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West Bengal

Kolkata evicts ecological refugees

Issue Date: Apr 11, 2012
Mahadev Mandal came with his family to Kolkata after the Aila super-cyclone hit Sundarbans in 2009. He works as a rickshaw-puller and is one among the 200 families in the squatter colony

Letters - March 31, 2012

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2012
Science restricted

See it’s easy

Author(s): Biplab Das
Issue Date: Mar 15, 2012
THERE is a ray of hope for millions of people in the country who are forced to drink water contaminated with high levels of arsenic and fluoride. Scientists in two different experiments have devised effective screening techniques to identify arsenic and fluoride in groundwater.

Burdened with bumper crop

Issue Date: Feb 29, 2012
document.write('Uttam Majumdar is unable to sell his 330,000 kg of paddy. He is under pressure from moneylenders from whom he had borrowed over `1 lakh at an interest rate of 60% a year (Photo: Sayantan Bera)'); LONG known as farmer friendly, West Bengal is now making headlines for farmers’ suicides. Reportedly 31 farmers, including landless farm labourers and small traders of agriculture produce, in the state took their lives between October last year and January.

Letters - February 29, 2012

Issue Date: Feb 29, 2012
Road to Hell

Shudder islands

Issue Date: Feb 15, 2012

Food authority backtracks

Issue Date: Feb 15, 2012
Six states and a union territory feed their people milk that does not meet the standards set by India’s food regulatory body at all. Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Daman & Diu are the “100 per cent non-conforming” states. In Delhi, 70 per cent of the samples failed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) test. Yet, the authority claims there is no danger in drinking the milk.

Letters - January 31, 2012

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2012
Safe or unsafe?

Wealth of forests withheld

Issue Date: Sep 15, 2011
Some 40 years ago an experiment began in Arabari forest range of West Bengal that caught the fancy of the nation. The forest authorities roped in the people living in the area in regenerating degraded forests. In return they offered them a share in forest resources and revenue. It worked. Two decades later the Centre adopted the Arabari model to start the Joint Forest Management programme. The response was such that today it involves 25 million people.

Paan loses flavour

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2011
The way paan is associated with India, a Chaurasia is associated with paan. But both the equations are changing, said Lalta Prasad Chaurasia, spitting blood red betel juice into an elegantly designed brass spittoon. The 58-year-old is among the last generation of Chaurasia farmers in Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh who have witnessed betel leaves yield a fortune. Both betel leaves and the Chaurasias are an integral part of Mahoba’s history. The district is known for its betel gardens and the Chaurasias are India’s exclusive community devoted to betel farming. But they are now finding it difficult to sustain the family occupation.
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