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Mayor at office before schedule, clears 100 files

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KOLKATA: Mayor on Tuesday reached his office at the headquarters on S N Banerjee Road half an hour before his usual schedule. Chatterjee’s absence or irregular presence is being felt at the civic corridors as files of vital policy decisions are piling up. According to a senior civic official, till last weekend more than 600 files had piled up due to mayor’s absence as every file required his signature.
After reaching office, Chatterjee first asked for important files that he would need to sign for a speedy release to various civic departments. According to a source, Chatterjee released around 100 files that needed his urgent intervention. Some of these files comprise policy decisions regarding road maintenance, drainage upgrade and water supply projects. However, a section of KMC officials are apprehensive about the remaining files as they are in dark about the mayor’s daily routine. “The frequency at which the files are getting piled up is a matter of concern. Since mayor’s signature is needed at every step of implementation of a policy decision, we are a bit worried,” a senior KMC official said.

A Trinamool councillor complained that despite several visits to the mayor’s office to get a file signed in past two months, all his attempts failed due to Chatterjee’s absence. “I have been trying in vain to get his nod for sanction of two posts for a cleanliness drive in my locality,” he alleged.

Chatterjee held a high-level meeting with KMC officials and asked them to undertake a comprehensive road-repair drive. Later talking to reporters, Chatterjee said that he was assured about a Rs 70-crore fund from the state government which would be utilized for the overhaul of city’s battered roads. In fact, the KMC has submitted a Rs 264 crore proposal to the state for upgrade of city’s drainage, roads, slum development. The finance department had asked the KMC to return a Rs 300 crore special fund that the state had allocated to the civic body but the latter could not spend it due to technical reasons.

Chatterjee also met a Left Front delegation during the day to discuss infrastructural issues in added areas like , and . A KMC affiliated to the BJP on Tuesday demanded the mayor’s resignation for ignoring civic duties. Ashok Sinha, general secretary of the Shramik Karmachari Sangha, alleged that the mayor was giving more importance to his personal likings over his constitutional duties. Chatterjee, however, said he did not hear about such a demand from the BJP trade union operating in the KMC.
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Security beefed up, cops conduct searches inside Rajasthan University hostels

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JAIPUR: The city police have beefed up security arrangements ahead of Rajasthan University student body polls slated to be held on Friday, the hostels were searched by the police to ensure that no outsiders are allowed to enter the campus to create ruckus during polls.
of police (Jaipur east) Gaurav Yadav said that a team of officials conducted searches inside the university hostels. “We are also conducting searches at community based hostels, we are checking if any outsiders are staying in the city hostels for elections,” he said.

The official said that similar checks and searches will be conducted at nearby hostels and private guest houses to ensure that students who are not enrolled at Rajasthan University or its affiliated colleges do not create a law and order problem.

The DCP also said that traffic will not be affected due to the polling. “We will not allow any procession or rally outside the campus. The common people should not be affected by the elections,” he said.

The police said that they are keeping close tabs on vehicles from different cities. “Any bus or car from a different district will be stopped and searched, our main concern is outsiders who are not part of the university and simply come for the election sloganeering,” another official told TOI on condition of anonymity.

The city police are also keeping a tight vigil on students who have been involved in criminal activities in the past. “The intelligence sleuths are keeping an everyday vigil on people who can ferment trouble during the polling or Election Day,” an official said.

The Jaipur Police is expected to deploy its full might to enforce law and order during the elections, night time patrolling around the university campus and other areas would be enhanced too.
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Ukraine nurse travels to Hooghly in quest of love

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ARAMBAG: It was love’s labour lost for the Ukrainian woman who travelled 6,000km to Hooghly to find out that the man she had fallen in love with was already married. The woman was then sent back home by the cops.
Nadia Lapuchok, 26, a nurse working with a government hospital in , got introduced to resident Prasenjit Karmakar two years back. Karmakar, a small poultry farm owner, had exchanged numbers with her and started talking over messaging platforms. Sensing Nadia’s interest in India and religious places, Karmakar started showing her photographs of religious places like and . Nadia got interested in knowing the country more and their friendship grew deeper.

