Showing posts with label Darjeeling live news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darjeeling live news. Show all posts

Army deployed in Darjeeling, BJP demands peace Committee

2:21 AM
TMC

BJP demands peace committee to contain violence in Darjeeling

KOLKATA: The BJP today criticised the West Bengal government for failing to contain violence in the Darjeeling hills and demanded that a peace committee be formed to restore peace. "The TMC administration has completely failed to contain violence in the hills.

There was no shut down or violence in the hills for last three years. But, the TMC, which is trying to establish its own political hegemony in the hills, did everything to provoke violence and disturbance in the hills," BJP MP from Darjeeling S S Ahluwalia told PTI.

Ahluwalia questioned the reason behind deployment of the Army when the entire state cabinet is present in the hills. "When the entire state cabinet including the Chief Minister is present in the hills, why did the administration failed to control the situation? What was the reason behind deployment of Army? We will talk to the Union Home Ministry regarding the situation.

We demand that a peace committee be formed immediately in the hills with GJM and state administration to restore peace and normalcy," he said. Two columns of Army were deployed in the restive Darjeeling town today after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters clashed with the police, damaged police vehicles and set some of them ablaze while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was holding a cabinet meeting there.

(via:indianexpress)

MTV Roadies accident in Darjeeling Pesok

7:56 PM

MTV Roadies Meet With an Accident
An accident took place near Pesok view point in Darjeeling. A mini bus carrying crew of roadies fell down the road. They were shooting in Mirik and Darjeeling hills  recently. According to the report there has been several incidents of accidents in the same spot in the past. The Roadies crew made a mistake by not taking the local driver said one of the locals.

Details of the injured persons:
Magen Basu Matary (36) Ashis Ansari(24) Akash Patel (25) Surendra Pràdhàn (35) Sidarth Soni(24) John Britto(33) Sandeep Bamkar(29) Bijoy kumar Panday(32) Rabi Rajan kumar(24) Santosh Jaiswal(35) Gawrab Pazoz(32) and the vehicle no is AS 01FC9100.
All assistance have been provided to the injured, who have been taken to Kalimpong and Siliguri hospital.

Thank God, there have been no casualties and we are hopeful it remains that way.

Via TheDC

Darjeeling Cycle rally - adventure lovers initiative

7:37 AM

Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Jan. 1: Around 40 Darjeeling residents today pedalled across the hill town in an attempt to curb air pollution and promote the use of environment-friendly mode of transport on a day the Delhi government imposed an odd-even number restriction on vehicles.

A group of adventure lovers in the hill town had called on cyclists to pedal from Darjeeling to Sukhiapokhri, a distance of about 20km, and back.

The voluntary initiative was supported by the district administration.

Today around 10.30am, the participants, including two women and several students, turned up at Chowrasta to start the rally.

The rally began with Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava and district police chief Amit P. Javalgi in the lead.

"When I heard about the idea, I thought it had to be promoted. There is a lot of potential for the sport (cycling) in the hills," said Srivastava who pedalled up to the Gorkha Rangamach Bhavan area.

The organisers, among whom were businessmen and bicycle enthusiasts Sangay Sherpa, Urgen Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa and Shekar Biswakarma, said the objective of the rally was to spread a message among the hill people on the need to take up eco-friendly modes of transport.

"We want to make mountain biking trendy in the hills so that people start using cycles more often. Mountain biking can also be an additional attraction for tourists, apart from its health benefits. If we can all stop using vehicles even for a single week day (in a week), it would go a long way in preserving the environment of the region," said Sangay.

In Delhi, the government policy of odd-even vehicular restriction came into effect today.

The pilot plan, which attempts to reduce air pollution in the city, would be in force till January 15.

The restriction would be in force from 8am to 8pm.

Vehicles whose number plates end with an odd digit would ply on odd dates. On even days, vehicles having even numbers would run.

The fine for violation would be Rs 2,000 under the Motor Vehicles Act.

