case.
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