Kolkata, Nov 5 (IANS): If you have an eight-inch telescope, you can catch it! A 55-million tonne asteroid, jet black in appearance and longer than an aircraft carrier, will fly past the earth, getting closer even than the moon on November 9.
The asteroid 2005 YU55, discovered on December 28, 2005 and a 400-metre piece of rock, will fly by the Earth at 5.15 a.m. Its closest distance from the earth will be around 3,25,000 km, which is lesser than the average earth-moon distance of 3,84,000 km, says Debiprosad Duari, director, Research and Academic, MP Birla Planetarium, Kolkata. He said scientists all over the world have been busy in calculating its possible path, as it zooms past the earth. The asteroid can be observed through an eight inch telescope.
“Although classified as a potentially hazardous object, 2005 YU55 poses no threat of an earth collision over at least the next 100 years. However, this will be the closest approach to date by an object this large that we know about in advance,” Duari said in a statement.
The next time a known asteroid this large will come this close to earth will be in 2028 when (153814) 2001 WN5 passes at a distance of 2,48,000 km from the earth.
According to astronomers who are observing the approaching piece of rock, the 55 million tonne weight asteroid is jet black in appearance, spherical in shape, is 1,300 feet long and makes a full rotation in roughly 18 hours. It goes round the sun once in 1.22 years.
“On its approach towards the earth, the gravitational influence of the asteroid will have no detectable effect on anything on earth, including our planet’s tides or tectonic plates,” he said.
Scientists are planning to make detailed observations of the approaching member of the solar system. During tracking, scientists will use the radio antennae at Goldstone and Arecibo to bounce radio waves off the space rock.
NASA scientists hope to obtain images of the asteroid as fine as about 7 feet (2 meters) per pixel. This should reveal a wealth of details about the asteroid’s surface features, shape, dimensions and other physical properties, Duari said.
Source: Assam Tribune
Monideepa Banerjee, Updated: October 28, 2011 13:37 IST
Kolkata: There have been more more infant deaths in Kolkata’s BC Roy Hospital since Thursday night, taking the total death toll this week to 17. Medical Superintendent at the government-run hospital said that all the four infants were less than one-month-old.
Three of them were low-weight babies while the fourth had septicemia and meningitis.
Angry parents blocked a road outside the hospital in North Kolkata on Wednesday, accusing the hospital of negligence.
“I was requesting the doctors to please come and have a look at my child but they didn’t come,” recalled a young father who has lost his son.
“I thought now my child is surely dying so I started crying. That’s when eight nurses came to see my child and started putting pressure on his chest, but they were putting pressure on his dead body,” he added.
The state health department has also given a clean chit to the hospital, and said that there is no evidence of medical negligence.
Doctors at the BC Roy Post-Graduate Institute of Paediatric Sciences claim that on an average, the hospital does see five to six deaths a day and that most of the babies who were admitted here were in critical condition. They also acknowledge that the hospital, which provides free care to low-income families, needs more labs and machines for ultra-sound scans and x-rays.
In June, the deaths of 18 babies in 48 hours at the same hospital provoked angry demonstrations, and had led to a visit from Chief Minister. An inquiry conducted on the orders of the government absolved the hospital of medical negligence, and asked for new facilities to be added immediately.
Not much has changed. A Special Newborn Care unit was under construction in June, but has still not been completed. The equipment ordered for this department has arrived but is in storage since the building is still not ready.
A CT scan facility and a blood storage unit have yet to be added.
When asked why the hospital comes across as a repeat offender, medical superintendent DK Pal said, “Many gadgets and equipment have been given to us for proper care but again if the referral number of patients are coming to a greatly high level, and they are in a critically ill state, in spite of our new gadgets and equipment, we fail to revive all of them.”
Read more at: NDTV
KOLKATA, Nov 6 – Former West Bengal Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray tonight died at his south Kolkata residence after a protracted illness, reports PTI.
He was 90 and survived by his wife Maya Ray.
“Ray was ill for quite a long time and had been on dialysis since March. The end came about 6:50 pm,” his confidential assistant M Kaviraj told PTI.
Ray, a close friend of former chief minister late Jyoti Basu, was elected as the chief minister in 1972.
The Congress veteran, a former Punjab Governor, had also served as the Indian Ambassador to the US.
A confidant of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the 70s, he was appointed union minister (in-charge of West Bengal affairs) by her in 1971.
Ray was a grandson of revolutionary freedom fighter Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. – PTI
Source: The Assam Tribune
SAINTHIA (WB), July 19 – 62 people were killed and over 92 passengers injured when a train in high speed tore through the rear of another at the Sainthia station in Bhirbhum district of West Bengal, after it apparently overshot the signal in the small hours of the day, reports PTI.