In Darjeeling, Sean Allan Lepcha, 12, a Class VII student of St Joseph's School(North Point), was taking part in a cycle rally for the first time.

"Recently, my father got a mountain bike for Rs 80,000. When I heard about the rally, I decided to take part. I believe that we need to do our bit to save the environment," he said.

Ashwin Tamang, 11, was one of the youngest participants.

Forty seven-year-old Uday Lama, a resident of Hooker Road here, said: "I have lived at Rennes in France for a long time and there I saw people who are 70-75 years old cycle regularly. I believe that cycling needs to be promoted, mainly among younger people, who are more into computer games and hardly indulge in outdoor activities. That is why I decided to take part in the rally."

Trishna Rai, 24, a resident of Darjeeling who stays in Kathmandu where she teaches at The British School, said: "This seems such a good adventure and I have come here to participate as this is also about women empowerment. I started cycling recently and I do it whenever I come here."

Soon after the rally began, the district administration launched a Hunger Free Darjeeling initiative with local NGOs, Who Cares, Sahoyogi Hath and All India Women Conference.

Around 300 street-dwellers were given food and blankets.

The administration plans to involve NGOs, hotels, restaurants and other associations in the distribution of food among street dwellers everyday.

Source Telegraph

Darjeeling Woman Pushed off Train by GRP Personnel

1:05 PM
A woman passenger was pushed off a running train by a GRP constable following an altercation with her husband, police said today.
The woman, Nesa Giri (34), was travelling with her husband, Ramesh Giri (39), in the Teesta-Torsa Express to NJP station on way to her home in Darjeeling from Azimganj station in Murshidabad last night.
Near Farakka, the ticket collector and the GRP constable engaged in a heated argument with Ramesh Giri. As the train neared Farakka station, Nesa Giri was pushed out by the GRP personnel, a police official said.
The woman was rushed to Beniagram Hospital in Murshidabad from where she was taken to Malda General Hospital, hospital sources said.
Her husband, Ramesh Giri, has lodged a complaint with the GRP at Farakka station, the police official said. 
Source - TNIE, via TheDC

Police complaint against Darjeeling Red Cross for cutting trees

2:20 PM
Darjeeling 16th July: Early morning today, it surfaced on the social media that trees on the Red Cross premises in Darjeeling were being cut and the planks from these trees were being loaded into pick up vans. Later when it was revealed that they did not have any permission the forest  authorities seized Wood and also filed Police Complaint Against Red Cross.
Police complaint against Darjeeling Red Cross for cutting trees
Trees on the Red Cross premises in Darjeeling were being cut and the planks from these trees
 were being loaded into a pick up vans
The incident have raised the serious question of the very existence of the most prominent NGO which is housed at the same Red Cross building where it took place, the Federation of Societies for Environmental Protection [FOSEP], which claims to champion the cause of Environmental Conservation in the region.

When FOSEP had nothing to say or do when the trees were being chopped down right under their nose, the concerned and responsible citizens of Darjeeling and Let's Green Darjeeling(N.G.O.) with the help of social media (The Darjeeling Chronicle) have saved the day.

It all started when TheDC published a post  [Detailshttp://on.fb.me/1Of6qTCon 14th July saying "Some people have been cutting trees in the Red Cross premises for the past few days... and it's two more trees out of the town landscape ..." and raised the questions like Who gave the permission to CUT DOWN these trees?? Why is FOSEP quiet?? Why are none of the NGOs or Civil Society members concerned?.

When the report led Ms. Sumitra Tamang, a member of the Let's Green Darjeeling initiative to step in Mr. Prem Moktan from Red Cross had the reason for falling those trees, "these will cause landslides or damage homes in the neighbourhood." Mr. Prem Moktan allegedly told her that, their plan is to cut down all the trees below Red Cross building, and plant around some Rhododendron sapling.

