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Updated on APR 06, 2020





Updated: APR 07, 2020

Weekly News Digest

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Kolkata Diary

Police stations to take responsibility of delivering food at every doorstep: Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: Amid the countrywide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on said that all police stations will take responsibility to deliver food at doorsteps under the supervision of District Magistrates and Police Superintendents. "As we have to ensure that there is no scarcity of food, all Police stations will take responsibility to deliver food at doorsteps and it will be monitored by District Magistrates and Police Superintendents," said Banerjee at a press conference here. She also said that under the social pension schemes, the pension holders will get their pension of March and April together.

Speaking on local police blocking people involved in essential services, she said, "The Officer-in-charge will have to ensure that the local police know about the rules and exemptions during the lockdown." "If any police official or an administrative official is found flouting the lockdown norms, then strict action will be taken against them," she added.

The Chief Minister also said, "If somebody needs to help us by giving materials then they need to contact health department official Sanjay Bansal, whose contact number is - 9051022000." "The government has also launched a State emergency relief fund wherein people can donate. For donation, the account number is 628005501339, IFSC: ICIC0006280 and website: wb.gov.in," she said.


RPF personnel extend helping hand to stranded passengers at Howrah Railway station

Kolkata (West Bengal) As 375 passengers were left stranded at Howrah Railway Station after West Bengal government announced that no public transport will be operational during the lockdown, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has taken up the task to help them. "We are distributing tea and biscuits among 375 passengers, who were left stranded at the Howrah Railway Station due to the suspension of transport service," said one of the RPF personnel.

Ishaq Khan, Divisional Railway Manager, told ANI: "Buses are being arranged to send the stranded passengers to their nearest district." Earlier, the state government announced that no public transport including taxis and autorickshaws, except for vehicles going to and from hospitals, airports, railway stations, bus terminals/bus stands and carrying food and essential commodities will be allowed to be on streets. (ANI)


Never thought would see my city like this: Sourav Ganguly

Kolkata | Locked at home amid the lockdown in West Bengal due to the coronavirus pandemic, BCCI President and former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said he never thought his city would wear a deserted look with virtually no one on the streets. "Never thought would see my city like this .. stay safe .. this will change soon for the better ...love and affection to all .." Ganguly said in a tweet with few pictures of some of the city's iconic landmarks wearing an empty look. People stayed indoors while police personnel hauled up those on the streets as a complete lockdown began in large parts of West Bengal, including the whole of Kolkata and eight districts continued to combat the spread of novel coronavirus infection.

The lockdown, christened 'complete safety restrictions', covers all municipal and district towns besides some rural areas in other parts of the state and started from from 5 p.m. on Monday. The lockdown is set to continue till Friday midnight. On Tuesday, two more persons were detected coronavirus positive in West Bengal, taking the count of such cases in the eastern state to nine. So far, one of the patients in the state has succumbed to the disease. Ganguly had earlier said that he can't recall when he was last free at 5 pm in the evening.

"Amids all the corona virus scare .. happy to sit in the lounge at 5pm .. free... can't remember when I did last .." Ganguly had said in an Instagram post with a selfie. The BCCI has asked its employees to work from home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has so far had 511 cases with 10 deaths.


Janata Curfew: Bengal virtually in lockdown

Kolkata | With few vehicles including state government buses plying, people generally stayed indoors and a vast majority of shops and markets remained closed as West Bengal went into virtual lockdown on Sunday in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for 14-hour 'Janata Curfew' to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus infection. While private buses did not operate, a few state buses, autorickshaws and yellow taxis could be seen on the roads but the passenger count was extremely low since the morning as 90 per cent of people on the streets were found wearing masks. The Indian Railways has cancelled all mail, express and inter-city trains since 4 am while keeping suburban services in Kolkata to bare minimum. The Kolkata Metro is running only half of its trains which usually run on Sundays on its North-South and East-West routes. Trains are available at 30-minute intervals, but the rakes are mostly empty.

The Bengal Taxi Association is also observing a self-imposed curfew from 11 am to 5 pm, but has kept around 50 yellow cabs on standby for emergencies (toll free number 03324753505). Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport director Kaushik Bhattacharjee told IANS that 60 per cent of domestic flights have been cancelled by various operators due to the Janata curfew. And even the flights which operated had fewer passengers.

The central government last week banned all commercial international airlines from operating to India for a week from Sunday. The interstate bus services to and from West Bengal have already been suspended by the state government till March 31. The ticket counters were empty, with only a handful of passengers seen waiting for trains at the vital Sealdah and Howrah stations. The iconic Howrah bridge considered the gateway to the eastern metropolis was almost deserted. The city's arterial roads which normally bustle with people in holiday mood on Sundays, were vacant. There were rows of closed shops and absentee vegetable and fish vendors in municipal markets across the city. Even the very few who had opened their outlets downed shutters seeing there were virtually no customers.


Kolkata's Indian Coffee House to remain closed.

Kolkata (West Bengal) | To halt the COVID19 spread, the authorities of Indian Coffee House here at College Street have decided to shut down the cafe till March 31. "It is hereby to notify all our customers and patrons that the Indian Coffee House, Main Hall 15, Bankim Chattrejee Street, Kolkata will remain closed from March 21 to March 31 due to coronavirus," the Indian Coffee House said.


CBI arrests Director of ponzi company in Bengal

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested a Director of a West Bengal-based ponzi company in connection with its probe into a corruption case for swindling Rs 3 crore of the investors, officials said on Wednesday. A CBI official said here that it has arrested Ananda Chanda, Director of Amanat Group of Companies based in West Bengal, in an on-going investigation of a case. According to the CBI, the agency has registered a case against the accused and others. It was alleged that the accused in pursuance of a conspiracy with other Directors of the private company had illegally collected Rs 3 crore from the investors under various fraudulent schemes on assurance of paying high returns on such investments on maturity.

The arrested accused was produced before the Court of ACJM, Bidhannagar in West Bengal and was remanded to two days police custody. As a precautionary step to fight against coronavirus, various state governments in the country have closed bars, restaurants and pubs. In several states, restaurants including cafes cannot serve food in-house and only takeaways will be allowed. In order to keep coronavirus infection at bay, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggested people to use a cloth to cover their mouth and nose in case of scarcity of face masks.

"Since there is a scarcity of masks, people can use a cloth to tie around their faces as it is soft. However, I am not sure, people should consult doctors," Banerjee said on Friday Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that a total of 283 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country. Out of the total number, four people have died and 22 others have recovered. (ANI)

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