Feat for Kolkata port
Kolkata port handled 63.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2018-19, the highest volume that it has ever handled. Last year, the volume of goods was 57.886 million tonnes. “Two floating cranes were installed near the port which will unload shipments from larger ships and then move the cargo using barges to take them to their destination,’’ said Kolkata Port Trust chairman Vinit Kumar said. “The Kidderpore docks are handling containers.” Union Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu and consul general of Nepal in Kolkata Eaknarayan Aryal were present at the meeting.
Salary hike at a loss
The state government issued an order announcing that college and university teachers would be paid according to the Seventh Central Pay Commission’s recommendations from January. An official of the West Bengal higher education department said the order was issued on December 30. The order dashed the hope that the raise would be effective from January, 2016, when the Centre had notified implementation of the recommendation. Last year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had made it clear that the raise would be effective from January, 2020 owing to a financial crunch. Several teachers’ associations in the eastern state had petitioned the education department to reconsider its decision but to no avail.
Traffic cops in a fix
The Tallah Bridge is unlikely to be shut down from Saturday night because the police are yet to firm up a diversion plan. Currently, buses and trucks are barred from using the 57-year-old bridge because of the precarious condition of the bridge. Once it is shut down for demolition, cars will also need an alternative route. The police are trying to find an alternative route that will not trigger huge snarls. If cars are forced to take long detours through congested roads, fares will go up and commuters will not be able to reach their destinations on time, said a police officer, explaining the dilemma.
Building norms simplified
Construction of a building up to two-storey high on a plot measuring 200 sq m or less can start without an approval from the municipal corporation, a civic body official said. Earlier, Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim said the necessary notification and amendment to rules will be done so that the benefits can be availed by January end. A plot owner can avail the benefit if the building is being constructed for personal accommodation only. In such circumstances, the structure cannot be used either for commercial purposes or split into apartments and sold later. Licensed civil engineers will be empowered to sanction the plan.
Our correspondent in West Bengal