West Bengal

Nadia district in West Bengal wins UN Public Service Award 2015

Nadia district in West Bengal has won the United Nations Public Service Award 2015 in the category of improving delivery of public services for or eliminating open defecation in the district.

The award was presented by the acting Secretary General of the UN Lenni Montiel to District Magistrate of Nadia and Sabhapati of Nadia Zilla Parishad in Medellin, Colombia.

It should be noted that Nadia district is the first open defecation free district in India. The district had achieved this feat by making toilets available for all under state governments flagship programme Sabar Shouchagar (Toilets for All).

It was a collaborative effort with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank along with state government and local governments.

The programme was initiated in 2013. In one-and-half-years, toilets were built in 5 lakh households and over 200 cluster toilets in public places.

After completion of the building toilets under this programme, the percentage of people defecating in open has gone down to 0.02 per cent compared to 33.8 per cent when the project was started.


Union Cabinet gives nod to revised estimate for East-West freight corridor

Union Cabinet has given to 81,459 crore rupees revised estimate for Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project.

Decision in this regard was taken in Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Cabinet also has given nod to include land costs and financing plan for this for East-West freight corridor.

The revised cost estimate comprises construction cost of 73,392 crore rupees of the Eastern and Western DFC along with additional land acquisition cost of 8,067 crore rupees.

In this revised estimate, the cost of the 534-km Sonnagar-Dankuni section has been excluded as this section is proposed to be implemented through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) route.

Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project on completion will pass through 9 states. They are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

This project will significantly help to reduce transportation cost and benefit mines, powerplants and ports present along its route. It will also help to boost trade and industry.


Bengali Writer Suchitra Bhattacharya passes away

Eminent Bengali writer Suchitra Bhattacharya passed away on 12 May 2015 following a cardiac arrest in Kolkata, West Bengal.

She was one of the most popular and powerful novelists of contemporary Bengali literature.

Her writings dwelt on contemporary social issues mainly affecting the urban middle class and also highlighted the pains and sufferings of women in contemporary society.

About Suchitra Bhattacharya

  • Suchitra Bhattacharya was born on January 10, 1950 in Bhagalpur district of Bihar.
  • In her writing career, she had written around 24 novels and had composed a large number of short stories.
  • Some of her famous novels are Dahana (Charred), Kachher Dewal (Wall of Glass), Kachher Manush (Close to Me), Aleek Shukh (Heavenly happiness), Hemonter Pakhi (Bird of Autumn), Gabhir Ashukh (A Grave Illness).
  • Some of her novels were also adapted into movies.
  • Her writings have been translated into a number of languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Oriya, and English.
  • Awards: Nanjanagudu Thirumalamba National Award (1996), Tarashankar Award (2000), Sharat Puroshkar (2002), Bharat Nirman Award, Shailajananda Smriti Puroshkar, Sahitya Setu Award.