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https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/sports/bengal-enters-first-ranji-trophy-final-in-13-years/article30970521.ece

Bengal, who won their previous Ranji title during Sourav Ganguly’s debut season way back in 1989-90, had lost to Mumbai by 132 runs in their last final appearance in 2007.
Mukesh Kumar ran through Karnataka’s second innings with a career-best six-wicket haul as Bengal hammered their star-studded opponents by 174 runs to enter their first Ranji Trophy final in 13 years here on Tuesday.

The low-profile pacer, who had dismissed India regular KL Rahul in Karnataka’s first innings, became the hero in the second essay with his 6/61 as Bengal took less than two hours to dismiss Karnataka on day four.

Karnataka’s run chase
Resuming their monumental chase of 352 at 98 for three, Karnataka lost their remaining seven wickets for 79 runs in 16.3 overs. The penultimate day’s proceedings lasted just 115 minutes after which the hero-of-the-day Mukesh Kumar was seen carried on his shoulders by Akash Deep.

Bengal, who won their previous Ranji title during Sourav Ganguly’s debut season way back in 1989-90, had lost to Mumbai by 132 runs in their last final appearance in 2007.

Bengal will face the winners of Gujarat and Saurashtra clash, underway in Rajkot, in the final from March 9 and it will be an away match for them.

Bengal also halted a third treble bid by Karnataka who recently were crowned the domestic one-day (Vijay Hazare Trophy) and T20 (Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy) champions. Karnataka’s last treble had come in 2014-15 when they had achieved the feat twice on the trot.

Mukesh Kumar, who had previous best figures of 6/62, looked at his ominous best taking five wickets in just 60 balls with an imperious spell that read 9-4-28-5.

He opened his account in the third over of the day with India batsman Manish Pandey (12) edging it to Shreevats Goswami behind the stumps.

Then in his next over he dismissed K V Siddharth (0) and S Sharath (0) off successive deliveries to snuff out any revival hopes by heavyweights Karnataka.

First the inform Siddharth fell to an away going delivery and was caught by skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran at the slip, and on the next ball Mukesh bolwed an inswinger to trap the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Talented 19-year-old Karnataka batsman Devdutt Padikkal, who was season’s leading run-getter in white ball cricket, was the lone crusader as Karnataka battled to avoid a third semifinal defeat in a row.

Padikkal, who came in at No 3 to accommodate Rahul at the top, hit seven elegant boundaries but Mukesh had his say to dismiss the batsman en route to his fourth five-wicket haul from 21 first-class matches.

Krishnappa Gowtham (22) and Abhimanyu Mithun counter attacked Bengal with a quick 24-run stand for the eighth wicket but it only delayed the inevitable with first innings hero Ishan Porel breaking the partnershi.

Gowtham tried to smash Porel’s widish delivery over the off-side region, only to be caught by substitute Shreyan Chakraborty.

And what followed was a noble gesture by Bengal’s man-of-the-match Anustup Majumdar, who had turned it around for the home side with his unbeaten 149 in the first innings. Put in, Bengal were 67/6 but Majumdar’s second successive century took Bengal to a match-winning 312.

Known for his unique celebrations, the 21-year-old Porel, who is the youngest member of the side, was given a shoe-shine polish by 35-year-old Majumdar, the seniormost member showing the camaraderie in the side.

Thereafter it was just a matter of time before Akash Deep (2/6) cleaned up the big-hitting Abhimanyu Mithun (38) to complete the victory.

Ishan Porel, who grabbed a five-wicket haul in the first innings, took 2/58 that included the prized-scalp of Rahul with peach of an inswinger on Monday.

Playing without the suspended pacer Ashok Dinda, their leading wicket taker for last eight seasons, the three-pronged Bengal pace attack once again was up for task, taking all the 20 wickets on offer.

