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Cyclone Bulbul: Flight ops suspended, 1.2 lakh moved in Bengal

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cyclonic storm Bulbul

Kolkata, Nov 9 : All flight operations in Kolkata airport have been suspended for 12 hours, and over 1.20 lakh people evacuated from the vulnerable coastal areas of West Bengal, as Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Bulbul’ increased its ferocity with a wind speed of 125-135 km gusting to 150 km, and could make landfall between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday triggering a storm surge, officials said.

“Due to impact of Cyclone bulbul with strong cross winds and likely wind shear in approaches, flight operations at Kolkata airport will be discontinued from 6 p.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday,” an airport official said.

In its latest update, the met office said Bulbul now lay lay centred around 185 km south east of the eastern metropolis and 85 kilometres south of Sagar island in South 24 Parganas district.

The storm is likely to weaken gradually and move northeastwards and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar island and Bangladesh’s Khepurpara across Sundarban delta between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 km per hour, gusting to 135 km per hour.

Light to moderate rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is continuing over coastal districts of the state. Canning recorded three centimeters, Kolkata, diamond Harbour and Haldia two centimeters, and Digha one centimeters of rainfall between 8.30 a.m. and 11-30 a.m. during the day.

The Regional Meteorological Centre said during the time of landfall, there could be a storm surge of about one to two metres height in 24 Parganas North and 24 Parganas South district and 0.5 to 1 m height in East Midnapore district above the astronomical tide which is likely to inundate low lying areas.

The maximum extent of inundation is likely to be around two kilometres over the two Parganas.

State chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who monitored the preventive measures from the special control room set up at the secretariat Nabanna, said “more than 1 lakh 20 thousand people have already been rescued from the vulnerable coastal areas”.

She asked people not to panic.

“Please do not panic. Kindly remain calm and co-operate with the administration in its rescue and relief efforts. Be alert, take care and stay safe,” Banerjee tweeted.

As a safety measure, the state government on Saturday declared closed schools, colleges and anganwadi centres.

“Our State Administration is closely monitoring the situation 24×7. We are taking all measures to tackle any contingency. Special Control Rooms have been set up and NDRF-SDRF teams are deployed”, she said in another twitter post.

A high alert is on in the coastal districts, amidst apprehensions that the storm may impact parts of 24 Parganas North, 24 Parganas South, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Howrah, Kolkata and Jhargram.

Ferry services on various rivers were suspended for the day. With evening descending, buses and cabs disappeared from the city roads, which looked deserted.

Kolkata is away from the core area of Bulbul. The impact will be limited to a wins speed of 50-70 kilometer along with heavy rainfall after 7 pm,” RMC director G C Das said.

The river traffic police personnel were seen patrolling near the ghats of river Hooghly.

Another special control room has been opened at the city police headquarters Lalbazar, for maintaining contact with various departments.

The police authorities were coordinating with Kolkata Municipal Corporation officials on alerting dwellers of old houses and also to ensure express removal of uprooted trees as a likely effect of the storm.

The disaster response teams have been kept ready with relief and rescue materials to tackle any calamity in the wake of the storm. The central government has been in constant touch with the senior figures of the state administration.

People have been warned not to come close to the sea in the coastal districts.

The fishermen have been barred from venturing into the sea adjoining the Sundarbans delta on Saturday and Sunday.

Hotels in the coastal tourist resorts of Digha, Bakkhali, AMandarmoni, Talsari, Shankarpur and Bakkhali have been largely emptied of tourists.

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Man murders children, wife; tries to commit suicide

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Chandigarh, Jan 23 (IANS) A father of two after allegedly murdering his children and his wife tried to commit suicide by jumping before a running train here on Thursday, the police said.

However, he sustained grievous injuries and is undergoing treatment at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) here.

According to the police, Sanjay Arora, who runs a bakery in Sector 9 of Panchkula near Chandigarh, after murdering his family went to Panchkula and tried to commit suicide by jumping before a train.

The bodies of the family were found from their residence in Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra, in the early hours of Thursday.

They are suspected to have been murdered by Sanjay Arora, the victim’s husband and father of the children, who later tried to commit suicide.

