News Flash – 20 November 2019

National News



4 Held for ATM Frauds



Bengal Police on Tuesday busted an international gang of fraudsters which stole “a few crores” by skimming ATM cards of nearly 2,000 people across the country, reports Sanjib Chakraborty. Four foreigners two Turkey nationals and two Bangladeshis were picked up from two hideouts in Belgharia in the suburbs of Kolkata. Acting on a tip-off from Assam Police, a team raided a house in Belgharia and arrested the two Turkish men. “They had been staying in a rented house for six months with fake IDs,” an officer said.



Three-Year-Old’s Dengue Death Spooks Lake Town


Kolkata: A day after the death of a three-year-old boy from Lake Town’s Ward 30 from dengue, the area remained under the fear of the deadly fever. Barely a month ago, another dengue death was reported from Ward 29. Barely 50 metres from Meera Tower, where three-year-old Aharshi Dhar lived, stagnant water was found on a plot of land where construction is underway. The water got accumulated in the space dug for laying the foundation of a building before the piling work began. This has made the plot a potential breeding ground for dengue spreading mosquitoes. “There are several such examples in the area that are clearly violating the basic anti-dengue measures. We tried to alert the civic authority and spread awareness among the locals. But our pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears,” said Shakti Prasad Pal, a resident of Meera Tower. “There is a vacant plot with a number of puddles behind our apartment. It had grown marshy and turned into a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Municipal workers cleared it on Tuesday morning. But the damage has been done. We lost a child,” Pal said. According to Elizabeth Dey, a resident of Block A, Lake Town, locals are scared now. “We are keeping all the doors and windows closed throughout the day. We also use mosquito repellents daily.



Despite the fact that the deadly fever is refusing abate in the area, I am not sure if the civic authority is taking any concrete step to end the menace,” she said. Ward 30 Manas Ranjan Roy felt that the 15-acre plot, which houses the office and a hostel of the ministry of labour, can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. “We have asked the department to clean up the bush inside. We are ready to clean it up for them if they want. But we cannot force entry into the place,” Roy said. On Tuesday, garbage, allegedly thrown by locals, was seen dumped along the outer wall of the plot. “Around 50 students stay in the hostel. Apart from that, a few employees live in the quarters on the campus. Nobody has had dengue fever in past few years,” an employee said, brushing aside any allegation of negligence. A section of locals, pointed out the water at the Lake Town swimming pool. “We have asked the civic authority to keep an eye on that. Moreover, there are a few open vats in the vicinity that are sources of mosquito-related problems,” Pal said. Sharan Pal Singh, another resident of Block A, said people have to stop throwing garbage out in the open. “You will often find garbage piled up near the lake opposite the residential area. They do not even use a garbage bin and throw the waste by the lake,” Singh said.



Hi-Tech Heat, Smoke Alarms in E-W Coaches


Kolkata: After three rounds of service trials and the 10-day failure drills, East-West Metro has inched another step closer towards providing a safe commute. The rakes are being equipped with the advanced “heat-and-smoke detectors”. In India, only Delhi Metro’s Phase III rakes sport this facility, an official said. “As a fallout of all these trials conducted over the last one month, this major haul in fire safety is being introduced to prevent mishaps on East-West Metro trains,” said an official. “The system can typically detect smoke before it is visible to the naked eye, raise an alarm and extinguish even the hint of flame immediately,” he said. There are electrical panels inside the hi tech East-West Metro coaches which could lead to fire. The heat sensors in the detectors will react to any change in temperature in these cables. “The sensors in the detectors will know even before the fire actually breaks and action can be taken accordingly. The high sensitivity heat and smoke detection system consists of a central detection unit which draws air through a network of pipes to detect smoke. The unique feature of the temperature sensing system is that it provides a continuous temperature profile along the length of the cable and alert the motorman accordingly,” said an engineer. The rakes manufactured for the East-West Metro by Bangalore based BEML Ltd had pre-installed CCTV cameras, but this advanced safety feature wasn’t there.



Keeping in mind the smoke-related disruptions in the north-south line, Metro Railway Kolkata, which runs the corridor and is now gearing to operate the new Metro as well, came up with this last-minute feature to renew fire safety measures in Kolkata’s Line II. The incident in December last year, when 42 passengers fell ill as one of the air-conditioned north-south coaches caught fire between Rabindra Sadan and Maidan stations has been an eye-opener for the authorities. Passengers were forced to smash their way through the windows and at least two of them suffered fractures. The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) had then recommended fire detectors for the state-of-the-art East-West Metro. For now, the upgraded fire safety equipment will be installed in five BEML rakes identified for the first phase of commercial run. The detectors will be commissioned in all East-West Metro trains eventually. East-West Metro’s elevated 5km stretch between Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium has been going through a series of trials in the run-up to its launch. Along with the fire safety enhancement, the section’s the public address system (PAS), which had showed some glitches during dummy runs, is also being upgraded. “The software of the PAS is being upgraded to include improved speech intelligibility, messaging promptness and sharper on-screen portrayal of announcements,” said an official.

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