Driver M C Dey and assistant driver N K Mandal of the Sealdah-bound Uttarbanga Express, which collided with the Ranchi-bound Vananchal Express, were among the dead in the accident for which railways are not ruling out sabotage as the cause.
The guard of the Vananchal Express A Mukherjee also died in the mishap which was so severe that the roof and the sides of one of the compartments mounted the road overbridge across the tracks in the station, 191 kms from Kolkata, in Eastern Railway.
A part of another compartment of the Vananchal Express split and fell on the road along the tracks after being thrown over the bridge.
“A total of 60 persons, including three railway employees, have lost their lives in the accident when three rear coaches including one luggage van and two unreserved general second class coaches of the Vananchal Express were affected,” an Eastern Railway release said here.
The accident occurred at 2:00 am when the New Coochbehar-Sealdah Uttarbanga Express came on the same track and rammed into the Bhagalpur-Ranchi Vananchal Express which was leaving platform number four at Sainthia station.
Eastern Railway General Manager V N Tripathi did not rule out sabotage, which Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee hinted this morning when she said “we have doubts about the cause of the accident, the second in West Bengal in two months”.
The General Manager said the train was in speed and “what caused this we will have to find out. The driver is a very good driver and we are also puzzled”.
Asked whether sabotage could be behind the accident, he said, “Possibly. Nothing could be ruled out”.
Though the railways were hesitant to come out with the reason for the accident, the second in two months in West Bengal after the Jyaneshwari Express disaster that claimed 148 lives, an apparent overshooting of the signal by the driver of the Uttarbanga Express could be the reason behind this.
Eastern Railway sources in Kolkata and Railway Board sources in Delhi said the Uttarbanga Express, which has a scheduled stop at Sainthia, was running at a high speed, overshot the signal and ploughed into the Vananchal Express.
The scheduled arrival and departure of Uttarbanga Express at Sainthia was 1.38 am and 1.39 am. It was not clear why the train, which was to halt at the station, was at a high speed.
The engine of the Uttarbanga Express, which was to stop at the station, telescoped into the rear of the Vananchal Express.
The affected bogies have been detached and the trains left for their destinations.
The Railway Minister announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs five lakh each for the kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh for grievously injured and Rs 25,000 for the other injured. Employment for one of the members of the victims’ families will be given in railways, she said.
Railways have ordered a probe by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (eastern circle).
The hand of Maoists is suspected in the May 28 Jyaneshwari Express disaster following which a number of Maoists have been arrested.
Union Home Ministry has despatched five teams of National Disaster Relief Force comprising 140 personnel to assist in the rescue and relief operations. Three teams are already at the spot and the rest two will be reaching soon.
Heavy-duty gas cutters were brought from Panagarh to extricate bodies trapped in the mangled coaches of Vananchal Express.
“The National Disaster Management forces, including the BSF, and police are extricating bodies from the severely damaged coaches at the Sainthia station,” West Bengal Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh told this news agency.
Singh said that there was a scarcity of blood in the Suri and Sainthia hospitals where the injured were taken to.
“The police are arranging blood from the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital and are also looking for donors to meet the scarcity of blood,” the DGP said.
Eastern Railways said rescue operations were proceeding on a war-footing and three relief trains, including medical vans, reached the site from Rampurhat, Burdwan and Asansol.
The first relief train with a medical van reached the site at 3:30 am and immediately started rescue operations, it said.
Trains were being run through the up line, though the down line was still blocked.
Other than cancellation of Malda Town-Howrah intercity Express, Sealdah-Rampurhat Intercity Express and Howrah-Rampurhat Express, the Kanchenjungha Express, Ganadevta Express, Darjeeling Mail, Padatik Express, Jamalpur Express, Kanchenkanya Express, Gaya-Howrah Express, Varanasi-Sealdah Express, Saraighat Express have been diverted via the Naihati-Azimganj route.
Source: The Assam Tribune
DARJEELING, July 17 – A day after news reports revealed that police has evidence of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s involvement in the murder of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Madan Tamang on May 21, political parties have demanded that the West Bengal Government take immediate action against the killers.
It may be recalled that on Thursday, The Indian Express, Kolkata Edition had reported that official intercepts of telephone conversations the day Tamang was attacked, pointed to the complicity of top GJM leaders. A voice verification had identified the callers as GJM president Bimal Gurung, general secretary Roshan Giri and some local leaders. A few local leaders named in the FIR filed by ABGL are now absconding.
