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Updated on Nov 20, 2017

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TorontoBengali.Com

Updated: Nov 20, 2017

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Kolkata Diary

Cops look for ISI on Kolkata roads

KOLKATA: When 60-year-old Tangra resident Lee Chang suffered head injuries in an accident on EM Bypass last Saturday, on-duty policemen who rushed him to the hospital had almost given up hope. Thankfully his condition is now stable after a successful operation. Wearing a good quality helmet made the difference, agreed Kolkata Police officer and Lee's doctors.

"The biker was wearing an ISI-marked helmet. We have always advised bikers to wear ISI 4151 helmets. It is a helmet that meets both local and global standards and is accepted all over the country as the safest form of headgear," said an officer from the traffic police headquarters.

Lalbazar officers are now keen on citing such real-life examples to try and inculcate the habit. They have already instructed all 25 traffic guards to ensure that bike riders wear the right helmet and in the right manner.

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Bus terminus, overbridge to ease transport woes in New Town The new terminus in Action Area III has space for 50 buses The new terminus in Action Area III has space for 50 buses KOLKATA: New Town is set to get another modern bus terminus in Action Area III, as well as an elevated connector in Action Area II, on Tuesday. The two projects will be inaugurated by state urban development and municipal affairs department minister Firhad Hakim. Work on the bus terminus project had started in August last year. It has been constructed on a 2.35 acre plot with space for 50 buses. The terminus complex has a central seating area, an administrative block with a first-aid room, a pantry and a toilet block. There will also be a charging station for electric buses. A space has also been reserved for construction of food kiosks.

Officials said that the surrounding area of the terminus has three large housing complexes - Sukhobrishti, ELITA Garden Vista and DLF New Town Heights - and the total projected population is one lakh. Over 10 bus routes have already been operating from this location to the city and Howrah. "With this new terminus, more bus routes will hopefully be introduced," said a Hidco official. Till now, the township has had only one large bus terminus - in Action Area I.

The road overbridge on Biswa Bangla Sarani was planned by the authorities to reduce the necessity to cross the main arterial road at the junction where the Bagjola canalside road crosses the main arterial road near Hidco Bhavan. The 580m overbridge will connect the Bagjola canal bank road with the Fintech hub, IT hub and education hub of New Town. The project was stalled for some time due to technical reasons and work finally started last May after a revised design was finalised.

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Leaders across political parties need to condemn this violence: Goutam Ghose

KOLKATA: Director Goutam Ghose has joined director Shyam Benegal to condemn the threats issued to Team 'Padmavati'. Condemning them as 'unfair', the director insisted that such protests are uncalled-for since the film hasn't been certified yet.

Said Ghosh, "Leaders across political parties need to condemn this violence and take steps to curb it. Issuing these threats is very unfair. The film hasn't even been censored yet. It has to be censored first. After people watch it, there can be debate regarding its historical interpretation. The violence surrounding the film before all that has happened is so unwanted."

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Bengal government offices closed half day for Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi's death

Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. (Photo: PTI)Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. (Photo: PTI) KOLKATA: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that Bengal government offices will remain closed on Monday from 2 pm following the death of Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.

There is provision for granting half day leave following death of Central or state minister. Dasmunsi was a Uniion minister when he suffered paralysis in October 2008 and was bed ridden from then. She expressed her condolence over the death of Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi and said that the last rites would be performed with gun salute at Kaliagunj.

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Rain shadow on veggie prices

Unseasonal rain that had hit Bengal last week may have receded but its impact is still being felt across Kolkata markets. While the showers are responsible for pulling down prices of a handful of vegetables, it has adversely affected the stocks of others, thereby burning a hole in consumers' pockets. Over the last few days, prices of cabbage and cauliflower have dropped sharply, thanks the low-pressure triggered rain. Wholesalers have resorted to distress sale to clear the cabbage-cauliflower stock damaged by the rain.

But buyers are not so lucky when it comes to other vegetables. Prices of some staple vegetables have remained consistently at or above Rs 50/kg. This is bit unusual if you look at previous years. By this time last year, vegetable prices nosedived sharply.

According to sources, rain has delayed harvesting of winter vegetables in Bengal, forcing the state to depend on other states. Consumers, subsequently, are bearing the price burden. "Most of the winter vegetables we are now getting is coming from outside. Peyajkoli (Scallion), which is coming from Karimpur in Bangladesh, remains pricey. Tomato from Purulia has just started arriving. So, tomato price is likely to crash in two-three days," said Kamal Dey, Koley Market vendors association president and Bengal government's market task force member.

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In a first, Kolkata’s app fleet outnumbers yellow cabs

KOLKATA: The aggregators' fleet has overtaken its yellow brothers in the city by quite a sharp distance. Recent data released by the state transport department reveals that the number of registered app cabs has steadily exceeded yellow (peeli) cabs, infamous for rampant refusals, ill behaviour and temper tantrums. The city's yellow cab operators' associations have also admitted that patronage of commuters has clearly shifted to app cabs.

At present, only 21,830 yellow cabs are registered with regional transport authori-ties in the city. But Ola and Uber jointly have 23,768 cabs enlisted in Kolkata and the numbers are rising steadily, despite gradual withdrawal of incentives by the aggregators. Add to that new app players like Mega and Meru, and the numbers only travel north.

"App cabs have won the loyalty of citizens for prompt services, comfortable and cool rides, security features like ride-sharing and no-dispute app-generated fares," says transport economist Adrish Thakur.

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