They were killed using a sharp-edged weapon, police said.

Sanjay runs Krishna Bakery in Sector 9 of Panchkula.

The deceased have been identified as Sarita, 45, daughter Sanchi, 20, a law student, and son Arjun, 15.

Sanjay’s friend Karambir Arora found the bodies lying in the house. He informed the police.

A suicide note was found in the house.

Police investigations say Arora was under debt and depressed because of his financial condition.


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1 killed in Thane factory blast

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IED Blast

Thane (Maharashtra): One person was killed and two others injured in a blast that ripped through a private chemical factory in Maharashtra here on Wednesday, officials said.

The explosion, followed by a fire took place in a dryer in the factory in the MIDC complex in Badlapur around 9 a.m. There were many other employees working in the morning shift when the explosion took place.

The company has been identified as K.J. Remedies and 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

The cause of the blast is not yet known. The injured were shifted to hospital.

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Sacked DTC staff make it dramatic for AAP

“This is like a job fair for us. We want a job and this is that for us. We are contesting against Kejriwal to save the Constitution and the common man,” Sharma told IANS.

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Kejriwal for Nomination

New Delhi, Jan 21 : The last day of nominations for the February 8 Assembly elections turned dramatic for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party as close to 30 sacked DTC employees filed their candidature ahead of the Delhi Chief Minister, who waited for close to seven hours to file his nomination with token number 45 in hand.

Kejriwal reached the office of the Returning Officer (RO) to file his nomination from the New Delhi Assembly seat around 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday. However, even at 7 p.m. he was still waiting for his turn.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by his wife and parents along with party leaders Pankaj Gupta and Gopal Mohan.

As the clock ticked 3 p.m. — the deadline for the filing nomination — the anxiety prevailed among the party leaders and volunteers as the party’s chief minister face was yet to file the nominations.

Though the deadline for filing nominations was 3 p.m., all those who have been given token, would be allowed to submit their papers.

Party’s spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj went on to call it “nuisance”, adding an organised group of 50 candidates was taking tokens to file nomination at New Delhi every day for the last 4 days. “But they were not filing nominations. They just wanted to harass Kejriwal. This situation was very much in the knowledge of the RO & DM,” said Bhardwaj.

Earlier, he said around 35 candidates sitting at the RO office with CM, “without” proper nomination papers. “They are calling their proposers on phone to come. They are insisting unless their papers are complete and they file their nomination, they won’t allow the CM to file his papers,” Bhardwaj said.

However, this partially turned out to be true as a huge number of those in the list were the sacked DTC contractual employees.

The drivers and conductors of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), who lost their contract jobs, had last year floated a political party, the ‘Mazdoor Ekta Party’. However, just only one among them filed from the party, while close to 30 sacked DTC employees are contesting the election as an Independent against Kejriwal.

Manoj Sharma, one of the members of the DTC Contractual Employees Union, who filed his papers as an Independent, said they do not have any job.

“This is like a job fair for us. We want a job and this is that for us. We are contesting against Kejriwal to save the Constitution and the common man,” Sharma told IANS.

When asked if this is just to trouble the Chief Minister, Sharma said the DTC employees have a strong vote base and will win against Kejriwal.

He said this is not just the only seat where the sacked DTC candidates are filing nominations. “On several other seats as well the sacked employees are filing the papers,” he added.

While the AAP leaders seemed annoyed with the delay, Kejriwal called the other contestants his family.

“Many of them are filing for the first time. They are bound to make mistakes. We also made mistakes the first time. We should hand-hold them. I am enjoying waiting with them. They are all part of my family,” Kejriwal tweeted, in response to Bhardwaj’s tweet.

Delhi Deputy Cheif Minister Manish Sisodia, however, said the other contestants were planted by the BJP.

“The BJP has put 45 candidates before Kejriwal. The Election Commission is deliberately giving a long time to every candidate, whose papers are not complete or even to those whose proposal is not ready so that Kejriwal can be prevented from filling the nominations,” Sisodia tweeted.

He said Kejriwal cannot be stopped.

Delhi goes to the polls on February 8 and Tuesday was the last date for filing nominations.

(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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