The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The City Diary

CalTel tariff choice deadline extended

Calcutta Telephones has extended the time limit for subscribers to decide on their tariff plans. Chief general manager, Calcutta Telephones, S.P. Chakraborty, announced on Friday that the deadline for submitting options had been extended till May 25. The telecom utility had earlier announced that its 13-lakh subscribers would have to inform CalTel within May 15. “We had to push back the deadline after the communications ministry made a few changes in the tariff structure,’’ he said. According to senior CalTel officials, a large number of middle-class subscribers had opted for the Economy plan. But with the government increasing the number of monthly free calls from 30 to 50 in the Standard plan, it would be “the most attractive plan for the bulk of users”, they added. Telecom utility officials said many subscribers had decided on the plans before the rollback. Many of them called Calcutta Telephones after the revision, wanting to revert to the Standard plan. The chief general manager said subscribers could inform authorities of their option on the Internet or pen down their choice in a form being supplied with the telephone bill. “The telephone meter reading for May will be done on June 1. We will bill subscribers under the new plan,’’ he said. Chakraborty held a meeting on Friday to work out the modalities.

Parking offer for landlords

Mayor Subrata Mukherjee on Friday submitted a set of proposals to state municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya for changing some building rules in the CMC Act 1980. To solve parking problems in the city, the CMC is ready to offer height relaxation if private owners offer one or more floors apart from the basement and ground floor for public parking, the mayor said. The minister expressed keenness to implement this, but said he had to find out if the proposal was viable. There was another proposal to incorporate rules to consider the interest of original residents of gutted buildings while sanctioning its new building plan. The mayor also proposed to introduce an area-wise tax system in the city. The proposals, if accepted, must be passed in the Assembly. The minister and the mayor will jointly write to railway minister Nitish Kumar for integration of traffic dispersal systems with railway terminals or stations. Bhattacharya also spoke to the mayor on handing over of underground water reservoirs at Garfa and Behala. In addition, the CMC and the CMDA will spend Rs 16 crore jointly on water distribution lines to increase pressure of drinking water supply in south Calcutta, Bhattacharya said.

Polio target

The state health department has asked health officers to target up to 90 per cent booth coverage in the sub-national polio immunisation programme on June 1, director of health services Prabhakar Chatterjee said. In the last phase, booth coverage was about 70 per cent. Twenty-three polio cases have been detected in the state in 2003.

Monsoon plan

The State Level Crisis Management Committee on Friday met at Writers’ Buildings, to chalk out ways to deal with natural calamities in the coming monsoon. A state-level emergency medical team will be formed. The army and BSF have also been asked to help during an emergency.

Molestation charge

A technician of a private tuberculosis hospital’s X-ray unit in Karaya was arrested on charges of molesting a 13-year-old patient on Friday. According to police, the girl came to the hospital for an X-ray test. Soon after coming out from the X-ray room, she complained that Pradip Laha, the technician, had molested her. As news spread, the girl’s relatives’ beat up another technician, Purnima Das. Police registered a rioting case on the basis of a complaint lodged by Das.

Vessel launched

Yard 402 was re-named T. Trivandrum and launched into the Hooghly on Friday, at the Rajabagan dockyard. A.K. Mohapatra, additional secretary and financial adviser, Union ministry of shipping, was the chief guest. T. Trivandrum was the third vessel to be launched in six months, after D.B. Vogabati and P.T. Tuticorn.

Thumbs Up

To Indian Medical Association, Northwest Calcutta Branch, and Rotary International District 3290 for organising an awareness programme on SARS
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