Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Demand for a museum at Victor Palace

Sending a memorandum to the state chief minister the Cooch Behar
Heritage Society requested her to consider setting up of a district
museum in Cooch Behar. CBHS sources claimed that there are many
archival materials and artefacts of the period of erstwhile Cooch
Behar State lying here and there. Historic coins, letters of Cooch
Behar kings, rare photographs, paintings, manuscripts and other
mementos, printing press of the State period, musical instruments used
by legendary folk singers like Suren Ray Basunia, Kedar Chakraborty,
Pyari Mohan Das and Nayed Ali are there that may be preserved in the
proposed museum.
On behalf of the CBHS, Mr Arup Jyoti Majumdar said they conveyed their
proposal to the chief minister with a hope that she would consider the
matter. They also named Victor Palace situated on the west bank of
Sagardighi to room the proposed district museum.
The renovated Victor Palace is a heritage one and it was selected by
the previous Left Front government to establish a luxurious tourist
lodge with all ultra-modern amenities. Later, the government had to
postpone the plan due to large-scale protests from different quarters.
CBHS believes the building named after Prince Victor Nityendra Narayan
is an ideal place for the proposed district museum. An eminent artist
Mr Aniruddha Palit opined that addition of an art gallery may me an
added attraction at the beautiful Victor Palace as it may link
heritage and history with art and culture of the region.

Friday, 26 August 2011


Cooch Behar waits for regular flights

Regular air service between Cooch Behar and Kolkata is going to start
from 5 September. This news ushered a fresh shower of hopes for
development of this region. The people from different sections of
society welcomed the news.
The thoroughly renovated and upgraded Cooch Behar Airport is waiting
to accept regular commercial flights after many years. Airport
Authority of India (AAI) sources said the airport is now ready for
flight operations.
The North East Shuttle Private Limited is to press 18-seater
Dornier-228 aircraft to fly between Cooch Behar and Kolkata. The
flight will be of five days a week except Wednesday and Sunday. The
fair of a single journey is Rs 5,000.
It may be recalled here that on 19 July an aircraft of the North East
Shuttle took off from Cooch Behar Airport and left for Kolkata en
route Saidpur of Bangladesh initiating regular flights. The aircraft
came from Dimapur of Assam and landed at Cooch Behar Airport amid
cheers from curious visitors and guests.
After failure of the Deccan Charters, another flight operator concern,
the North East Shuttle came up to operate air operations between Cooch
Behar and Kolkata. They submitted their proposal to the AAI to operate
air service using the recently renovated Cooch Behar airport. AAI
sources said NES has small aircrafts and these planes ply in areas
like Guwahati, Mizoram, Tripura and Shillong. At Cooch Behar Airport
such type of planes may land safely, AAI officials said.
It may be mentioned here that 22 February of this year was scheduled
for resuming of air service from Cooch Behar Airport. But at the last
moment the Deccan Charters failed to turn up, as they had to send
their stipulated aircraft for servicing to South Africa from where
they brought it.
Secretary of Cooch Behar District Merchants Chamber of Commerce, Mr
Rajendra Baid welcomed the revival of the long awaited Cooch
Behar-Kolkata air service and hoped that it will be helpful to improve
the tourism, commerce and industry sectors of the region. He also
hoped that the concerned authorities would be able to maintain regular
flight operations from now on. Flight operators like the Deccan
Charters and others may come up again if the NES flights prove viable,
he said. After a few months there will be need to fly larger aircrafts
in this route as the demand from the passengers would rose, he hoped.
Mr Ranajit Deb of North East Development Academy, Mr Arup Jyoti
Majumdar of Cooch Behar Heritage Society and Mr Aniruddha Palit of
Concern for Cooch Behar also expressed their pleasure.

Sunday, 7 August 2011


Cooch Behar DM Ms Smaraki Mahapatra, civic body chairman Mr Biren Kundu and other officials on a road in Cooch Behar town to study the ongoing condition of the traffic system. On Sunday.


Revamping of traffic system on the pipeline

In an aim to revamp the traffic system in Cooch Behar town  a team of senior officials visited different road crossings and congested streets on Sunday. In the visiting team there were Cooch Behar DM Ms Smaraki Maharaki Mahapatra, ADM Mr Sudip Mitra, SP Mr Kalyan Bandyopadhyay, Cooch Behar Municipality chairman Mr Biren Kundu and Cooch Behar RTO chief Mr Aftab Ahmed.