Following the report from The Darjeeling Chronicle, Darjeeling Sub-Divisional Land Reforms Officer confirmed that he had not given any permission. He then went to visit the Red Cross Premises and after inspecting the area found that Red Cross did not have any permission from anywhere to cut those trees. Finally he filed a complaint against Red Cross authorities for felling the trees without any permission.

With inputs from The Darjeeling Chronicle

Darjeeling life slows as Porters leave to homes in Nepal

9:41 PM
The Nepal earthquake has slowed down life in Darjeeling as porters who form the backbone of the hills and are mostly from the neighbouring country have left to be with their families.
Porters are an indispensable part of the hill's daily life and they ferry almost every item, be it rice sacks, furniture or other heavy goods.
A woman porter carries goods in Darjeeling on Monday
A woman porter carries goods in Darjeeling on Monday. Picture by Suman Tamang
Sources have said there are around 1,000 porters in the hill town and more than 90 per cent of them are from Nepal. According to sources, almost 70 per cent of the workers have left for Nepal after the quake.

Suman Chhetri, the managing director of Grihalaxmi, an LPG distribution agency here, today said: "We are facing lot of problems. I had 30 porters working with our agency but today, I am left with only 10 and even they are expected to leave for Nepal soon. Usually, porters ferry around 600 cylinders but for the past few days, we have been able to distribute only 200 to 250 cylinders daily."
Porters ferry cylinders from distribution points to houses, hotels and restaurants across the town.
Hardware business has also been affected.

Binay Aggarwal, the proprietor of Jay Hardware, at Judge Bazar here, said: "I have 16 porters but only two are with me today. Unloading material from trucks every morning is proving to be very difficult. Our business is labour intensive and lack of workers is hampering it big time. It is taking hours to unload trucks. It is difficult for us not to allow porters to go on leave. I sent 90 T-shirts, tiffin boxes, umbrellas and Rs 21,000 when they left." He said he had no idea when the workers would be back.

Dipesh Roka, of Roka Hardware at Unique Market in Darjeeling, said: "Since morning, my customers have been ordering several items but I am unable to send those to them. I had three porters who would work regularly but all have left."
Although porters claim that they are a 2,000 strong workforce in Darjeeling town, a few years ago, when Darjeeling municipality had carried out a drive to register them, 750-odd workers had enrolled themselves.
Tula Man Thami, 57, a porter often seen at the Darjeeling Motor Stand, said: "Normally, you will find a group of 20-25 porters here everyday. Now, we are just four here."

Tula Man stays at Eden Dham Gully in Darjeeling. He is from Kuwapa village in Dolakha district in Nepal. His wife, son and daughter-in-law are in Nepal. "I managed to speak to them a few days ago. My house has been totally damaged in the quake. I have decided to stay here as I returned to Darjeeling only a month back. What will I do in Nepal? I have no money. I need to earn here."
Sunita Thami, also from the same village, said: "Almost all my acquaintances have left for Nepal. But I decided to stay back as my husband and two children, an eight-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter, are here. What will we do with no money there?"

Asked if their income had increased because of fewer porters in Darjeeling, Tula Man said: "It has increased slightly. Earlier, we used to earn about Rs 200 to Rs 250 a day but now we are earning about Rs 100 more."

But Ganga Sharma, 49, whose husband died 16 years ago, had a different tale to tell. "How much can one earn? There is lot of work now but we get tired by the afternoons. Our earning has not gone up much. It is difficult to climb up and down the hilly terrain," said the mother of four from Lamidhara in Dolakha.

More than 90 per cent Nepalese porters who work in Darjeeling are from Dolakha .
Porter Amrita Tamang, 47, who stands near Auto Point here, said: "We want to go back but it is difficult. My house is totally damaged. My sister and her husband have reached the village and I am worried about my father who is a kidney patient. My sister told me that my mother got buried in the quake and villagers rescued her. She has a cut in her hand. Otherwise she is fine."