The intercepts showed Giri was not only aware of the attack but had given detailed instructions not to let Tamang, considered the moderate voice of opposition in the Darjeeling Hills, hold the public meeting.
Reacting to the report, a number of political parties said the State Government must act now if it has to restore the rule of law and establish its credibility in the hills.
Dawa Sherpa, working president of the All Bengal Gorkha League who joined the party after Tamang was killed, said the police should immediately arrest the leaders whose telephone conversations have been intercepted. It is a clinching evidence of their involvement in the crime, he said.
During Question Hour in the West Bengal Assembly on Thursday, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee reiterated that the killers of Tamang have fled the country and are hiding in a neighbouring country. “But we will definitely get them and bring them here for justice,” Bhattacharjee had said. Asked why the government was not acting on the evidence of phone intercepts, Home Secretary Samar Ghosh refused to comment.
RB Rai of the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists said the government should come with an impartial and thorough inquiry in light of the new evidence.
The news about the telephone intercepts had spread in the Hills through word of mouth. Several political leaders from Darjeeling alleged that all copies of The Indian Express have been lifted by the police in Siliguri before it reached the Hills.
Source: The Assam Tribune
Kolkata, July 6 (PTI) All police stations and CRPF camps in the three Maoist-hit districts of West Bengal have been put on high alert and Railway Protection Force has been asked to keep vigil on trains and tracks ahead of tomorrow’s 48-hour Bharat bandh called by ultras.
“Security has been beefed up in the Maoist-hit districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia with police stations and CRPF camps put on high alert,” West Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh told PTI.
Asked if there would be deployment of extra forces in the area, Singh ruled out the possibility, but said the existing forces had been kept on high alert to prevent any sabotage attempt.
West Midnapore SP Monoj Verma said Maoists were out to take revenge for the death of their top leader and their party’s poliburo member Azad.
Kolkata, July 5 (PTI) Normal life was thrown out of gear in the city today with air, rail and road services disrupted due to the Bharat Bandh called by Left and BJP-led NDA to protest hike in fuel prices.
Though metro rail services were operating, long distance train services were hit and many trains were stopped at various stations.
At the NSC Bose International Airport, only Air India operated its flights since morning. Five domestic flight including Kolkata-Delhi and Kolkata-Mumbai had taken off besides the Kolkata-Singapore international flight. However, private airlines did not operate their flights, airport sources said.
In the city, roads wore a deserted look in the absence of any traffic. Shops and most of the markets were closed.
This was the second bandh in the state after the hike in price of petro products.
Kolkata, July 1 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court today rejected the bail prayer of Haldiram Bhujia owner Prabhu Shankar Agarwal who was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to murder a tea stall owner whose shop came in the way of a food plaza the dry snacks baron was building.
A division bench comprising Justice S P Talukdar and Justice M K Sinha rejected the bail prayer of Agarwal who is in jail since he was awarded life imprisonment by a fast track court on January 29.
Agarwal’s counsel Bikash Bhattacharya submitted the dispute was civil in nature and that he was already in possession of the piece of land in front of the upcoming plaza in the city’s business district Burrabazar.
Kolkata, Jun 30 (PTI) A jawan of joint-security forces was critically injured today when Maoists fired at a patrol party on routine combing operations at Birihari forest area in West Midnapore district on the first day of two-day Naxal- sponsored bandh.
Ajay Gupta, a jawan of assistant sub-inspector rank, was rushed to Midnapore medical college hospital in a serious condition, police said.
Security reinforcements were rushed to the area to flush out the Maoists, they said.
Security has already been tightened at all CRPF camps and posts in the Maoist-dominated Jangalmahal area after the Naxal attack that killed 26 CRPF personnel yesterday in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district.
The shutdown called by the Maoists against alleged police atrocities has seriously affected life in Jangalmahal area comprising West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts.
Though trains were plying, surface transport came to a halt in the area, they said.
Kolkata, June 29 (PTI) Over 5,000 rounds of .315 cartridges, possibly meant for the Maoists, were found in a car after it was intercepted by police for violating traffic rules near Shovabazar Metro Railway station here.
A traffic sergeant on a motorcycle stopped the car bearing a Bihar registration number yesterday at Jatindra Mohan Avenue for jumping a red light and asked for the papers, police said today.
When one of the occupants of the car alighted, the driver sped off with the traffic sergeant chasing it, police said, adding the man who had got down fled from the spot.
The sergeant caught up with the car and managed to stop it, as two others in it fled, the sources said.
A search of the car revealed 5000 rounds of .315 bore ammunition, they said, which was possibly meant for the Maoists.