Kolkata Metro records highest-ever footfall in 34 years on sixth day of Durga Puja

The Kolkata Metro has recorded its highest-ever footfall of more than nine lakh passengers on Shashti, the sixth day of Durga Puja festival, railways said on Tuesday. Around 9.11 lakh passengers used the Kolkata Metro services on Monday. The Kolkata Metro has recorded its highest-ever footfall of more than nine lakh passengers on Shashti, the sixth day of Durga Puja festival, railways said on Tuesday. Around 9.11 lakh passengers used the Kolkata Metro services on Monday.

“This is the highest footfall recorded by the Kolkata Metro since its inception 34 years ago,” Kolkata Metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee said. The previous highest passenger count was 8.78 lakh on September 25 this year.She said that the residents of Kolkata are now pandal hopping using the metro as its alignment is such that it covers most of the big pujas in the city. “We have a handy tourist guide for passengers which will tell them which station they need to get off to see the pandals of their choice. It is in the form of a cut-out which they can carry in their pockets,” said Banerjee.

So, for the Bagbazar pandal, which is one of the most sought after pujas in the city and is completing 100 years this year, one needs to get down at Shobhabazar and for the much-touted Mohammad Ali Road pandal, which completed 50 years, one needs to get down at either Central station or Mahatma Gandhi Road station she said. The Kolkata Metro has run 300 services on Monday to cater the puja rush. It has scheduled 224 services on Saptmi, Ashtmi and Navmi during the puja.

The Kolkata Metro has taken all possible measures anticipating huge puja rush. Elaborate security arrangements have been made and medical personnel have been deployed at the stations, the spokesperson said. “The services being provided by the Kolkata Metro is being done with existing rakes and with existing personnel. The maintenance work is being done at night so we are basically working 24×7. General Manager, Kolkata Metro, P C Sharma has been monitoring the entire process and encouraging the staff,” she said.

Major fire breaks out in Kolkata’s Bagri market; 30 fire tenders rushed to spot;

Mamata Banerjee assures investigation

A massive fire broke out last night at a building in central Kolkata’s Bagri Market area. About 30 fire engines were trying to douse the fire in the congested area on Canning Street. There has been no injury as the fire broke out late in the night and no one was present.

Mayor Sovan Chatterjee visited the area early in the morning and oversaw firefighting efforts. “The fire broke out at 2.45 am. We are trying our best but firefighting operation is tough here because of the number of buildings,” he said.

The fire has been so massive that black smoke engulfed the whole area. Even after eight hours, firefighters were finding it difficult to to bring the blaze under control.

“As the area is very congested, we are finding it difficult to work. We are using hydraulic ladder and gas cutters to cut through the grills of the gates and small windows to enter the building,” a senior official was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

The fire started at ground floor of the five storied building and spread rapidly due to huge stock of inflammable articles, local media reported. The building, 71 Canning Street, houses several medicine shops, jewellery and cosmetics trading outlets.

There were complaints of fire engines reaching late to the spot.

Firefighters fear that if the flames could not be contained at the earliest, it may spread to nearby buildings. Kolkata Police’s disaster management group and civil defence unit was also helping the efforts to douse the fire.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while leaving for Europe trip, told reporters at the airport, “Nobody is trapped in the building. Also, no report of any casualty or injury has reached us.”

Traffic restrictions have also been imposed in the area due to the fire.

9 needles inserted into 14-yr-old Kolkata girl’s throat as ‘tantrik ritual’, removed

She was an adopted child to the couple who had lost their son.

 Doctors at state-run hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday removed nine needles inserted into the throat of a 14-year-old girl, a senior official of the medical establishment said.

The needles were stuck inside the throat of Aparupa Biswas, a resident of Krishnanagar of Nadia district, apparently by a tantrik and it took around three hours for a team of doctors to get those out.

Initially the doctors were of the opinion that the girl had swallowed the needles.

“But it was later found out that the needles were actually inserted inside her throat from outside as a part of some kind of tantrik ritual,” a senior doctor of the NRS Hospital, where she was treated, said.

The family members did not want to disclose the cause of the needles getting inside the girl’s throat, he said.Questioning the girl, doctors have come to know that she was an adopted child to the couple who had lost their son around three years ago, the doctor added.

“After their son’s death, there was a change in the girl’s behaviour. After that the couple started consulting a tantrik,” he said.She was an adopted child to the couple who had lost their son.The girl is out of danger but will be kept under observation, the doctor said adding that the psychological consultations will be taken for the girl.