She flew down to Kolkata six days back and stayed at a hotel for a night and then headed to Arambag. She took a room on rent where Karmakar met her for the first time. The hotel manager saw them falling out with each other over some issue and sensed trouble. Locals alerted cops. Nadia told them that her visa was valid for three months and she wanted to stay here. Karmakar was adamant and told police that he was in no position to marry her.

“She was not aware of his marriage. Primarily it seems that she had fallen in love with him. We have arranged for her return back home,” said Krishanu Roy, SDPO, Arambag.

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5 killed, 1 hurt in high-speed Bagnan crash

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HOWRAH: Five persons were killed in a high-speed crash at on National Highway 6 on Tuesday when the car they were travelling in rammed into a stationary LPG tanker. Police said the vehicle was travelling at 150 kmph on a stretch where the road becomes narrow and has a speed limit of 60 kmph.
A sixth occupant who survived the crash with multiple fractures said the driver had panicked moments before the crash after the car’s brakes did not respond. The men — all aged 27-30 — were travelling from Watgunge to Digha and had been drinking during the journey. The accident spot is around 72 km from the Second Hooghly Bridge toll plaza.

Eyewitnesses said the Toyota Innova travelling at breakneck speed swerved left before crashing into the tanker with a horrific bang.

Car’s brakes failed before crash: Lone survivor

Prasun Dhali, a panchayat member in Bagnan I block who was having tea at a roadside stall in Tamultala when the accident occurred, said: “We rushed over but could do little to help. The only occupant who survived had been thrown out of the vehicle and lay unconscious on the road. The rest were caught in the mangled steel. The car’s momentum had driven it right under the tanker’s undercarriage.”

It was only after gas cutters arrived that the unrecognisable bodies could be extracted. Such was the impact of the crash that the car had split into three. From the body parts, police determined five persons had been killed.

The mangled SUV on NH6 near Bagnan and (below) the with which the car crashed

After the lone survivor, Sk Bakhtiar, regained consciousness that police could piece together the identity of the victims. He and four others — Ruhul Ali, Tarikul Ali, Muzzaffar Ali and Chand Mohammed — had planned a trip to Digha with Sk Imtiaz, a local from Watgunge, on Monday evening and had started from Watgunge around 10am on Tuesday. “We are from Assam’s Nalbari and had come to Watgunge to take embroidery work orders. We were due to return home in two days and decided to do a quick trip to Digha. We were having a merry time. Everyone was has been broken into three while the bones in his hand had split into two. He also required three stitches for a cut in head. Howrah additional SP (rural) Viswa Chand Thakur said the vehicle involved in the accident was overspeeding. “At the point of impact, the speedometer needle was stuck at 150 km/h. It’s lucky that the LPG tanker was empty. Or else, the impact could have sparked a fire,” he said. taking a from a bottle of liquor. Things suddenly turned horrible when Imtiaz, who was driving, said the brakes weren’t responding. Before we could react, the car smashed into the truck. I don’t remember anything more,” said Bakhtiar.

Sudip Kanrar, superintendent of state general hospital, said Bakhtiar had suffered two broken discs in lumbar spine, his femur bone
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Man pastes 4k posters to woo girl he met on train

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KOLKATA: A government employee from Kolkata has plastered neighbourhoods dotting a six-km stretch between Konnagar and Bally with 4,000 posters and made a seven-minute film — duly posted on — to trace a girl he happened to see on a local train and “fell in love with”.

Meet Biswajit Podder, 29, a clerk with the state environment department in Salt Lake and a resident of Joka in , whose after-office routine now includes taking a train to Konnagar— six stops from — and waiting at the station where he last saw the girl of his dreams in July.

And, lest she miss him this time, he wears the same T-shirt he was wearing on the day when she had exchanged “positive glances” with him on a train. In between, he also swipes through the comment section of the movie that he has made — and named “Konnagarer Kone (Konnagar’s Bride)” — in the hope that she responds to his overtures.

A government employee from Kolkata has plastered neighbourhoods dotting a six-km stretch between Konnagar and Bally with 4,000 posters

But, so far, neither lady love nor lady luck has smiled on Podder.

