Darjiling (D)

  • Male red pandas wait for mates

    A red panda in the Darjeeling zoo. File picture Darjeeling, July 24: John has just fathered two lovely red pandas in Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park and has more than one reason to feel proud, having fought off 11 other males to catch the attention of Sheetal, one of only two reproductive females in the zoo. The skewed sex ratio among the pandas is now beginning to worry the zoo authorities. "We have 15 pandas out of which 12 are males. We are not sure of the gender of the new ones as they were born as recently as July 6,' said A.K. Jha, the director of the zoo.

  • 3 elephants die of poisoning

    Marcus Dam KOLKATA: The authorities of tea gardens near the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in north Bengal have been asked by the State's wildlife authorities to control the spraying of chemical herbicides in the wake of the death of three elephants of poisoning within a span of 24 hours last week. The elephants, all females, were found dead on July 18 and 19 near the Simulbari tea estate in West Bengal's Sukna forest range in Darjeeling district. The wildlife authorities have ordered an inquiry into the incident.

  • Power, water off for Wattar

    CPM leaders in the Darjeeling hills continue to be at the receiving end of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's anger, K.B. Wattar from Bijanbari being the latest in the line of fire. Morcha supporters have been demonstrating in front of Wattar's house since yesterday, demanding that he either quit the CPM, which is against a separate state, or leave the hills. "The Morcha harps on democracy, but at the same time its members intimidate our leaders in the hills,' Bengal urban development minister and CPM MLA Asok Bhattacharya said here today.

  • Czechs remanded for smuggling insects

    Marcus Dam KOLKATA: Two Czech nationals, held for allegedly smuggling specimens of beetles and moths from the northern range of the Singalila National Park in Darjeeling district on June 22, were remanded to judicial custody by a local court at a special session on Wednesday after their pleas for bail were rejected for the second time. The insects were found in the possession of the two men, Peter Svacha and Emil Kucera

  • Lawyers on strike, scientist in jail

    Entomologist Petr Svacha, who was arrested for allegedly collecting insects from a Darjeeling forest, has to languish in jail. His bail plea could not even be moved because of a lawyers' strike to press for a Gorkhaland state. Czech national Svacha, 51, of the Academy of Sciences, Prague, and Emil Kucera, 52, were held held near Rimbik after forest officers caught them on June 22 with more than 200 beetles, butterflies and moths.

  • Hill civic body eyes Siliguri dump yard for waste disposal

    Civic authorities here are mulling approaching the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) for permission to use its open dump yard behind Don Bosco School on Eastern Bypass, as garbage accumulates on the streets of the hill town. Although the proposal looks impractical to implement given the distance of 65km between the two towns, what it does suggest is that the civic officials are desperate to find a solution to the garbage crisis that has been lingering for long. The row has also put at risk the health of thousands of people.

  • Panel thrust to water flow

    Darjeeling : The Bengal government has formed a high-level advisory committee to oversee the implementation of the Rs 55-crore Balasun supply scheme that is expected to solve the water shortage problem in Darjeeling town. "The committee has been entrusted with the job of reviewing the progress of work, suggesting measures for the timely commission of the project and coordinating with all agencies including the DGHC,' said Pranai Rai, the MLA from Darjeeling, who heads the panel.

  • Tea cost study to frame policies

    Siliguri: A five-member team from the Calcutta-based Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) is in north Bengal now to assess the cost involved in the cultivation of tealeaves and the production of made tea. "Assessing the costs incurred by the stakeholders of tea industry is essential while deciding on policies and schemes,' said Amal Roy Choudhury, the deputy director (plantations) of the Tea Board of India. "The team is here to determine separately the costs of production in the Terai, Dooars, and Darjeeling.'

  • Horses carry water project hopes

    Balasun river: Horses are proving to be as effective as heavy machinery in the hills of Darjeeling. Hydraulic excavators on crawler belts using air compressors to break huge boulders are working alongside ponies on the banks of the Balasun as the company executing the Darjeeling Water Supply Scheme tries to meet its December 2009 deadline. The Hyderabad-based construction company, Ramky Infrastructure Ltd, stumbled on the idea of using horses after they observed the local villagers.

  • Culling in hills to start from Sunday

    The Darjeeling district administration has decided to start culling in the Bijanbari-Pulbazar area, where the outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed, from Sunday. District magistrate Rajesh Pandey today held a meeting with other officials to work out the logistics of the operations.

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