The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The City Diary

Showers ahead, warns Met office

The weatherman on Friday ruled out the possibility of heavy rain during the rest of the Puja days. “The monsoon is yet to withdraw and so, we cannot rule out some showers. However, there is little chance of widespread heavy showers, as the monsoon is not as vigorous now over south Bengal. It is expected to withdraw in the next six or seven days,” said officials at the regional meteorological centre in Alipore . he weather office did not record any rain at Alipore till Friday evening but, officials said, showers had been reported from the city’s northern fringes, like Belghoria and Barrackpore, and parts of Hooghly in the west. “However, pandal-hoppers need not worry, as much as the rain will be isolated, mainly due to local formation of clouds. There is no depression in the Bay of Bengal,” an official said.

Twin fires at pandals

Twin fires broke out in adjacent localities. There were a blaze at the Bosepukur Sitala Mandir puja pandal, at Kasba, on Friday evening. Earlier in the afternoon, a small fire broke out at Ekdalia Evergreen Club’s pandal. At Kasba, a temporary structure adjacent to the pandal, housing construction material, was damaged in the flames. No injuries were reported. At mayor Subrata Mukherjee’s pandal, volunteers doused the flames before the fire brigade reached the spot. No damage was caused.

Beverage blast

Three persons were injured after a coffee-vending machine exploded at the Santosh Mitra Square puja pandal, near Sealdah. The wounded were released from hospital after first-aid.

Train dacoits held

A train dacoity was foiled and five members of a gang arrested at Uttarpara station on Thursday night. Officials of Belur Government Railway Police (GRP) said seven armed dacoits assembled at the station to rob the passengers of a local train at around 11 pm. Acting on a tip-off, GRP personnel surrounded the gang. However, two goons managed to escape. Shyamal Roy, Rabi Kanjilal, Ratan Mali, Raja Das and Umapada Mondal were arrested. Officials said there were several murder charges against them, adding that Shyamal is the leader of the gang. Two pipeguns, bullets and two daggers were seized.

Puja site dispute

Police tried to stop a puja organised by Tarun Sangha, at Deganga, near Barasat, after the owner of the plot on which the pandal had been erected complained that the organisers had not sought his permission before organising the puja. The club, however, sought the intervention of the district administration to continue the puja. Officials said no final decision had yet been taken at the administrative level.

Hawker roadblock

Hawkers blocked Arabinda Sarani, near Arabinda Setu, on Friday afternoon, to protest an eviction drive. The blockade lasted for nearly half an hour after 3 pm, throwing traffic out of gear, police said.

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TO LIONS CLUB OF CALCUTTA SANJEEVANI AND SHRADHA EYE CARE for organising a free eye operation camp for 200 people

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