Usually, one can find 30-35 porters at Auto Point but today less than 10 were seen.
Some said it took at least two days to reach their houses in Nepal from here. "I don't know how long it will take now," Ganga said. Roka said some porters said that a group of 10 has hired a vehicle for Rs 25,000 to go to Dolakha.

 Source: Telegraph


Darjeeling Toy train accident in Kurseong, one tourist dead

8:46 AM
A toy train carrying more than 50 tourists hurtled down sloping rail tracks in Kurseong yesterday as its wheels skidded, causing the death of a Calcutta lady who may have fallen off.

The alertness of a Siliguri-based businessman saved lives in the three coaches. Giridharilal Gan, a bookseller from Siliguri, turned the wheel-like emergency brake - each coach has one - as the guard on duty on the train had jumped off like several passengers had.
Darjeeling Toy train accident in Kurseong, one tourist dead
(Bottom left) The toy train at the accident spot; Giridharilal Gan (above), the bookseller from
Siliguri whose presence of mind saved co-passengers. Picture by Suman Tamang
Tourists today spoke of the horrifying "death-train-like" experience as they saw a co-passenger leaping out with a kid in her arms.

According to co-passengers, Beliaghata's Moly Pal, 51, jumped, too, but did not survive. Her brother, however, said Moly may have fallen off.

When the 57 tourists started the Jungle Safari ride from Siliguri Junction at 10.35am on Republic Day, the train was late by 35 minutes.

The to-and-fro ride from Siliguri to Gayabari in Kurseong subdivision, snaking through the Mahananda wildlife park and with a 15-minute halt before return, takes five-and-a-half hours. Tourists embarking at 10am can expect to be back in Siliguri around 3.30pm.

But as the train started late yesterday, the operators said they would not go the whole stretch up to Gayabari - 35km from Siliguri Junction - but till Tindharia, which is 30km from Siliguri. As a consolation to the tourists, the driver said there would be a stop for about an hour at Tindharia, so tourists can go to nearby shops.

Toy trains rarely move at a speed more than 20kmph, making them inconvenient for long rides or daily commute.

The train reached Tindharia at 12.45pm and started for Siliguri at 1.45pm.

Gan said: "I was in a group of 24 people and we were in the last of the three coaches. As the train was moving downhill, it seemed to have picked up speed. Then we saw a person jump off and realised something must be wrong," Gan said. "Soon, the guard, who was in our coach, also leapt out."

Seeing the guard jump off, some of the women passengers panicked and started crying. "The doors and windows were rattling. People were yelling," Gan said.

By then, some passengers had started shouting that the brakes had failed - the railways did not agree with this theory, though an official said the wheels slipped on the tracks despite the application of the brakes.

Gan said he knew there was a wheel-like emergency brake at the rear of every coach as "I have travelled in toy train several times before". "I ran to the back of the coach. I rotated the brake wheel thrice. Nothing happened, the train was still hurtling down. When I rotated the wheel the fourth time, it screeched to a halt after couple of minutes," he said.

The train came to a halt near Chunabhatti station, which is a couple of kilometres from Tindharia.

"This entire thing happened in five to seven minutes, but the experience was horrifying. Either the train would have gone off the tracks and fallen into a gorge ahead or it would have rammed into homes and shops at the side of the tracks and killed more people," the 44-year-old, who has a bookshop in Siliguri's Collegepara, said.

After the train stopped, local people helped the passengers disembark.

The driver, Gan said, was still in the engine room. "He said there had been a technical problem and that he had no way of stopping the train other than applying the emergency brake which I had done."

Nikita Saha, a Siliguri-based dentist on the train with her eight-year-old daughter Neha, said the morning "joy ride became a death ride".

She said: "Some passengers were jumping off. A lady who did that lost her life, it was horrifying." The "quick action of this gentleman (Gan) saved all of us who did not jump off," Nikita said.

