Tea workers' death to be raised at UN
The pathetic and continued deaths of closed and abandoned tea gardens workers in the Dooars and Darjeeling regions will be raised for the first time at the United Nations (UN) through the International Labour Organisation (ILO), says the RSP's Minister of State, PWD, Manohar Tirkey.
Tirkey, who is also the secretary of 'Dooars Cha Bagan Workers' Union, told HT that the party's labour wing, United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) has decided to highlight the plight of nearly 20,000 workers of 19 tea gardens at the international forum for mobilising international opinion. "We are confident that global support and sympathy would help putting an end to the inhuman sufferings of the workers and their families," he stated.
The UTUC would also take the matter to the President of India very soon, so that he can intervene in his own way as did Bengal Governor, Gopal Krishna Gandhi by visiting two closed gardens in March and alerting the State government on immediate relief and alternative employment.
Claiming that about 2,500 deaths have occurred since 2000, due to starvation, malnutrition and abject poverty, Tirkey said the plight of workers and their families, numbering nearly one lakh has, become a national shame. It is a slur on the Left Front government of Bengal as well, he charged.
Asked if his party though being a major partner in the government was ethically right in knocking the doors of the UN and ILO, Tirkey insisted, "Our first and basic commitment is to defend and advance the interests of workers and peasants. We can no more keep mum even as jobless workers and their families continue dying," Tirkey claimed.
Endorsing Tirkey's demand, UTUC state unit general secretary, Ashok Ghosh contended that the State government has "remained cynically indifferent" about the hapless workers. The government is more eager on touting its pro-industry image than on rushing relief to dying workers, he alleged.
"I'm deeply hurt that my letter to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on February 4, giving a graphic picture of harrowing conditions of affected workers, has till date remained unanswered," he lamented.
Reminded that the State administration has strongly refuted starvation death figures, Ghosh thundered, "Mere jugglery of words like 'death due to malnutrition and chronic ailments, not of starvation' cannot wish away and hide the grim reality of continued march of deaths in tea gardens."
Cameras installed in electric buses or e-buses in Lucknow would now be linked to bus depot control room for efficient monitoring of passengers. “The cameras have been linked to our control room and monitoring has begun by control room staff. Now the acts of eve-teasing or theft would be efficiently checked,” said Pallav Bose, a senior official of Lucknow City Transport Services. There are 105 electric buses or e-buses in Lucknow, running on 22-routes.
The vigilance bureau on Tuesday arrested sarpanch Harjit Kaur of Aakari village in Patiala district for embezzlement of panchayat funds amounting to ₹ 12.24 crore in the name of development works. During inspection by Bureau officials, it was found that Kaur had misappropriated a large amount of funds by passing fake resolutions of gram panchayat for fake construction of village pond, community centre, cremation grave yard, panchayat ghar and burms of a drain.
The municipal corporation is on its way to attaining 100% processing of the city's sanitary waste — which may include napkins, diapers, sanitary pads and blood-soaked cotton. Within seven days of starting the process, the quantum has gone up from 22.6 kg to 381.80 kg. The civic body had recently entered an agreement with a firm for the same. The city generates approximately 500kg sanitary waste every day.
The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research will soon install more machines using which patients can make digital payments for medical tests, surgeries and other hospital expenses. As a part of the pilot project, the institute had installed a single machine for digital payments near counter number 16 at the Nehru Hospital. We will install over 40 such machines in the entire institute for public convenience,” pGIMER director Dr Vivek Lal added.
The municipal corporation will be modernising its slaughter house in Industrial Area Phase 1 by incorporating latest technology. The modernised slaughter house is expected to be ready in two years. The plant will be equipped with the latest machinery for slaughtering animals for human consumption. It will be air-conditioned and for proper waste management, an effluent treatment plant will also be constructed.