KOLKATA, Jan. 18: With a view to attract more people to major tourist spots in Hooghly and Bankura, the state government has urged the Centre to install a well-knit railway network connecting these tourist destinations.

At a time when Bird Flu outbreaks are being reported in the state, the state government failed to send blood samples to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal for confirmation of the disease. It may be mentioned here an above average mortality of poultry birds was reported from Bankura a couple of days back.

A team of agriculture scientists zeroed in on a gene that imparts salt stress tolerance to paddy plants for long time and found that it remains suppressed in Gobindobhog.

Delhi-based NGO will help in mapping corridor of migratory elephants of Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary.

The NGO, which has expertise in drawing routes of elephants with meticulous details, including food habits, would work on the project from January when the migratory season comes to an end.

Potato merchants want the state to reimburse the cost of cold storage preservation of potato bags through subsidy. The state this year recorded 25 percent additional yield of potato raising the total production to 85 lakh metric ton. The 104 cold-storages operating across the state have managed to keep 2.42 crore potato packets which according to the potato merchants was 60 lakh more packets compared to last years' preservation.

ANDAL/MEJIA - Union minister of state for power, Mr Jayram Ramesh faced the land losers' ire twice in Andal, Burdwan and Mejia, Bankura while visiting the DVC power plants today. The land losers demanded immediate absorption against loss of their cultivable land which they had "sacrificed' for the DVC's plants. Mr Ramesh later met the their delegates in Mejia and assured help to them. n SNS

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has taken personal responsibility to find land in Trinamul Congress-ruled South 24-Parganas for a university promised to Muslims. The government had announced a year ago that the Calcutta Madarsa college would be upgraded to Aliah University, but all its efforts to acquire the required 50-odd acres have failed so far.

DURGAPUR : The CPI-M has decided to be very careful about acquiring land in areas which have elected Opposition candidates in the panchayat election.

After suffering reverses in panchayat polls in several districts of West Bengal, the CPI (M) on Thursday said industrialisation in the state would continue, though steps to acquire land would be taken "cautiously". "The process of industrialisation will continue. However, we have to take steps cautiously (to acquire land) and decide on where industries would be set up," party Politburo member Biman Bose told reporters here. Mr Bose, who is here to attend the Central Committee meeting, said, "We have to take the people into confidence and move forward."

The land-losers who had sacrificed their cultivation quarters to help installation of DVC's Mejia Thermal Power Station in Bankura blocked the coal consignments and entrance of the power utility causing severe inconvenience to its expansion work for 12 hours today. They demanded absorption against land acquisition. The stir was withdrawn only after the Bankura district administration assured one to one conciliation meeting on 27 May.

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