Brief Scores
Bengal 312 and 161. Karnataka 122 and 177; 55.3 overs (Devdutt Paddikkal 62; Mukesh Kumar 6/61). Bengal won by 174 runs.
 

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https://telanganatoday.com/63-increase-in-women-travelling-within-india-oyo

Hospitality unicorn OYO Hotels & Homes has witnessed a 63 per cent increase in bookings by women travelling in different corners of the country between the January 2019 – February 2020 time period, the company said on Friday.

According to the company, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai emerged as the top five cities booked by women travellers in the 14 month time period.


Interestingly, of the total bookings made by women travellers, 19.7 per cent were solo and 80.3 per cent constituted more than one guest.

“In the past few years, we have witnessed an increase in the number of women travellers in the country for both leisure as well as professional commitments. It is also interesting to see growth in bookings for Dehradun, Mysore and Lonavala showcasing the growing preference for exploring non-metro locations,” said Harshit Vyas, Chief Business Officer, OYO Hotels & Homes – India.

“At OYO, this is an opportunity for us to build offerings that cater to women travellers and their loved ones and offer them quality living spaces at affordable prices, at great locations and above all offer a world-class hospitality experience,” Vyas added.

The company also revealed that women preferred booking their accommodation via the OYO app as app bookings were 102 times more than desktop bookings.

According to the report, Delhi, was the most popular during the festive season as it emerged at the most booked city during Diwali and Holi 2019.

Everybody’s favourite holiday destination, Goa topped the chart when it came to the most booked beach destination, however, Dehradun closely followed by Mysore and Lonavala were unique hill destinations that women travellers explored in 2019.
 

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B V Doshi's 1st skyscraper to come up in Kolkata

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/b-v-doshis-1st-skyscraper-to-come-up-in-kolkata/articleshow/74456368.cms

AHMEDABAD: A community-living space encased in green, and designed for the middle-income group, is set to bloom in the skies.

The project is being conceived by B V Doshi, who has created several landmarks of community living. The 31-storey Kolkata project will be his first skyscraper. Doshi, the first Indian ever to win the Pritzker prize - considered the Nobel of architecture - is the protege of the legends of the field, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn.

Doshi's vision of vertical community spaces with hanging gardens may become a model for others. "It will be a tower with gardens. I think it will be the first of its kind," Doshi told TOI. In his acclaimed works, he has avoided the trappings of glitzy, fanciful designs. He has also eschewed the so-called iconic structures that end up being a single-image brand. His work has been "instrumental in shaping the discourse of architecture throughout India and internationally", according to the citation of the Hyatt Foundation, which awarded the Pritzker to Doshi in 2018. "I would not do dumb, dead towers. I would rather animate them with green gardens and constantly moving shadows," Doshi said. In an earlier interview, he had said that he was unable to connect with the style and purpose of many skyscrapers we see around us today. He had, however, said that he was open to taking up any vertical project that promoted community living.

The Kolkata project gives him the space to bring his ideas to fruition. Doshi's firm Vastu Shilpa Consultants (VSC) has been chosen for the project by a private firm. At a time when many renowned architects in the country are designing towers for rich clients, Doshi's work is aimed at the middle class.
 

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One of the general complaints is that West Bengal doesn't have that many million plus cities. Officially there are Kolkata, Howrah and Asansol.

For whatever reason, there are dozens of municipalities next to each other which ideally should be merged into one Municipal Corporation for efficiency and also a municipal corporation census unit.

It looks like Barrackpore will become a Municipal Corporation sometime in the near future by merging the municipalities of Kanchrapara, Halisahar, Naihati, Bhatpara, Garulia, Uttar Barrackpore, Barrackpore and Titagarh. I looked at the census 2011 population and it comes to 1,345,900. So there you go, you have one more million plus city coming up in West Bengal soon.
So in near future Kolkata metro region will have six Corporations

Kolkata Corporation
Saltlake Corporation
Howrah Corporation
Barrackpore Corporation
Chandanagar Corporation
NKDA (In future it will emerge as a corporation)
Is it official? Do you have a map?
 

