QKolkata: Citizens Demand Clean Air; Coldest 9 Dec In 5 Years

1. ‘Masked Crusaders’ Throng Lake Demanding Right To Clean Air

On a day when Kolkata’s AQI touched 428, when the safe limit is 50, various citizens’ groups — pollution masks firmly in place — congregated at Rabindra Sarobar’s Safari Park demanding their right to breathe. At 7pm on Sunday, 9 December, PM10 became the most prominent pollutant and its count per cubic metre was 500.

Organised by Kolkata Clean Air, people from all walks of life — including doctors, lawyers, students, NGO heads, businessmen and sportspersons — joined the campaign to say that citizens can’t stay safe under the current conditions. The campaigners also got morning walkers to pledge following a low-carbon-footprint lifestyle.

(Source: The Times Of India)

Also Read: Kolkata Air Is Worse Than Delhi’s & Here’s Why Mamata Must Act Now

2. At 13.7°C, Kolkata Records Coldest 9 December in Five Years

The mercury on Sunday, 9 December, dipped below 14°C, making it the coldest winter day this season. At 13.7°C, Kolkata also recorded the coldest 9 December in the past five years. The corresponding maximum temperature at 26.1°C was also a notch below the normal mark.

An uninterrupted flow of the northwesterly winds that bring in the chill had pushed the mercury down. But the Met office feared a slight rise in temperature from Tuesday, 11 December, courtesy an impending low pressure formation over the equatorial Indian Ocean.

(Source: The Times Of India)

3. Officials Ask Cops To Evict Illegal Hawkers From Airport Premises

The airport authorities have asked Bidhannagar police to remove unauthorised shops from the premises as early as possible and identified them as the primary reason behind the littering and accumulation of garbage outside the old terminal.

TOI had on 5 December highlighted the sorry state of the Kolkata airport where basic cleanliness efforts seemed to have fallen flat. The authorities swung into action the next day and initiated a clean-up drive.

“After undertaking the drive, we realised that the unauthorised shops inside the compound were the main trigger. The hawkers were dumping garbage here and there and some customers visiting the shops were also found urinating in the open. Hence, we have asked the cops to evict the hawkers at the earliest,” said a senior official of the Kolkata airport.

(Source: The Times Of India)

Also Read: Fire breaks out near Kolkata airport runway

4. Brick Pillars Added To 246-Year-Old Museum Building Without KMC Nod

Indian Museum authorities have constructed five pillars to “support and safeguard” the oldest building on the campus — an eighteenth-century edifice — without a nod from the KMC’s Heritage Committee which, experts say, may actually threaten the building’s structural stability.

Significantly, this two-storey building, just behind the majestic Indian Museum, is older than the museum building. It used to be the Sadr Diwani Adalat, one of the first courts in British India. Instituted by British Governor-General Warren Hastings in 1772, the court saw many landmark legal battles and also lent its name to the adjacent road — Sudder Street.

(Source: The Times Of India)

5. City Cops Arrest Kingpin of Kolkata Child-Trafficking Racket in Gujarat

Mayur Vyas, the 46-year-old kingpin of a child trafficking racket flourishing in Kolkata and suburbs, was arrested by city detectives in Gujarat on Saturday, 8 December, after a hunt for almost a year and a half.

Vyas was flown to Kolkata on transit remand. Bankshall Court later remanded him in two weeks’ police custody.

Police were on the lookout for Vyas ever since they busted an international child trafficking racket after arresting three people in central Kolkata last year. Vyas, who had been keeping a low profile since then, had surfaced a few days ago, a police source said. He was tracked down to an undisclosed location in Gujarat. Among the three arrested was a Park Street couple. Around 20 Indian passports along with visas to foreign countries, several mobile phones and a laptop had been recovered from the trio.

(Source: The Times Of India)

6. Physically-Challenged CPM Worker Becomes an ‘Icon’

Arts graduate Barkat Mollah was walking unnoticed with a crutch in a CPM march from Singur last week. Now, the 26-year-old is an “icon”.

The 52km two-day “Long March” to Kolkata was organised by the party’s peasants’ wing to demand the “re-industrialisation” of Singur. “When the rally reached Howrah, someone told me that a physically-challenged youth from my district was walking with the help of a crutch. I immediately brought him to the forefront of the rally to mark him as a symbol of our political struggle,” said Amal Haldar, secretary of the West Bengal Pradeshik Krishak Sabha.

“He (Barkat) used to participate in our rallies since he was in college but I did not know of him earlier. We will felicitate him soon,” Haldar added.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: Singur Emerges as Procurement Hub for Local Farmers in West Bengal

7. Kolkata Students Threaten Suicide Over Attendance Rule

Fifteen-odd students of a central Kolkata college barred from writing the university exams on grounds of inadequate attendance on Saturday, 8 December, threatened to slit their wrists in front of the principal, who called the police.

Armed with blades, the students of City College of Commerce and Business Administration — some of whom have not attended a single class in the semester — encountered Principal Sandip Kumar Paul on Saturday morning and demanded that they be allowed to write the tests.

Nearly 350 out of 1,000 candidates in the BCom first and third semesters in the evening section of the college on Surya Sen Street have been refused permission to write the tests as they do not have the mandatory 60 percent attendance.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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