PROJECT FAILURES: NBU water project scrapped

PROJECT FAILURES: NBU water project scrapped – improper preliminary study ?!!

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Siliguri, June 8: A rainwater harvesting project of the North Bengal University for which funds of more than Rs 7 lakh had been sanctioned by the state has been abandoned.

Under the project, a check dam was to be built across the Magurmari stream that passes through the varsity premises, to break its flow and store the excess water in a reservoir.

Now that the project has been shelved, a canal will be constructed to channelise the flow of the stream that often swells up after heavy rain.

The 20-acre plot of land behind Rabindra-Bhanu Mancha that was marked for the project will be used for other purposes.

“Several development work have been initiated by the varsity including constructing a girls’ hostel, adding another wing to the existing guesthouse and an academic staff college guesthouse. A centrally located plot of land will be required for these buildings. The plot marked for the rainwater project is quite suitable for the purpose,” said P.N. Basak, the joint chief engineer for NBU.

According to varsity sources, the rainwater harvesting project had received sanction from the state in 2008.

But it was shelved because of several reasons.

“The authorities had sent a proposal to the state government which gave its approval and sanctioned Rs 7, 77,353 in February 2008. However, when we reviewed the project it was found that there were chances that water stored in the reservoir might come in contact with the foundation of the nearby girls’ hostel building and damage it,” said Basak.

He added that the use of the stored water was not clearly mentioned in the proposal.

“It was not specified whether the stored water would be filtered and used for drinking purposes or for irrigation. At an executive council meeting in December 2008 it was decided that the project would be abandoned and we will take up other work in its place,” said Basak.

In 2009, a fresh proposal was sent to the state government for building a canal that would help to guide the flow of the Magurmari stream.

“The stream has a zigzag path and it swells up during heavy rains which causes the adjoining land to turn marshy. We have decided to channelise its course by constructing a canal. The state government has approved our project and sanctioned funds of Rs 14, 74, 628 for it. We have also been instructed to use the funds allocated for the rainwater harvesting project for constructing the canal. The work will start after the monsoons,” said Basak.

EDUCATION: SSC fails to fill up vacant posts – nothing new ?!!

From The Statesman

Kolkata, June 9, 2010, (SNS): Despite lowering the cut-off marks for the written test, the West Bengal Central School Service Commission has failed to fill up over 3,300 teaching posts in schools.

The commission today published a panel of 13,677 candidates against 17,041 vacancies in schools across the state. A total of 21,097 candidates who had cleared the written test, were called for the personal test and the final merit list was published today.

This year, only a handful of students of Mathematics and Biological Sciences managed to secure the requisite 40 per cent marks at the written test following which the commission was compelled to lower the cut-off marks to 30 per cent, while for candidates under the reserved category, marks was lowered to 20 per cent.

Mr Ranjit Basu, chairman of the commission said more seats would have been left vacant had the commission not lowered the cut-off marks.

He argued that a lower cut-off mark will not lower the academic standard. Most of the candidates who failed to secure 40 per cent marks in these two subjects had scored first class marks in both the undergraduate and postgraduate examinations, said Mr Basu.

Deliberating on the commission’s failure to fill up the teaching posts, Mr Basu said that dearth of candidates under the reserved category had left many seats vacant.

Many teaching posts in the Hindi medium, Urdu medium and Santhali medium schools have been left vacant due to the dearth of suitable candidates. This apart, it was difficult to find teachers for subjects like Science, Physical Education and Work Education, he added.

According to the data available from the commission, around 3,300 teaching posts have been lying vacant since the past two years. In 2008, the vacancy was 3,399 and in 2009 the vacancy was 3,367. This year, 3364 posts have been left vacant.

According to the norm, the seats that are left vacant in one year is carried forward to the next year. The counselling session for the empanelled (*?!!) candidates will be started from the first week of July.

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