KOLKATA: Former transport minister and CPM central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty died at a Kolkata hospital on Thursday following a cardiac arrest. Chakraborty was aged 77 and has left behind his daughter and Tollywood actor Ushashi. The trade unionist was admitted to hospital after he was tested Covid positive on July 30.
Chakraborty was among the five young Turks handpicked by CPM state secretary Pramode Dasgupta — Biman Bose, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Anil Biswas, Subhas Chakraborty, the other four — to infuse fresh blood in party organization.
CM Mamata Banerjee has condoled Chakraborty’s death. Political leaders from across party lines namely Subrata Mukherjee, Partha Chatterjee, Shobhandeb Chatterjee from Trinamool and BJP leader Rahul Sinha fondly recollected their association with this “amiable politician”.
Chakraborty had made an impression among the student community as part of the Subhas-Shyamal pair in Left student politics in the turbulent Sixties. There has been no looking back for Chakraborty since then. He served CPM, Left trade unions and the people at large as minister, trade union leader, a Rajya Sabha member and copiously wrote for the Left magazines and newspapers.
His admirers in CPM recalled “Shyamalda’s” ability to read a situation and take a pragmatic stand. Cutting his teeth in student politics during the Congress regime, Chakraborty was an excellent orator and became a mentor to most of the young generation leaders. Later, he groomed himself as an administrator, holding the state transport portfolio for nine years in the Jyoti Basu Cabinet.
A member of the undivided CPI in 1959, Chakraborty made it to CPM state committee in 1978 and became a state secretariat member in 1985. “Shyamalda was our guardian. He took avid interest in Indian history, its tradition and culture and tried to contextualise them in dealing with present problems with his feet set firm on the ground,” said CPM leader Shamik Lahiri. Chakraborty was also a loving father. “I lost my mother at a tender age. My father used to look after me and helped me in my studies despite his busy schedule. He was a dedicated party activist but never forced his views upon me,” said daughter Ushashi.



Source link


KOLKATA: At a time when Covid positive cases are rising, especially in some containment zones, Kolkata Police and Kolkata Municipal Corporation find it difficult to strictly implement containment rules for want of logistics and under pressure from a section residents, who are demanding free movement in such zones.
The officials are struggling to impose restrictions in some of the biggest containment zones of the city located at Patuli, Baghajatin and Beliaghata. Cops said it was proving to be difficult to keep people indoors even in containment areas except on the lockdown days. “We must admit that cops can’t reach every household in a containment zone. We don’t have adequate manpower to keep a vigil on every single house in a containment zone,” said an officer from south suburban division. According to an official, logistical issues are turning out to be the biggest challenge in some containment zones, sometimes covering as many as 300 local residents. The state authorities have responded by creating micro-clusters to overcome this challenge.
Apart from facing logistical problems, KMC officials and cops at times face resistance from residents in containment zones who demand free movement. According to a KMC health department official, residents often complain that their movements are being restricted by barricading the entry and exit of a large area and that sometimes they find it difficult to get essentials. In these cases, the local police, in consultation with the local ward coordinator and KMC executive health officer, have extended relief for some families by breaking larger containment zones in to smaller ones, each covering not more than 10 houses. These include containment zones at Patuli I block, Biplabi Barin Ghosh Sarani, Barwalitala in Beliaghata and Talpukur Bazar near Baghajatin Place.
Cops said they were allowing some movement even in containment areas. “Say there are houses in a row from 1 to 10. Now, there are Covid cases in 1 and 2 and then again at 9. But since they are in one lane, we had to put up barricades at both ends. Now suppose a small bylane connects houses 5, 6 and 7 with the main road. There is no reason why these residents won’t get some support. This also breaks up larger zones into smaller pockets that are easier to control,” explained an officer.
Police said the first experiment of this sort was carried out in Behala Sakherbazar. The breaking up of C-zones — like in Dinesh Nagar in Mukundapur — also helps in ensuring that those visiting Mukundapur Market are not harassed.



Source link


KOLKATA: The state government has decided to hold walk-in interviews to recruit doctors, bypassing the usual process followed by the West Bengal Health Recruitment Board (WBHRB) or the Municipal Service Commission (MSC).
The process will be conducted by the MSC that will appoint 53 doctors and 18 medical technicians for Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The decision of launching the special walk-in recruitment was taken with chief minister Mamata Banerjee saying there was an urgent need for doctors to tackle the Covid-19 situation.
WBHRB usually recruited doctors and nurses, but given the critical times, dates of walk-in interviews would be announced soon, the CM said.
She said some Calcutta University PG students were being used to handle calls of Covid-19 patients and advise them. “Psychology students are counselling patients, 1,144 of whom have been counselled since August 1,” said chief secretary Rajiva Sinha. The CM asked Sinha to set up a website where willing youngsters and students can register to volunteer.
The state health department has also decided to recruit 500 house staff to cater to the demand of junior doctors as a section of medical graduates, after completing internship, opt out of working as house staff to prepare for post-graduate entrance exams.



Source link


KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday cautioned against fake Covid-19 tests and hinted at stern action against any organization carrying out such a procedure without authorization.
“There are three or four organizations against whom we have received complaints. They are collecting swab samples without any authorization. Don’t entertain them. Please check government authorization on their papers and make sure the stamp is not fake,” Banerjee said.
The death of a 55-year-old bank employee from Naktala last week had blown the lid on a racket involving two contractual laboratory assistants at two big government hospitals in Kolkata and some youths, who posed as sample collection agents, duping suspected Covid patients with fake reports. Three persons were arrested.
Chief secretary Rajiva Sinha said, “We had two or three cases and they were identified and proper actions were taken against them.” Government sources said a multi-agency investigation was being carried out to nab the culprits. Some unaffiliated labs are carrying out tests without any authorization and similar cases were reported in Delhi. It should not happen here, said Sinha. “They are posing as pathologists, claiming to be agents of a particular lab. We are on a strict vigil,” he added.



Source link