Cooch Behar is considered as a heritage town with beautifully planned roads and streets. The town was built with a scientific view in the regimes of the Maharajas. But, these days the town is suffering from traffic problems due to population hike. Streets are becoming narrow following illegal encroachments, building of unauthorised stalls and other constructions. A few years ago the civic body took a move to evict the encroachers. In that drive the streets turned a bit wider. But as days passed by the situation turned worse. The traffic system turned bad due to rise of vehicles and population in the town. The traffic signal lights have also gone out of order. Also, it is hard to find out traffic personnel at the road crossings during the busy hours. Following the breaking down of the system the number of road accidents is on the rise, senior citizens believe.

Probably realising the condition that the citizens are experiencing the district administration came out to streamline the system. A team of high-level officials visited different areas on Sunday to study the unhealthy situation. Cooch Behar DM Ms Smaraki Mahapatra told reporters that they would revamp the traffic system. All are expected to follow the new system strictly, she hoped. A new route chart would be imposed in the town and the traffic signals would be restored very soon, she added.

Cooch Behar Municipality chairman Mr Biren Kundu said that movement of more and more vehicles in the town made the traffic system more problematic. He assured that quick and effective steps would be taken to make the situation better by making the traffic movement smoother. 

Friday, 5 August 2011


Uncertainty over 'Greater' leader's release

The release of once supremo of the Greater Cooch Behar movement Mr Bangshi Badan Barman is still uncertain. He is now staying at Cooch Behar District Correctional Home as an undertrial prisoner. As the state government recently announced its intension to release political prisoners the leaders, activists and supporters of the Greater Cooch Behar movement have started expecting his release at any moment.

When contacted, Mr Barman and his associates' lawyer Mr Shibendra Nath Ray said Mr Barman might get released in the next week. But, he is also uncertain about the exact date of release of the Greater leader from the jail.

President of the Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party (GCDP) Mr Ashutosh Barma said they were waiting for the release of their beloved leader. They would organise a reception programme for the leader to felicitate him on the occasion of his release at Cooch Behar town, he said. 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Martyrs’ Day

City Bus yet to gain popularity in Cooch Behar

The chairman of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC), Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh instructed the staff of the organisation to make the newly introduced City Bus service a success.

On Thursday, during a surprise visit he noticed that the female conductors were not in their stipulated uniforms. Rabindra Sangeet was not playing in those vehicles though it was promised. He asked the staff to pick up and drop passengers at the stipulated stoppages in busy and populated areas. The staff should attract passengers from the stoppages in the town, he said.

The NBSTC chairman said the City Bus service that has been introduced on 1 August is still to gain expected popularity. For this proper publicity is needed, he feels. The NBSTC would beef up its campaign to attract passengers to avail the City Bus service that is very beneficial to the passengers of the town, he said. 


Martyrs' Day observed

Martyrs' Day was observed in Cooch Behar through various programmes on Thursday. This day has been observed here for the past years following death of three Youth Congress activists in police firing on 4 August 1988. The YC organised a movement in Cooch Behar on that day to stage protest against adulterated mustered oil scam. The trio – Rabin Chanda, Biman Das and Heyder Ali had to die as the police opened fire on the demonstrators at Sagardighi Square in the town. Today, the leaders of the Youth Congress, the Trinamul Congress and the Trinamul Youth Congress paid floral tributes at the martyrs' columns at different locations. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Strike in Cooch Behar

Two jewellers injured in attack

Jewellery shop owners observed a daylong strike in Cooch Behar on Wednesday in protest against attack of miscreants in which two of their fellow traders received serious injuries on Tuesday night. Police said three persons have been detained for interrogation in connection with the incident.

Members of the local jewellers' and gold traders' association said Mr Akhil Karmakar and his son Mr Dhananjay Karmakar were returning home after shutting down their jewellery shop at Biswa Singha Road on Tuesday night. They were in possession of two bags containing cash and jewelleries. At Palmtolla area adjacent to Madan Mohan temple at about 9-50 a gang of miscreants attacked them with sharp weapons. The rowdies also shot at the two men. The miscreants ran away with a bag leaving the two in a pool of blood. In a precarious condition they were shifted to MJN Hospital and later referred to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. It is believed that the miscreants appeared and fled away riding motorbikes. 

The bullion traders and jewellers observed daylong trade bandh in Cooch Behar on Wednesday. They took out a protest rally in the town. They also submitted memorandums to the Cooch Behar DM and SP demanding immediate arrest of the miscreants.

Police said a probe has been initiated into the incident. Already they detained three persons in connection with the crime. Interrogation is going on to know the whereabouts of the miscreants, a senior police official said.