Kartik Das, another Siliguri resident, said he saw "a woman jump from the first coach. Within seconds, another woman carrying a child in her lap, followed."

He said when the train stopped "we ran uphill along the tracks to locate those who had jumped off. We found the woman, who had jumped first, lying near the tracks, unconscious. The woman who had jumped after her with her child had suffered injuries but both were conscious. We called up the police."

The lady who had fallen off or jumped first was 51-year-old Moly Pal of Beliaghata.

Eyewitnesses said Moly had rammed against the wall of a house when she fell. But her brother said Moly's family on the train saw her chin hit the locomotive as she fell.

The ordeal for the passengers did not end with the ride. "There was no railway official to help us reach Siliguri. Each of us had to call for vehicles from Siliguri and we returned home in the evening," Nikita said.

A police officer later said three people suffered injuries when they jumped off.

"A woman died and three others got injured. The post-mortem was conducted at NBMCH today and her body was sent to Calcutta with her relatives," the police officer of Kurseong subdivision said.

When asked what snag led to the accident, a railway official said the wheels slipped on the tracks after the brake was applied. He refused to call it a failure of the braking system.

"There was some slipping of wheels on the tracks when the train was travelling downhill. This happens when brakes are applied forcefully in a moving train.... An inquiry committee will investigate the incident," said A.K. Sharma, the divisional manager (Katihar division) of the Northeast Frontier Railway.

Asked whether any action would be taken against the guard who had jumped off instead of operating the emergency brake, Sharma said: "I have got the information and referred it to the inquiry committee. If found guilty, we will definitely take necessary action against the guard".

Moly's family said her husband and four relatives were on the train.

"They were coming back to Siliguri. The train was coming down from the mountains at a very high speed unusual for a toy train," said Sumitava Pal, Moly's brother who stays at Siliguri. "It is not clear whether my sister tried to jump off or she fell down," he said.

Gan today said: "It's like I escaped death."

Source: Telegraph

Sujay Ghatak Darjeeling Congress candidate faces ire of the Hill Congress

12:37 PM
Darjeeling: Sujay Ghatak, the Congress candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, had to face the ire of party leaders in the hills for not turning up at the party office in Darjeeling on the day he filed his nomination.

Sujay Ghatak Darjeeling Lok Sabha 2014 Congress candidate
Sujay Ghatak Darjeeling Lok Sabha 2014 Congress candidate


Ghatak apologised for his oversight and later, he said all differences in the party had been sorted out.

He had filed his nomination before the district magistrate here on March 24. The Congress candidate was accorded a rousing reception on that day by Trinamul supporters who mistook his rally for that of Bhaichung Bhutia.

However, Ghatak was at the receiving end today when he stepped into the Congress (hill) office here. Ghatak immediately went into a huddle with leaders like Nakul Chandra Chhetri, Lawrence P.T. Lama, Chabbi Rai, Hem Rai and K.B. Chhetri.

Waiting journalists could hear the hill leaders tearing apart Ghatak for breaking what they called a Congress tradition. “It has been a tradition of the Congress that candidates first come to the Darjeeling office and the supporters accompany them to file the nominations. Why did you fail to come to the party office? If this is the attitude, then no Congress worker from the hills will vote for you,” a leader was heard shouting at Ghatak.

Ghatak admitted that the hill Congress leaders had shouted at him during the meeting. “I admit that my senior leaders shouted at me today and I also understand their anger. The problem arose because of some miscommunication and I apologised for not coming to the Congress office on that day I filed the nomination. But I am happy that there are no more differences in the party after the meeting. We are part of a big family and at times, such issues do crop up and they get solved also.”

The Congress candidate said he would sit with the hill leaders and finalise the date for a public meeting in Darjeeling. “We are trying to get senior Congress leaders and even Rahul Gandhi to address our meeting in Darjeeling. We want to work towards removing the mental divide between the hills and the plains,” said Ghatak.

Source: Telegraph

 
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