Kolkata: The nationwide shutdown called by the Congress and Left parties against the fuel price hike on Monday evoked lukewarm response in West Bengal, with vehicular traffic remaining near normal. The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) had previously opposed the strike and said the state government would take every possible step to ensure that the public life remains unaffected. In Kolkata, most of the shops and markets remained open while the city’s metro service functioned normally. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life However, the number of commuters were significantly less in the early hours on Monday compared to other working days. A large number of public and private buses were seen plying in the city’s important points including Shyambazar five point, Esplanade crossing, Jadavpur and Ruby crossing. The train service in Sealdah and Howrah section under the Eastern Railway was temporarily disrupted as the strike supporters blocked rail movements in Jadavpur and Sreerampur stations. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed However, they were removed by the police within half an hour. No untoward incidents of violence or clashes were reported. Protesting against the steep hike in fuel price under the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the Congress called for the shutdown on Monday. The Left parties including CPI-M, CPI, RSP has also called for a 12-hour long ‘hartal’ (strike) on Monday against the Narendra Modi government’s policies.
Kolkata: A major fire broke out at the Vedic Village resort in Rajarhat on Monday night. A big portion of the resort was damaged due to impact of the inferno. It is said property worth crores reduced to ashes but no one was hurt in the incident.Twelve fire tenders doused the flames almost after battling for about eight hours. According to sources, Vedic Village resort authorities claimed that around 10 pm, on Monday, a lightning struck the cottages, which were made of hay. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn no time the fire started spreading fast because of the strong winds. At the first, the staff members of Vedic Village tried to control the fire by arranging water from their underground reservoir. But as the intensity of the fire was high, they were not able to control the inferno. Immediately, the fire brigade and the Rajarhat police station was informed. Soon, five fire tenders were pressed into action. Later, seven more fire tenders were called in as the intensity of the fire was increasing. It is alleged when the fire started media personnel, who went to cover the incident, and a few firefighters were not allowed to get into the resort. Later, the police intervened and resolved the matter. Question arises if the Vedic Village authorities had no flaw on their part, why the media and fire fighters were restricted. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateA source informed that the reception, godown and the office burnt into ashes as these structures were made of hay. Though the Vedic Village authorities claimed that the fire broke out due to lightning but the actual cause is yet not confirmed. It is suspected that fire had occurred due to a short circuit. Within an hour, the fire took a bad shape as it raged up to almost 25 feet. Guests in the cottages and the residents of various apartments within 100 metres got panic-stricken due to intensity of the fire. All the guests were evacuated and taken to a safe place. Later, fire minister Sujit Bose went to the spot and supervised the firefighting operation. According to Bose, it is not clear if any firefighting measures or license were in place at the resort. Around 3 am, on Tuesday, the fire was brought under control. Later, cooling process went on till early morning. Till Tuesday night no complaint was lodged by the Fire department. The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained.