With the Supreme Court refusing to stay a Calcutta High Court order banning commercial vehicles over 15 years old from Kolkata, transport operators Friday decided to keep all such vehicles off the roads from Saturday.

MALLARPUR, 19 JUNE: Even as the state government is gearing up to launch an operation to flush out the Maoist-led tribal menace in Lalgarh, the tribals of the area are trying to make the most of the government facilities they are entitled to.

Cyclone Aila, that hit parts of West Bengal last month, has damaged flowers and betel vines cultivated in six districts ~ Midnapore East, Howrah, North 24 Parganas, Birbhum, Nadia and Burdwan ~ and the loss is estimated at Rs 13 crore, according to a preliminary assessment done by the state horticulture department.

MURAROI, 2 JUNE: About 45 residents of Dhutura village near Muraroi in Birbhum have been suffering from chicken pox for the past three days.

RAMPURHAT, Feb. 1: The Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme (PPIP) has come to a halt in the villages of Ambha and Kushmore, in Birbhum's Rampurhat II and Muraroi II block areas respectively. The villagers have boycotted the programme in order to prompt developments ~ Ambha is demanding immediate electrification, while Kushmore is pushing for the construction of roads.

A survey of households in six villages in Birbhum district of West Bengal provides evidence that decentralisation in delivery of water supply leads to better quality of services. The participation of the local government in distribution of water supply, and household contribution to operation and maintenance appear to have a positive impact on quality.

SURI: Health authorities and animal resources development (ARD) department officials in Birbhum are dreading another bird flu outbreak in the district after abnormal poultry bird deaths were reported from neighbouring Malda district.

The Birbhum district administration today admitted that it had failed to provide basic facilities to tribal villages. The authorities sought time to implement development schemes.

Public sector diversified mineral resources company NMDC is planning to bring a foreign partner for its proposed joint venture for thermal coal mining in West Bengal, and has even held talks with Rio Tinto, the world

KOLKATA: Navratna public sector National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) will initially invest Rs. 1,000 crore to develop a coal mining project in Birbhum district in West Bengal, Chairman and Managing Director Rana Som said.