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Did people realize that there were so many trees in the city?

'City devastated, give us time, will bring it to normal'

The city wore a battered look on Thursday after super Cyclone Amphan, the strongest to hit the coast of Bengal after 1999, leaving thousands of uprooted trees and lampposts and scores of people homeless and at several dead.

The cyclone that hit Kolkata on Wednesday evening has uprooted more than 8,000 trees and blocked traffic movement in main thoroughfares. There was not a single road, lane or bylane that was not affected. "This is an unprecedented situation, but we will have to restore normalcy at the earliest. Our main focus now is to remove the uprooted trees from the main thoroughfares and normalise traffic movement, give us time and we will bring life back to normal," said Firhad Hakim, Chairman of the board of administrators', who visited the Esplanade area on Thursday morning. He said that all the drainage pumps were working and all the roads will be free from accumulated water.

KMC's workers of solid waste management department swam into action from early Thursday morning to remove the trees and by afternoon the traffic movements along Sarat Bose Road, Chittaranjan Avenue, Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, Harish Mukherjee Road, Shyambazar Five Point Crossing, Bhupen Bose Road became normal. The pace of conservancy workers intensified after the city experienced sunshine at around 2:30 pm. Senior officials of solid waste management said that by Thursday morning life in city will be nearly normal. Rabindra Sarabor Lake and its neighbourhood was the worst victim of Amphan. 300 trees inside Rabindra Sarabor Lake, that include Krishna Chura, Radha Chura, Kodom, Bokul, Banyan, Bottle Brush were uprooted.

The 2 km stretch from Golpark to Mudiali stood silent witness to the devastation. All the trees on the stretch got uprooted, along with the stretch between Southern Avenue - Sarat Bose Road crossing to the Lake Gardens Railway Station approach Road. The KMC deployed electric cutter machine to cut the uprooted trees and heavy-duty pay-loaders were also deployed to clear the road. Senior Civic officials of Parks and Squares said that it would be difficult to replace the trees that got uprooted. Most of these trees are more than 50-year-old and used to provide shelter to the birds. In Rabindra Sarobor Lake alone more than 200 birds lost their lives.

The city received 248.6 mm rainfall in the past 24 hours.

Storm strikes 270-year-old Great Banyan Tree; Indian Botanic Garden ravaged

Cyclone Amphan did not spare the 270-year-old Great Banyan Tree in the Indian Botanic Garden in Shibpur, Howrah.

Wednesday’s cyclone ravaged its old prop roots leaving a gaping hole in the northwest corner of the tree, which stands over 4.67 acres. The tree is no stranger to cyclones and had lost its main trunk to two cyclones in 1864 and 1867.

“It has almost lost its identity as the tree with the biggest canopy,” senior scientist Basant Kumar Singh who reached the garden early to assess the damage said.

While cyclones Aila, Phani and Bulbul could do no major damage to this grandad of Shibpur, Cyclone Amphan has torn apart the clonal colony that appears like a dense forest rather than a single tree.

Apart from the most attractive and most visited tree, the 273-acre botanic garden has lost other significant inhabitants. Of its 15,000 trees, more than 1,000 have been damaged and hundreds have been uprooted. “The only fully grown Kalpavriksha or Baobab tree (more than 100 years old) and the Mad Tree got uprooted,” Singh said.

The Mahogany Avenue, where a road in the garden is lined with huge mahogany trees, the Bamboo setum, an area marked with bamboo trees, the Pinatum, a section for various types of pine trees and the Garden Nursery have all been damaged.

