Monthly Archives: December 2011
With 20112 first approaching, it’s time to look back at the year that was most eventful.
May 20:Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as the first woman chief minister of West Bengal heading a TMC-Indian National Conggress alliance government, ending the 34 years rule by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front on Friday (May 20).The oath of office and secrecy to Mamata was administered by Governor M K Narayanan on the Raj Bhawan (Governor House) lawns at 1:01pm local time.The swearing-in took place in the presence of 3200 invitees drawn from among the top names in politics, business and art and culture.
Sept 14: Nine persons were killed and 100 others injured when a speeding passenger train rammed into a stationary train at Malda in North Bengal, leading to derailment of five coaches.
November 24: Mallojula Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji, the man who controlled Maoist operations in West Bengal and other parts of Eastern India, was gun down in a massive security operation after a two-hour gun battle in Kushaboni forest in Jhargram in West Midnapore District.The Security personnel searched for Kishanji’s close aide Suchitra Mahato, wife of slain Maoist leader Sashadhar Mahato, who was with him during the operation and is believed to be injured in the encounter.
November 26:The body of slain Maoist leader and ideologue Koteswar Rao alias Kishanji was identified by Maoist sympathize rand poet Varavara Rao and Deepa, the daughter of Koteshwar Rao’s elder brother Anjayelu.
Dec 9:At least 92 people were killed, mainly due to suffocation, in a massive fire that broke out at the AMRI hospital in south Calcutta early on Friday.Firemen used ropes and ladders,brought out the dead and injured.According to police and eye witnesses, the fire broke out around 3.30 a.m.local time in the basement of the hospital and and quickly spread to the first and second floors.Around 25 fire engines had been rushed to the spot.6 persons arrested and license of the hospital where 73 persons died was canceled.
13 Dec:Illicit liquor deaths reaches 173 in Bengal. Excessive use of methanol, a poisonous substance had found in viscera from most of the bodies.People from about 10 villages in Mograhat of South 24 pgs district had drank the illicit liquor.75 people are still undergoing treatment at the Diamond Harbour Sub divisional Hospital, MR Bangur and Vidyasagar Hospital. The state government led by Mamata Banarjee announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family of the deceased. Experts believe that the state government should increase the number of incensed liquor shops to prevent the increasing of illicit liquor dens.
1773: Calcutta became the capital of India after Warren Hastings was appointed as governor-general.
1174: Postal department was formed.
1780: Horse racing was first introduced.
1780: Hicks’s Bengal Gazette, first Bengali newspaper founded by James Augustus Hickey.
1806: Town Hall was built.
1817: Hindu College was established.
1824: Sanskrit College
1835: Calcutta Medical College
1849: Native Female School (Bethune College)
1854: British government took over the Hindu College and renamed it as Presidency College.
1857: Calcutta University
1862: High court ( after Supreme Court was transferred to New Delhi)
1857 (5 July): Gas light was first introduced.
1874 (8 July): filtered water
1861-75: Underground drainage system.
1861: Footpath for pedestrians
1873: Horse drawn tram carriage
1876: Calcutta Municipal Corporation was formed.
1896: Motor Cars
1902 ( 9 December): Electric Tram
1921: Rick saw
1926: Radio Wave
1975:Calcutta Doordarshan (Television)
1986: Metro Rail
Illicit liquor deaths reaches 173 in Bengal. Excessive use of methanol, a poisonous substance had found in viscera from most of the bodies.People from about 10 villages in Mograhat of South 24 pgs district had drank the illicit liquor.75 people are still undergoing treatment at the Diamond Harbour Sub divisional Hospital, MR Bangur and Vidyasagar Hospital. The state government led by Mamata Banarjee announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family of the deceased. Experts believe that the state government should increase the number of incensed liquor shops to prevent the increasing of illicit liquor dens.
Political patronage, inaction of police, excise department and easy availability are the main reasons behind the mushrooming of illicit liquor dens in rural and urban areas of West Bengal. illicit liquor traders often bribe police and excise officials to run their their business. They often mix poisonous substance to increase their sale. Though police and excise demolished illicit liquor dens, people are skeptical about the long time effect.
Pics: Arun Lodh
At least 92 people were killed, mainly due to suffocation, in a massive fire that broke out at the AMRI hospital in south Calcutta early on Friday (Dec 9).Firemen used ropes and ladders.brought out the dead and injured. According to police and eye witnesses, the fire broke out around 3.30 a.m.local time in the basement of the hospital and and quickly spread to the first and second floors.Around 25 fire engines had been rushed to the spot.6 persons arrested and license of the hospital where 73 persons died was canceled.
Here are the time line of events that unfolded after the fire:
December 9:Eighty-eight patients died at AMRI Hospital choked to ddeath from an early morning fire.
The fire in the upper basement of an annex building of the private hospital of South Calcutta was spotted sometime between 2.15 and 2.30am local time, spreading smoke into the wards on the second, third and fourth floors through the air conditioned ducts.
According to media reports, nearly two hours later, at 4.08am local time, the fire brigade was informed by police who received a call from a relative of a patient on their emergency line but not from the hospital authority.
Local people from the nearby shanties alleged that when they tried to enter the hospital around 3am, they were prevented by the security guards of the hospitals. They climbed the wall and entered the hospital premises to save the trapped patients.
Mamata Banarjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, announced compensation for the families of the victims, arrest of the hospital’s owners and cancellation of its license. The hospital announces a compensation of Rs 5 lakh ($ 9400), the state government Rs 3 lakh ($5670) and the Prime Minister Rs 2 lakh ($ 3780) to the kin of the dead.
Hospital directors R.S. Goenka and his son Manish surrender along with S.K. Todi, his son Ravi, Prashant Goenka and Dayanand Agarwal.
Dec 10: An Alipore magistrate today sent six AMRI directors to 10 days in police custody. Alipore Bar Association prevented lawyers to defend the accused.
Two more patients died, rising the death toll to 92.
Dec 11:Investigation found that security guards of the hospital prevented slum dwellers from entering the premises to help the patients.
Dec 12: The team of fire services officers formed by the Bengal government to check safety measures at hospitals found that two reputed private hospital do not have any no Objection Certificate (NOC) to run the hospital.
Dec 13:Vice President of AMRI (Safety) Satyabrata Upadhyay and Sanjib Paul, assistant Manager ( Maintenance) have been arrested.
AMRI Hospital Dhakuria shut down their operation completely after Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee faced hostile employees inside the premises and a mob ransacked the premises.
Dec 14:According to Calcutta Municipal Corporation, more than 75 per cent of the nursing homes in Calcutta lack the mandatory approval of the fire department to operate.
Governor M.K. Narayanan met fire department officials at Governor’s house and expressed concern over the way safety norms were being violated.
The four-member fire safety audit committee visited private hospital and nursing homes found hazardous materials stored in the basement without adequate safety measures.
Dec 15: The state government named a former judge to probe the AMRI fire.
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Image Courtesy:Kosta Kostov