Showing posts with label President Pranab Mukherjee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label President Pranab Mukherjee. Show all posts

Mamata Banerjee disrespected Bhanu Bhakta Acharya - Bimal Gurung

DARJEELING 14 Jul 2016 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung today accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee of disrespecting Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya - who is epitomised by the Nepali community for his contribution in uniting the Gorkhas - by announcing the formation of new community development boards during Wednesday’s programme to mark the bard’s 202nd birth anniversary.

Gurung made public his displeasure during the annual general meeting of the Darjeeling Tea Association where President Pranab Mukherjee and West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi were present as special invitees.

The GJM president, who attended the DTA AGM in the capacity of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief executive, said the chief minister had acted in contrary to what Bhanu Bhakta had aspired for. “Not a single person from our community was allowed to speak in yesterday’s programme to mark the birth anniversary of the  great poet and this has hurt me deeply. I too was not called upon to speak although I was present as a special guest,” Gurung said while thanking the DTA for giving him an opportunity today. “It is sad that the chief minister chose to announce the formation of new boards and create division during a programme honouring Bhanu Bhakta Acharya. I received hundreds of calls from people saying this was not right,” he lamented.
Mamata Banerjee of disrespected Bhanu Bhakta Acharya - Bimal Gurung
Mamata Banerjee of disrespected Bhanu Bhakta Acharya - Bimal Gurung
Gurung started his speech in Hindi but changed to Nepali when he made the allegation at the chief minister even as state tourism minister Gautam Deb listened on. “On Wednesday morning, we met the CM to create a cordial atmosphere. But we did not have any inkling that she would announce boards for the Kami, Damai and Sarki communities. Had I known about it, I would have left the programme half way,” the GJM president said.

Gurung said that on Wednesday, the chief minister was requested to declare July 13, the birth day of Bhanu Bhakta, and Buddha Purnima, state holidays, which was turned down.

Looking towards President Mukherjee, the GTA chief executive interpreted the announcement of development boards as interference by the state government on the autonomy of the council and requested his intervention. “The GTA and its chief executive have the assent of the President of the country. We too want the council to function. But such interference belittles the importance of the council body and under such circumstances, I request the President and also the Governor to take this issue seriously and intervene, or else scrap the GTA for good,” Gurung said.

President Mukherjee reiterated his appreciation at the chief minister’s effort to assimilate the various ethnical and cultural groups of the region under the GTA for their development. “The chief minister is making a serious effort to resolve the problems of the tribal and cultural groups. That is why the GTA Act was passed and the authority created to be in charge of the administration and take responsibility of development. I wish them all success,” he said.

Talking to reporters afterwards, Gurung said he was not against development boards, which actually should have been kept under the GTA, but claimed they were benefiting only a few people. “The development boards are not helping the masses but only a section of select people. There is rampant corruption,” he alleged.

When asked about the proposed bipartite meeting with the state government as announced on Wednesday, the GJM chief said, “We will definitely attend the bipartite meet when called and place all these issues including the demand for transfer of departments and absorption of volunteer teachers.”

In the evening, a seven-member GJM delegation led by party general secretary Roshan Giri called on the President at Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum of demands. “We placed several issues relating to the GTA before the President. We also told him  that either the GTA be handed full powers or a separate state be given,” he claimed after coming out from Raj Bhawan.

Meanwhile, the Gorkha Janmukti Yuwa Morcha, the youth wing of the GJM, has termed the chief minister’s announcement during the Bhanu Jayanti programme as humiliation of the Gorkha community. “The chief minister is humiliating and suppressing the people of the hills. If this continues, we will be forced to show black flags to her in protest,” warned Amrit Yonzon, GJYM spokesperson.


President Pranab Mukherjee's convoy meets with accident in Darjeeling, 5 injured

Darjeeling 15th July 2015 EOI : President Pranab Mukherjee and chief minister Mamata Banerjee had a near mishap today after one of the vehicles in their convoy plunged into a gorge in Gorabari near Sonada, about 22km from Darjeeling. The President, the chief minister and West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi were on their way to Bagdogra airport after a three-day stay in Darjeeling.