He admits he may be “a little out of sync” with the rest of the world. “My friends and family call me mad. I know what I have been doing is a bit crazy but I can’t help it. It was love at first sight and I just can’t get her out of my mind,” he says. Podder is sure she would have spoken to him had her parents not been with her on the train from (a pilgrimage site in Birbhum) to Konnagar.

Podder boarded a Burdwan local from Tarapith on July 23. The woman and her parents boarded the train just before it left the station and they took the seat opposite his

“I have no intention of insulting her or getting her into any sort of trouble. I am doing all this only so that she knows I am trying to find her and she can me if she wants,” Podder tells TOI, sitting at his usual bench on platform no. 1 of Konnagar station.

Podder boarded a Burdwan local from Tarapith on July 23. The woman and her parents boarded the train just before it left the station and they took the seat opposite his.

Film doesn’t violate law in any way, say experts

I liked her and looked at her occasionally. She caught me looking at her and it seemed she didn’t like it and so I didn’t bother her further on that train,” Podder adds.

The 6-minute, 23-second film ends with Podder sitting at the station, pleading with the woman to her if she happens to see the movie

Podder got off at Burdwan to take the next train for the onward journey to Howrah. It so happened that the woman and her parents boarded the same train and, as Podder’s luck would have it, they again took the seat opposite his. “This time we exchanged glances and I realised she, too, was looking at me. We spent the next two hours of the journey exchanging glances and, sometimes, smiles. I could make out from their conversation that they are Konnagar residents but also heard them mentioning Bally (another nearby suburban stop) at times. As she was getting off at Konnagar, I gestured asking for her phone number. She, too, signalled that she wanted to speak but was scared of her parents. Then she tried to tell me her number — mouthing the digits — but I could not lip-read what she was saying,” Podder adds.

The film captures the same set of events where Podder acts as the protagonist; he has cast a friend as the “mystery woman” and shot the film on a train and at Konnagar station. The 6-minute, 23-second film ends with Podder sitting at the station, pleading with the woman to her if she happens to see the movie.

Legal experts say Podder, despite his antics, may be on the right side of law. He has not mentioned the woman’s name (it’s true he does not know her name) nor is there anything in the movie or on the poster that may identify her. “Had he used her name or mentioned something that could have made her uncomfortable, he could have been booked,” criminal lawyer Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee said.
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Aadhaar cards are being re-issued at relief camps

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MADIKERI: To ensure are not denied relief for lack of identity papers, the revenue department has launched Aadhaar centres in across the district. Residents are being issued printouts of by verifying their biometric details on the spot.

Most of the flood- and landslide-affected families reached relief centres in a state of panic and had no time to collect their documents. The first such Aadhaar centre was set up in Jodupala, a border village of the district. “Our staff are using thumb impressions to re-issue Aadhaar cards. No other documents is required for this,” principal secretary of the revenue department Gangaram Baderiya said.

“These centres have been set up in all relief camps. We can issue the cards based on other credentials too,” said an official who is part of this re-issuing drive.

“Aadhaar is linked to almost all social schemes of the state and the central governments. This is helping the government ensure that all those affected get benefits,” the official said.
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Stones pelted at Sangod BJP MLA‘s yatra in Rajasthan

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KOTA: Stones were pelted at the Vikas Gaurav Yatra taken out on Monday night in Kundanpur village by Heeralal Nagar from , the native place of former Congress minister Bharat Singh. Around 10-15 BJP workers and about five policemen sustained minor injuries, while window glasses of vehicles were damaged during the incident. Black flags were shown at several villages during the yatra.

Windows of vehicles moving ahead of the yatra were damaged. Situation became tense as workers of both the parties came face to face.

Police had to intervene and use mild force and shells to disperse the crowd.

“Congress is not able to digest the development works done during BJP government’s tenure and it is at the direction of Bharat Singh that Congress workers pelted stones at us,” said Nagar.

On the other hand, Bharat Singh took on Nagar saying that latter has not done any developmental work for Kundanpur and has diverted funds to other gram panchayats.

“The MLA ensured the transfer of all the good and active officials of the gram panchayat,” Singh said.

MP Om Birla during his yatra in Pipalda also had to face people’s ire at Mandawar village where the locals raised slogans against him and did not allow him to get off his vehicle.

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