Thursday, 19 November 2015


Former enclave-dwellers from Bangladesh step in India

65 members of 19 families from erstwhile enclaves (Chhitmahals) situated in Bangladesh territory arrived today through Changrabandha International Checkpost (ICP). Senior officials of Cooch Behar district administration welcomed them. They were brought by vehicles into India at about 1-15pm. After a brief welcome ceremony they were sent to makeshift houses (rehabilitation centres) newly built for them at Mekhliganj Agriculture Farm. The administration has made all facilities for their comfortable living there.

Cooch Behar MP Renuka Sinha, District Magistrate P Ulganathan, Additional District Magistrate Ayesha Rani and Cooch Behar SP Rajesh Kumar Yadav were among the officials present on the occasion today.

The members of 19 families that opted to come to India after official exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh came in today passing through Changrabandha-Burimari Border Checkpost. They were welcomed by folk dance and folk songs. A Blue-White pandal was erected for the programme at Zero-point of the border. Also, arrangements were made for them for foreign exchange.


t was learnt that they will get facilities like Bank accounts and AADHAR cards soon. After two years, permanent shelters will be arranged for them. Now, during the first month the new comers will be provided with cooked food. Children would get special foods like milk and eggs. After one month they will get essential commodities in free through ration system.

On 31 July midnight, 111 enclaves of India and 51 enclaves of Bangladesh were exchanged. After that 991 members of 220 families of the enclaves expressed their eagerness to come to India. From today they will come phase by phase. Cooch Behar district administration made arrangements for their stay at rehabilitation centres built at Changrabandha in Mekhliganj, Chilahati in Haldibari and Sahebganj in Dinhata. After today, rest of the persons will come on 22, 23, 24 and 26 November.

Cooch Behar District Magistrate P Ulganathan said 65 members of 19 families came today. All arrangements have been made for their stay. "It is an important event. I became a witness of history", the DM said. He also said that the first batch came today and others would come soon. The administration made all arrangements for them, he added.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015



CII sponsored Krishi Unnayan Mela in Cooch Behar

 A three-day Krishi Unnayan Mela (Agriculture Development Fair) started on Wednesday evening. State agriculture minister Purnendu Basu inaugurated the fair at Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya (UBKV) campus at Pundibari in Cooch Behar. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the organiser of it while West Bengal is the partner state. Mr Sanjiv Paul, chairman of Trade Fairs Task Force, CII Eastern Region and Director of Tata Metalinks Limited delivered the welcome address.

   The agriculture minister said that such fair was initiated last year. He thanked Mr Paul for his co-operation for organising the fair. Mr Basu told Mr Paul that West Bengal wants to gain from the outcome of the work in agriculture sector where Tata group works. "We want to discuss on the issue and we are ready to extend all co-operation to you", he said.

The minister admitted that the state is still in trail behind in soil testing field. In organic farming sector too, the state is still in a backward position. He said that the state government took initiative to produce onion in winter and monsoon months but the production is going out to Bangladesh by other way. During his speech he admitted that though the state is in first position in production of rice but it is staying far behind in productivity in rice bran oil, vermin compost fertiliser, organic fertiliser etc.

    Mr Sanjiv Paul mentioned that food processing industry is sunrise industry. The farmers raised productivity considerably in the past years. He observed that food production may be doubled in next 20 years. Food production rose considerably in this state and 72 percent development achieved in agriculture sector. Mr Paul termed the fair as an ideal one for agricultural community. It may be fruitful to all concerned, he hoped.

    Director of agriculture Paritosh Bhattacharya, UBKV vice-chancellor Debashis Majumder, Chairman of forest development corporation Rabindra Nath Ghosh, district magistrate P Ulganathan, CII's North Bengal chairman Naresh Agarwal, Cooch Behar Zilla Parishad sabhadhipati Pushpita Roy Dakua were also spoke on the occasion.

    During the three-day fair exhibition, seminars and training on agriculture (Krishi PathShala) will be held.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


Reactions over Mamata's Airport promise

Sharp reactions came from different political corners over the Chief Minister's promise over revival of Cooch Behar Airport.

The Chief Minister, during her address at a mass gathering at Gumanihat of Mathabhanga sub-division in Cooch Behar district held on Monday, said that she will come to Cooch Behar again boarding a small aeroplane. Till launching of the small aircraft service from Cooch Behar Airport she will not come to Cooch Behar. She said, "We already gave the Centre Rs15 crore out of Rs 30 crore for development of the Airport. We requested them to complete the work very quickly. Landing of airplane is not easy in absence of a wider runway here. Till building up a wide runway small aircrafts will ply from here. We are trying to launch that service. Till launching of that service I will not come to Cooch Behar again. I will come only boarding that small aircraft after launching of the service permanently." Her commitment was welcomed by the gathering amid cheers.

Reacting over the CM's speech, a senior BJP leader in Cooch Behar, Pranab Paul, commented that many times planes came here and those services were closed. "The CM may come and go by aeroplane but we are not sure over its continuation. People of Cooch Behar are not ready to believe in such promises anymore", he said.

Cooch Behar district Congress President, Shyamal Chaudhury opined that the CM is saying many things prior to the election. Air services were revived and closed many times. "We know that the CM's many promises turn to untrue and so we should not comment over her promise on revival of air service from Cooch Behar Airport.

Cooch Behar district CPI-M secretary and ex-MP, Tarini Roy said, “According to the CM’s comment we may be assured that air service will not be revived and she will not come to Cooch Behar again. We have no objection of her daily visit to Cooch Behar, after the re-launching of air service”, Roy said.  

Reacting sharply over Mamata's speech, a senior Forward Bloc leader and MLA, Akshay Thakur, questioned "how many promises of the CM turned true till now". "We heard such promises on several occasions. It may be that it would not be necessary for her to visit Cooch Behar after 2016 elections", he added.

On the otherhand, on behalf of business community, general secretary of Cooch Behar District Merchants Chamber of Commerce,  Rajendra Kumar Baid, said that they believe that air service between Cooch Behar and Kolkata will be re-launched very soon following the Chief Minister's commitment.