According to the district administration, the first escort vehicle (a Scorpio SUV) of the President’s convoy went out of control and plummeted nearly 150 feet down a gorge near the Mariam Grotto after breaking through the parapet. Five security personnel in the vehicle received injuries in various parts of their bodies. They were taken to the Kurseong sub-divisional hospital for first aid and then referred to the Siliguri sadar hospital.

“The first escort vehicle of the President’s convoy with five people met with an accident near Sonada this morning. The injured are presently admitted in a Siliguri hospital after being administered first aid in Kurseong hospital,” said Anurag Srivastava, the Darjeeling DM.
President Pranab Mukherjee's convoy meets with accident in Darjeeling, 5 injured
President Pranab Mukherjee's convoy meets with accident in Darjeeling, 5 injured
The five have been identified as Deep Shankar Rudra, SS CID; A.P. Singh, CSLO; SI Pijus of SSU; SI S.K. Biswas; and Gautam Sen, the driver. The CSLO is being taken to Delhi by the President’s team for further tests while the remaining four will be treated in Siliguri.

The President’s convoy of 20-25 cars had left Raj Bhawan at 10.30am amid thick fog and rain.

At the head of the convoy was the advance vehicle followed by a pilot and jammer car. Following the President’s vehicle were two escort cars and the one at the front met with the accident.

The chief minister was behind the second escort car and her vehicle was being trailed by the remainder of the convoy carrying ministers of state, central government officials and journalists from Delhi and Kolkata.

Dipesh Subba, a civic policeman who was on duty near the accident spot, said, “I was on duty here since eight in the morning. I was posted near a bend and could not see the accident but I heard a loud noise just 30 feet ahead. By that time the President’s car had already passed. I ran to where the sound had come from to find a Scorpio down in the gorge and the chief minister giving directions on a microphone,” he said.

It was Subba who first reached the victims with four policemen trailing him. “I told the police personnel to follow me and reached the spot first. I found five dazed and injured people sitting beside the vehicle which was hanging precariously on a small tree,” he said.

The chief minister personally oversaw the rescue operation conducted by the state and civic police including locals. And appreciating the effort made, she announced rewards for the rescue team. “Everyone has helped and with promptness. Thanks to my rescue team. I promise you the state government will reward you for your effort,” she said.

The President too did not continue the drive downhill until the rescue operation was completed. He stayed at the Kurseong tourist lodge and called the chief minister twice for updates. Banerjee did not go the Kurseong sub-divisional hospital but sent her chief security officer and Darjeeling police officials to enquire how the injured were faring. She started for Bagdogra airport only after being informed the five were out of danger. (EOIC)

Vivek Chhetri for Telegraph writes
Darjeeling, July 15: Pratap Subba, 29, was luck by 30 steps today.Subba, a journalist with a local daily in Darjeeling, was walking along the isolated stretch of the Hill Cart Road at Sonada, when he saw the President's convoy coming from the opposite direction.

"My colleague Sanjeev Mohra was with me. Four to five cars of the cavalcade passed by me and Sanjeev. Suddenly, I heard a loud thud. I thought a shooting boulder had landed on the highway. I looked back and found that a car had swerved off the road and disappeared," said Subba.

"I was standing just 30ft from where the car had gone down the slope. I would have been hit had I walked a bit slower. The thought made me shiver," he said.

"I was walking from my house at Gorabari to Sonada as vehicles were stopped because of the President's convoy. I thought of walking to Sonada about 1km away so that I could catch a taxi from the local stand."

Immediately after the incident, the chief minister's car stopped.

"She alighted from the car and told everyone to call local people. Someone handed over a mike to the chief minister and she started coordinating the rescue operation," said Subba.

He ran towards Gorabari, about 250 meters away, and returned with local people.

"Since the slope was very steep, civic police personnel and other law enforcement officials and the local people tied two ropes, which those in the convoy had with them, to the railway track (that runs parallel to the road) and started sliding down the slope," said the journalist.

Subba, too, was among those who went 200ft down a steep slope holding the rope.

However, even before the rope was tied to the tracks, Dipesh Subba, a civic police volunteer, had slid down and reached the car, along with four to five policemen.

Dipesh said: "The occupants of the car had managed to come out and were standing on the slope. One of them asked for my mobile phone but he could not get through with the call."