“Not a single part of the garden seems to have been spared,” garden director Kanak Das said. “Cyclone Amphan has totally devastated the botanic garden.
Cyclone Amphan batters Eco Park

Eco Park, the star attraction of Bengal wore a battered look on Thursday after Cyclone Amphan ripped off hundreds of trees in Eco Park. The park stands on more than 400 acres of land and is surrounded by 112 acres of water body. One of the attractions of Eco Park is the variety of trees - rose garden, aroma garden among others. Senior officials of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation ( HIDCO) including its chairman Debashis Sen went to the park to make an on the spot assessment. Attempts have been made to save some of the trees by using bamboo props but the majority of them will have to be felled. Trees outside the Eco Park were also uprooted. The estimated cost of damage is yet to be ascertained and the officials are working on it.
 

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A drive through Haldia after the storm. The storm made landfall near this port city. News reports are saying tremendous damage. But general view looks like buildings (and even shanty like structures) are standing (at least in this video).

 

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Drive through parts of Kolkata - Trees seem to be the biggest casualty.


North Kolkata - more trees down (note: the screenshot is probably used to attract attention; it is not there in the video)


Through some parts of South Kolkata - a drive blog


IIEST and surroundings, Shibpur


Haldia - Trees just snapped off. Many shanties seem to have fared better.

 

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CESC was able to restore power to 85% of 3.3 million consumers (appx 13 million people assuming 4 persons per consumer) within 1-3 days. Today the percentage has inched up to 92%. 8% is a still a huge number at nearly 2.5 lakh consumers of 10 lakh (1 million) people without power. The fear is that the remaining 8% may take a while to restore and people, who don't understand the impact of such storms because of not having lived through one before, getting angry.


WBSEDCL / GOWB is claiming - that power at more than half of the areas of Sonarpur, Baruipur, Rajpur Narendrapur, Kakdwip and Namkhana towns have also been restored in South 24 Parganas. 240 out of affected 273 substations restored. Significant areas of rural Hooghly and Chandannagore revived. Bongaon, Naihati, Halishahar Barrackpore towns in North 24 Parganas (many parts) restored.
The key though is in the use of words like - "more than half of areas", "significant areas", many parts" which talks about geographical spread rather than consumers affected. But maybe they did mean consumers?

 

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Open coast blamed for delta damage

Cyclone Amphan has devastated the coastal areas of South 24-Parganas freely as they were left unguarded by the felling of thousands of big trees and a part of mangrove forests by the mighty blows of Cyclone Bulbul in November last year.

The green cover of the trees and the mangroves used to shield the coast. Officials and experts said the destruction wrought by Bulbul had aggravated the damage brought about by Amphan in the Sunderbans delta, including Namkhana, Moushuni and G-plot.

“All large trees had fallen during Bulbul in November last year and so, Amphan got a clear route to destroy thousands of houses in our areas. During Bulbul, the presence of trees had saved us from such a destruction,” said Saral Kumar Das, a resident of Moushuni Island and a non-teaching employee of a school there.

“If you see sea-facing islands — mainly Moushuni, Bakkhali and G-plot, there is no forest in the southern part. It was completely an unguarded open coast and there was no wall of forest to protect it from a cyclone,” state pollution control board chairman Kalyan Rudra said.

“However, the Sunderbans were saved from severe devastation as there was low tide when Amphan’s landfall took place around 2.30pm on May 20,” he added.

Senior South 24-Parganas district officials said they had planted around 25 lakh trees last year but one year was too short for them to mature. “It is a fact that Bulbul had destroyed a large number of big trees and mangrove forests. Another cyclone hit the area again in a span of around six months. We had only one option: to plant more trees. We have planned to plant at least 50 lakh trees this year,” South 24-Parganas district magistrate P. Ulaganathan said.
 

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Kolkata Port back in action


CESC - 95% consumers have power restored which is indeed creditable given the ferocity of the storm and the devastation it caused over the entire CESC area. Unfortunately the remaining 5% are suffering badly - almost 500,000 people - elderly, children, medicines getting spoilt, no water..


Kolkata Police working day and night


In all this Corona naka checking also continues


Odisha Disaster Management Team in Howrah

 
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