Submitting a memorandum to the Cooch Behar SP, the general secretary of the Cooch Behar District Merchants Chamber of Commerce Mr Rajendra Kumar Baid also demanded arrest and punishment of the culprits. He also demanded beefing up of police patrolling in the town prior to the ensuing pujas in the greater interest of safety of the members of the business community and the buyers. 


Workers' meet of the Janata Dal (United)

Empowerment of actual political power to the people of North Bengal, unconditional release of political prisoners, employment for the jobless youths, steps against corruption and price hike of essential commodities – these are some of the demands the Janata Dal (United) to highlight on the historic Quit India Movement Day at Bharat Sabha Hall in Kolkata.

JD (U) general secretary Mr Ashok Das said in Cooch Behar that on 9 August they will organise a workers' meet of the party on the occasion of the historic Quit India Movement Day. A large number of supporters are expected to attend the programme from Cooch Behar as well as from other North Bengal districts. State unit president of the JD (U) Mr Amitava Dutta would preside over the programme.

Mr Das said the 'Change the system not only the ruler' slogan is gaining popularity in North Bengal. With this slogan the JD (U) is coming up as a considerable force in this region. The people of this region are still suffering from backwardness and so they need proper empowerment, Mr Das said. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


The newly appointed chairman of the Jaigaon Development Authority, Mr Mihir Goswami. At Jaigaon on Monday. 


PF paid on the next day of retirement

Following the 'wind of change' the District Primary School Council (DPSC) in Cooch Behar came out with a praiseworthy initiative by handing over cheques for payments from Provident Fund to four teachers on the next day of their retirement. The astonished teachers thanked the DPSC and the state government as well. They said they never thought that they would be able to get the benefits of the PF so early.  

Three headmasters and one teacher retired on 31 July from their respective schools. They are Mr Nabani Ranjan Deb of Nandichhechura First Plan Primary School (Tufanganj), Mr Ashutosh Chanda of Nirmala Devi Primary School (Tufanganj), Mr Santosh Kumar Das of Hatidoba Primary School (Baneswar) and Ms Maitri Dey of Sunil Smriti Primary School (Cooch Behar Sadar).

On Monday (1 August) afternoon these four retired teachers received their PF benefits by cheques from the DPSC chairperson Ms Kalyani Poddar. She told the reporters that she felt proud because she was able to handover the PF beneficial amounts to the retired teachers on her 29-th day in the DPSC. She also assured that the teachers would start to get their pension very soon.

Several teachers in Cooch Behar said there was no example that any teacher received their PF or pension on the next day of their retirement in Cooch Behar district. The newly formed DPSC has set an example by doing a commendable job. Earlier, teachers had to face many difficulties for a long to get the retirement benefits, they said.

DPSC chairperson Ms Poddar told the media persons that there was no work culture in the DPSC in earlier days (read 'during the leftist regime'). Chief minister Ms Mamata Banerjee asked all to restore work culture and they are trying to follow it, she said.  

JDA to develop Jaigaon

State Trinamul Congress general secretary Mr Mihir Goswami took over charges of the Jaigaon Development Authority (JDA) on Monday. He promised that he would try his best to develop Jaigaon though the 21-year-old JDA failed to do any good during the past years.

The JDA was formed on 18 July in 1990 under West Bengal Town and Country Planning Act, 1979 consisting of 46 square-kilometre area. Jaigaon is adjacent to the border of India and Bhutan. It is an important small town but lack of proper development kept it lagging behind for a long. Mr Goswami assured that he would take measures to fulfil the aspirations of the locals by improving the condition of the picturesque township. 

Monday, 1 August 2011


City bus in Cooch Behar town

City bus service has been introduced in Cooch Behar town from Monday. President of Ramakrishna Math in Cooch Behar, Swami Chaitanyananda inaugurated the much-awaited facility at a programme that was organised at New Bus Stand on Sunity Road. NBSTC chairman Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh and senior officials attended the inaugural programme.

North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) sources said at the first phase the facility would be available in Cooch Behar town area only. But, if it were found viable the facility would be extended to suburb areas of the town too. Presently two vehicles of the NBSTC are being pressed into service.

The uniqueness of the facility is that for the first time the commuters of Cooch Behar will see women conductors in the passenger buses of the NBSTC. There are 71 female conductors in the organisation but they are engaged in different jobs except as conductors. From Monday they are going to come out for the first time in the city bus services. And, from now on they would be pressed into service in other bus routes of the organisation, NBSTC sources added.