Dipesh was on duty about 100 meters away from the site of the accident but he did not see the car rolling down the hill because of the bend. The car was not visible from the road and later it emerged that it had got stuck on a tree.

With the ropes fixed, about 30 people reached the car. "Some people held on to the victims, while others pushed them from behind to reach the road. The one with injury to the hand couldn't walk properly," said Pratap.

The injured were rushed to Kurseong subdivisional hospital and the chief minister left only after all the injured had been sent to the hospital.

Subba said a similar accident had taken place in the area a few years back, killing five. "Although it was terrifying that I was so close to the site, I am happy that I could play a part in the rescue. The chief minister thanked the local people before leaving," he added.

All this happened just after the following  article was published in Darjeeling local media :-

Writes: Arbin Angla Subba
The road network in Darjeeling is improving, especially the highways and we'd give due credit to the authorities who are helping to make our road networks better. However, here is a warning learned from a near accident.

While driving to Siliguri earlier this week, it was raining slightly and I was on my way to Siliguri. near Sukna Army Cantt my vehicle suddenly lost control and slipped. I was driving slow enough, so I was surprised. Thank God, I got control of my vehicle, and I drove on.

Turned out, I was not the only one who had faced this ordeal. That day from near Garidhura to Sukna, I saw four accidents, and everyone had one thing to say, the roads become too slippery once it starts to rain.

So, I did a little research, and this is what I found, in 2005 BBC had reported that, "Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) - one of the most popular road surfaces in the UK - can cause skidding on roads. Eleven English authorities in the BBC survey reported problems with 'early life skid resistance' - which means that in the first few months after the surface is laid road users need to drive as if they are in wet conditions, regardless of the weather.

The Highways Agency is so concerned it has commissioned a series of skid tests on the surface. The tests follow a series of accidents across the country where skid resistance has been called in to question... Paul Watters says: "There's concern that after it's laid, it's actually more slippery than perhaps the surface you're replacing. And that's a very big issue for drivers. So we need to really bottom this out because at the moment drivers, if they see a new surface, they assume it's perfectly good and far better than what was there. With Stone Mastic Asphalt, that isn't the case. The road in fact behaves like a wet road, even when it's dry." [Details:]
Following two nasty accidents in Western Australia, this is what their media reported, "After the section of road was resurfaced with Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA), numerous accidents have led to complaints about the surface being too slippery in wet weather. Two reviews were conducted in 2005 and 2007 on the suitability of SMA in certain locations. They concluded there were no systemic safety issues with the surface. This has not quelled the fears of some residents who use Samford Road to travel between Samford and Ferny Grove. A firefighter who attended the recent crashes believes the Ferny Hills side of the road over the Samford Range needs to be “torn up and replaced.”
“You only need to spit on it and it becomes as slippery,” they said." [Details:]

Often India tends to borrow technology that is actually outdated and banned in the western countries, so it wouldn't be surprising if the Govt of India introduced these types of road surfaces without actually conducting any research.

Hence, we would like to WARN our readers, and request them, please DRIVE VERY SLOW as it rains if you are on a Mastic road... and more importantly please SHARE this article, as you could perhaps save someone's life by sharing the information it contains.

Development boards for Kami, Damai and Sarki communities announced

Writes Swareena Gurung 
Darjeeling 13 Jul 2016 Jubilation erupted among the Kami, Damai and Sarki communities when chief minister Mamata Banerjee today announced their respective development boards at Chowrasta in Darjeeling. The chief minister made this announcement at a programme organised to celebrate the 202nd birth anniversary of illustrious Nepali poet, Bhanu Bhakta Acharya

To mark a momentous event, President Pranab Mukherjee today joined the people of Darjeeling. The programme was organised by the West Bengal information and cultural department, where also in attendance were West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and GTA chief Bimal Gurung. The celebrations took place at Chowrasta where a temporary dais was set up and television screens placed to broadcast the event. The birth celebrations were kicked-off by the garlanding of the statue of Bhanubhakta Acharya by the President, chief minister, Governor and other guests. Ethnic communities such as the Rai and the Mangar presented cultural performances, while Karthik Das and his troupe presented a Baul performance.

