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Country's longest bridge to be named after Bhupen Hazarika, says PM

Correspondent

Guwahati, May 26, 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the country's longest bridge, 9.15 km long Dhola-Sadiya bridge, over the Brahmaputra river in Tinsukia district of Assam on Friday. As part of the celebration of third anniversary of his swearing-in as Prime Minister of India, Modi has inaugurated the bridge in the north eastern state. Later, addressing a public meeting at Dhola, Prime Minister said that the inauguration of the bridge marks the end of a long wait for the people of this area.  The Prime Minister said infrastructure is extremely important for development, and the effort of the Union Government is to fulfill the dreams and wishes of the people. He said the Government has decided to name the Dhola-Sadiya bridge after the great musician, lyricist and poet, Bhupen Hazarika. It may be noted that the bridge will enhance connectivity and greatly reduce travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Akiko McDonald meets Acharya

Correspondent

Kohima, May 25, 2017: Chairperson, Burma Campaign Society (BCS), Akiko McDonald called on the Governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya at Raj Bhavan in Kohima on Thursday. 

Apprising the Governor, Akiko said that BCS aims to collect historical data, war memoirs, photos, films, etc and provide access to the international public. The society also aims to actively participate in war memorial services in Japan, India, Burma and UK.

The Chairperson of Burma Campaign Society had also met the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu.

Assam Rifles organises blood donation camp

PR

Agartala, May 24, 2017: A blood donation camp was held at Village Mandai. The donation camp was organized by Tripura State Blood Transfusion Council with the assistance of 4 Assam Rifles. 

Seeing the need and shortage of blood in the Blood Banks, the aim of TSBTC is to promote and create awareness on the voluntary blood donation in the state. The association has been working on the need to bridge the gap on the shortage of blood in various blood bank all over the state.

It also focuses on the life-saving gift of voluntary donation purely for altruistic reasons.

The main goal is to wipe out the scarcity of blood and ensure availability of safe and quality blood and also to motivate and encourage the voluntary blood donors.

The camp received positive response from the public as well as security forces with 65 civilians voluntarily donating blood and 120 odd civilians participating in this noble cause.

Continuing with their tradition of ‘Sentinels of North East’ this blood donation camp is another effort in various welfare programmes assisted by 4 Assam Rifles to extend their helping hand to the people of Tripura.

Security tightened in Reang refugee camps to quell tension

Correspondent

Agartala, May 22, 2017: Security has been beefed up in Reang refugee camps in north Tripura to quell tension triggered after a camp inmate youth was thrashed by locals. Intervention of security personnel prevented further deterioration of situation. 

Senior police officials including the DGP visited the area to assess the situation. Top civil administration officials have called a peace meeting on Tuesday to restore normalcy.

Irate refugees tried to raid a non-tribal village after a young resident of Gachirampara camp was injured in beating on Saturday last. Troops thwarted the attempt.

Some 33,000 Reang or Bur refugees are stranded in six camps in Kanchanpur subdivision of north Tripura since they left Mizoram in 1997 to escape ethnic tension. Efforts to repatriate them failed so far as the evacuees are reluctant to return without a political solution. 

Prof Pardeshi Lal new VC of NU

Correspondent

Kohima, May 20, 2017: Professor of Zoology, Nagaland University, Prof. Pardeshi Lal assumed office as the New Vice Chancellor of Nagaland University (Central University) on Thursday 18th May, 2017.

It is the first time in the history of the university, that a Professor within the University was recruited to the post of the Vice Chancellor.

Prof. Lal was recruited as Professor of Zoology in the year 1997. Prior to his appointment as the Vice Chancellor he has served in different capacities from the Head of Department (HoD), Professor Incharge (PIC) in Lumami during Transit Headquarters in Kohima, Dean of School of Sciences, Controller of Examinations and Pro Vice Chancellor.

As per University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines a person should have served as a professor for 10 years to be appointed as the Vice Chancellor. The tenure of office is for five years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. A person cannot be appointed as the Vice Chancellor of the same university for a second term.

Uptrend continues in rubber production

Correspondent

Agartala, May 19, 2017: The Rubber Board informed that the increasing trend in rubber production in the country continues and the production of natural rubber (NR) during the month of April 2017 shows an increase of 23.1 per cent as compared to the production during the same period the year before. Production during April 2017 is 48,000 tonnes whereas it was 39,000 tonnes in April 2016.  If this trend continues, production of NR during the fiscal will reach the anticipated 8 lakh tonne.

Rubber Board is continuing its activities to make rubber cultivation remunerative by increasing production and productivity and reducing cost of cultivation and production. The Board has been implementing several activities at regional and field levels, with the active cooperation of Rubber Producer’s Societies (RPSs), to increase production and productivity of plantations.

Rubber Board has started this year’s distribution of inputs, at subsidy rates, through the RPSs. This year, rainguarding materials and spraying material are being supplied to the RPSs, through Board owned companies.

The annual mass contact programme of the Rubber Board for this year, aimed for the total excellence of the plantations will end on May 26 . Until last week 546 meetings were conducted at various places covering about 35000 farmers.  Practices such as weekly tapping, controlled upward tapping, rain guarding, online fertilizer recommendation, scheme for intercropping to be implemented in collaboration with Kerala state agricultural department and rubber tapper skill development programme under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) are being discussed in the meetings. Local impediments, if any, in adopting these practices will also be addressed.