Development boards for Kami, Damai and Sarki communities announced
202nd birth anniversary of Nepali poet, Bhanu Bhakta Acharya in Chowrasta Darjeeling
In keeping with the occasion, school children presented a Saraswati Bandana and read the Ramayana paath. President Mukherjee praised Bhanu Bhakta Acharya by saying his message was for the entire world and to humanity. Bhanu Bakta was instrumental in bringing together various princely states in Nepal during his time through his message to thus create modern day Nepal, he said. The bonding between India and Nepal remains unique, remarked the President. Mukherjee said, “We have a good relationship with Nepal and would like to strengthen this unity... Many of you are representatives of this solidarity. We take this opportunity to remember the great contribution of the Nepali poet who was born 202 years ago.”

Bhanu Bhakta Acharya, considered as the foremost Nepali poet, was born in 1814. He is attributed with translating the epic Ramayana into Nepali and is addressed by the honorific ‘Adikavi’ (first poet). Governor Tripathi said the form, the respect and the status accorded to the Nepali language by Adikavi Bhanu Bhakts was unique. He noted that the work of taking the Ramayana, respected and worshipped in every Hindu household, to the masses in their mother tongue, has been very commendable work. Chief minister Banerjee announced her government would hold meetings of the state cabinet in Darjeeling from time to time.

During the occasion, four Sahitya Academy recipients were felicitated by the state government. They included Gupta Pradhan from Darjeeling, Shankhar Pradhan from Bagrakote, Sanjeev Chettri from Kurseong and Shankhar Deo Dhakal from Gangtok.


Darjeeling is ‘mini India’ - President Pranab Mukherjee

12:19 AM
Darjeeling 12th July 2016: For Pranab Mukherjee, the Indian President Darjeeling is not just merely a hill station. For the President who is presently in Darjeeling, the famous hill station—known for Tea, Tourism and Toy Train—is ‘mini India’.

Mukherjee was responding to the state reception hosted by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Chowrasta—the famous promenade in the town-- this evening. “Darjeeling is not merely a hill station or a geographical entity, but it is a Mini India,” said the president.

“Despite so much diversity and a vast area, no corner of our country remains unrepresented in the Parliament,” he added.

Mukherjee asserted that the unity in diversity is the beauty of the Indian democracy. “When someone sees the entire stretch of the country with so many ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic groups , he gets mesmerized,” he added
 Darjeeling is ‘mini India’ - Pranab Mukherjee
State reception for president Pranab Mukherjee hosted by the West Bengal
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Chowrasta Darjeeling
Earlier in his speech, Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi described Pranab Mukherjee as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable Presidents of our country. He said that a number of administrative reforms could be attributed to him such as RTI, RTE and Food Security.

The Chief Minister said that the President recognizes the country in true sense. “His experience is a direction for the country. It was due to his vast experience and capability that all the political parties joined hands in electing him to the office of the President. He has immense love for West Bengal and also for Darjeeling hills,” the chief minister added.

NTT Report

President Pranab Mukherjee in Darjeeling

3:58 PM
Darjeeling 12th July 2016 President Pranab Mukherjee on his four day visit to Darjeeling he arrived at Darjeeling on July 12 accompanied by Governor of WB Keshari Nath Tripathi. A state reception was hosted in the afternoon in his honour in at Chowrasta Darjeeling where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also present. President Mukherjee will preside over Bhanu Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya, function in Darjeeling on July 13 which happens to be the first ever official celebration of the Bhanu Jayanti by the West Bengal State government since independence.The President President would be present in the Annual General Meeting of Darjeeling Tea Association the next day.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Governor Tripathi rested for a while at Kurseong Tourist Lodge on the way to Darjeeling who were received by senior Sub-divisional officials.
President Mukherjee on His Way to Darjeeling in Kurseong
Owing to President's visit to Darjeeling today, and given the cancellation of his aerial trip, the President and other dignitaries had to take a normal route to reach Darjeeling from Bagdogra airport. Vehicles traveling to Siliguri from Darjeeling had to take either the Mirik or Kalimpong route untill the arrival of President.

This is President Mukherjee's second vist to the Darheeling hill. The last time Mukherjee visited Darjeeling was on November 10, 2013 to flag off the 125th anniversary celebrations of St Joseph's School.

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