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has already approved the second phase for training another 22,000 persons in rubber tapping and processing in Kerala, Tripura, Assam, Tamilnadu and Karnataka, under PMKVY. The Board also has started a study in Kerala on the impact of the  RPL training programmes already conducted in Kerala during first phase. The study is aimed to understand the improvement in quality of tapping and its direct impact in increase of productivity.

Pilferage at ONGC site

CC 

Agartala, May 18, 2017: ONGC was informed about an incident of contamination of river water by SDM, Jirania through Tripura State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) on May 16. Immediately, a team of officials from ONGC including an environment engineer were deputed to the area, who was accompanied by SDM and team from district administration.

The team visited the affected area of Mohan Toshipara near Kia Rai Para, Mandainagar and ONGC operating areas around that locality in order to trace the source and cause of contamination. CS Tripura also showed his concern and had a detailed discussion regarding the same with the Asset Manager ONGC Tripura.

The team has observed an act of pilferage at abandoned drill site BMDJ of ONGC near Khamtingbari, ADC Village in Baramura. Unknown / un-authorised persons have entered unguarded drill site and took away the HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) lining which was laid for preventing seepage of waste water into the ground. It was observed that HDPE lining & construction materials of the drill site were removed by miscreants from the ONGC well site.

The HDPE lining, similar to thick synthetic sheet, is being used as water proof shelter by some of the villagers. The team observed that the pilferage activity of HDPE lining has resulted in breaching of embankment and further due to the heavy rains residual waste dried mud at the site might have flown into nearby water bodies. On a fast track basis ONGC has already taken measures to repair the damage and the restore of the site there on.

Merging of Board Regional Offices

Correspondent                  

Agartala, May 17, 2017: The Rubber Board is merging the administrative functioning of its Regional Office at Kottayam with that of Changanassery as a part of austerity measures. This will not by anyway affect the services rendered to rubber growers in Kottayam region.

A ‘Development Office’ will start functioning at Board’s Head Office at Kottayam to take care of the services rendered to rubber growers of the region.  The Development Office will start functioning simultaneously as and when the merging of the office comes in to effect. Growers of the Kottayam region can contact the Development Office for all services including uploading of bills related to Rubber Production Incentive Scheme (RPIS) of the state government.         

Rubber Board officials said in the present scenario where price of rubber is low, Board is implementing several activities aimed at reducing cost of cultivation and increasing production and productivity of rubber.  With this purpose, the Board is promoting Controlled Upward Tapping, Quality up gradation, prompting intercropping, soil and leaf analysis based fertilizer application, soil conservation measures, online fertilizer recommendation etc

To address the shortage of skilled labours 10,000 rubber tappers were trained under rubber tapper skill development programme as part of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). In the second phase of the programme, 22,000 persons will be re skilled in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and north eastern states of Tripura and Assam. The Rubber Board proposes to start 50 tapper banks in the rubber sector. Rubber production has increased by 23 percent during 2016-17 as compared to the previous year because of similar measures adopted during the period.      

Student stirs force arrest in murder of teen

Special Report 

Agartala, May 13, 2017: Unprecedented protests, mostly organised by non-partisan students, over past a month finally forced police to arrest Noor Mohammad, one of suspects in ‘murder’ of 16 year old tech girl student Anwara Choudhury. Mighty police-politician-criminal nexus finally bowed to the students power which grew day by day to break the hush up tactics which had been cheating ‘voiceless’ people of the state for decades. 

Noor Mohammad, maternal uncle of the deceased, and other suspects almost evaded legal tangle owing to their connection with the party in power. Every attempt was made to subvert, divert and convert popular agitation into a useless effort.

But relentless street protests unprecedented in capital Agartala made things changed, at least gave a jolt to political and security circles they were forced to display some action. On night of May 12, when students blocked a city road to press police to act or face the eventuality, top brass of police realised situation was not the same to comply with political big wigs.

West Tripura Superintendent of Police Abhisek Saptarshi  hastily convened a press conference at West Agartala Police Station to speak truth. Truth is Anwara Choudhury was poisoned as per forensic examination done after her body was exhumed from grave and the case stands for trial under murder charges.

He also announced that prime suspect Noor Mohammad was just arrested under Section 302 of the IPC. Saptarshi indicated there was negligence in treatment administered to ailing Anawara after she was admitted in GBP Hospital with severe abdomen pain.

But intention of police vis a vis government remains unclear and confusing as many saw the arrest of Noor Mohammad as a calculated ploy to ‘shut voice of the students’ and divert attention of people from a highly emotive issue. Noor was not demanded for remand in court which sent him to jail custody and the investigation got transferred to CID – which has been attributed as useless tool of state police.

But despite evil design if any in place, the students, particularly those hailing from Anawara’s Women’s Polytechnic, need to be lauded. The surge of students’ power under a regimented regime was an exception at least in some decades. 

Leena Nair new Tribal Affairs Secretary

PIB

New Delhi, May 11,  2017: Leena Nair took over the charge of Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs in New Delhi.

She is an IAS officer of 1982 batch of Tamil Nadu cadre. Before this appointment she was serving as Secretary for Ministry of Women and Child Development. 

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