Embryonic Stem Cell Advocates Push Against Evidence and Ethics

first_imgAn old preacher said, “It’s never right to do wrong to get a chance to do right.”  That sums up in simple terms the ethical problems of using embryonic stem cells to cure human diseases, apparent in this quote from PhysOrg:The potent but hotly debated cells can transform into nearly any cell in the human body, opening a path toward eliminating such ills as Parkinson’s disease, paralysis, diabetes, heart disease, and maybe even the ravages of aging.    And more human experiments are on the way as scientists refine new methods to get around the controversy that surrounds embryonic stem cell research, which has generated controversy because it involves the destruction of early human life.But did that ethical quandary, and the lack of any cures (“opening a path toward…”) cause the reporter to call for a stop to the research?  Not in the slightest.  The article was upbeat and positive about companies charging ahead into the ethical minefield.  It quoted Bob Lanza, chief scientist at Advanced Cell Technology, in a positive light: “After a decade of intense controversy, the field is finally ready to start proving itself and to actually start helping patients suffering from a range of horrific diseases.”  ACT is getting ready to start a treatment for blindness, while Geron Corporation is going to try ES cells on spinal cord injuries.    “The major concern with stem cell therapies is that the transforming cells could form tumors.”  That relegates the issue of killing human embryos to a minor concern.  Surprisingly, the article continued by reporting on remarkable new advances with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) that have no ethical issues.  Apparently, however, the ES trials will go marching on anyway.  Science Daily, meanwhile, reported on both ES and iPS cells, not even mentioning the controversies with the former.    On Christmas Eve in Science,1 Greg Miller published a disturbing article about California’s Proposition 71 (2004) that authorized $3 billion in taxpayer funds to promote research on embryonic stem cells.  In “CIRM, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” Miller described how the proposition was the brainchild of Robert Klein, who spearheaded the initiative and then became director of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) that resulted.  Earlier in the month, Nature News profiled Klein as a string-pulling millionaire lawyer who pretty much bilked California voters, against the outcries of political and religious leaders, to fund ES cells because he was concerned about his son’s diabetes and thought they might provide a cure.  Six years later, the voters have little return on investment with another 2/3 of the approved funds still to be spent by a bankrupt state government.Klein’s critics say his promotion of stem cells’ therapeutic promise was zealous and oversimplified.  He “left voters with the impression that people will be jumping out of their wheelchairs and not being diabetic within a year”, says John Simpson, a long-time observer and critic of the agency’s governance, who is at the consumer-advocacy group Consumer Watchdog based in Santa Monica, California.  “There’s been this constant compulsion for [Klein] to say, ‘See, we’re delivering, we’re delivering’, and that’s something that’s haunted him throughout the whole thing.”Describing Klein’s tactics to sell the initiative, reporter Elie Dolgin wrote, “Klein teamed up with several other affluent and politically savvy parents of diabetic children – including movie director Jerry Zucker and his wife Janet, and home developer Tom Coleman and his wife Polly – and the ‘three families’, as they called themselves, together with political consultants and lawyers, devised a ballot initiative that would ask California taxpayers to support stem-cell science to the tune of around $300 million per year for ten years.”  Dolgin continued, describing the “star-studded campaign endorsed by the likes of Brad Pitt, Christopher Reeve, Michael J. Fox and state governor Arnold Schwarzenegger” that pulled on public heartstrings to get the vote.  Klein, a rich lawyer with experience as a financier, wrote the job description for the director of the institute to match his own qualifications (“Scientific expertise is not a requirement,” Dolgin noted), raising concerns when he took the lead.  He is still serving after his six-year term expired.    “Controversy is nothing new for CIRM,” Miller said in his Science article as he described conflicts of interest, infighting, and “fundamentally flawed” selection of leaders that led one former insider to call it the “CIRM circus”.  Miller wrote, “Watchdog groups have blasted the institute about what they see as exorbitant staff salaries and conflicts of interest on the board.  And patient advocates are tired of waiting for the stem cell cures they feel they were promised during the campaign.”    In an article devoid of any news about actual cures or progress, Miller quoted a stem cell researcher in Michigan saying,“The ‘yes’ vote on Prop. 71 changed the world.  Prior to that, the conversation in most states was, ‘Should we allow embryonic stem cell research?’” Morrison says.  “But once California put that stake in the ground, the conversation shifted to, ‘How do we keep up with California?’”Meanwhile, researchers are giddy over the taxpayer-funded windfall: “I just moved into a spectacular new building,” one researcher gloated, apparently unconcerned about the embryos whose brief lives will be snuffed out inside.1.  Greg Miller, “Regenerative Medicine: CIRM: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” Science, 24 December 2010: Vol. 330 no. 6012 pp. 1742-1743, DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6012.1742.Scientists are sinners, too.  We all need repentance and redemption.  That’s what regenerative medicine should be about.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

African shoes with soul

first_imgThe beautiful design of the Tsongashoes have captured theworld. The hand-stitching on every shoeis meticulous. Both men and women canenjoy the comfort of the shoes.(all images courtesy ofTsonga.com)Khanyi MagubaneThe Tsonga shoe brand, launched in South Africa in 1999 by the father-and-son team of Peter and Adrian Maree, represents a niche, quality product that’s not only making waves in foot fashion around the world, but boosting livelihoods in rural KwaZulu-Natal.According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, from as far back as ancient Egyptian times footwear has been designed to meet humankind’s real and perceived needs: protection, support, comfort, sturdiness, and stylishness. It was this driving principle that led the Marees to start the Tsonga brand.The Tsonga storyAnticipating an influx of mass-produced shoes on the South African market from China and India, the duo decided it was time to take an African shoe to the world, a shoe that would be comfortable and unique in its origin.Capitalising on their long-established company, Corrida Shoes, the Marees and their work team began researching the export market and identifying their clientele.After much trial and error, they came up with a comfortable, fashionable African shoe, giving rise to the Tsonga shoe range.“We realised that we were very capable of developing shoes that were different and that we could create our own lines. This is important because when you’re competing against the likes of India and China, you can’t copy designs,” Adrian says.“So many brands coming out of those countries have no soul and that’s something Tsonga does have: it’s a brand with soul.”What makes the brand unique, he adds, is that it’s not just a mass-produced commodity, it also has proud links to its development programme, A Thread of Hope, situated in the poverty-stricken village of Lidgetton just outside Pietermartizburg. The Tsonga factory is also based in Lidgetton.After the shoe patterns are cut with machinery at the factory, Corrida employs local Zulu women from the village to hand-stitch the shoes’ soles to the leather uppers.Riddled with unemployment, Lidgetton was chosen by many farmworkers as a place to settle following the mechanisation of large-scale farming operations in the area. Without permanent work, these labourers have been left with two options: move to the cities or accept being employed only on a seasonal basis.In a bid to uplift the women of the community, Corrida has also opened its hand-lacing plant within walking distance of the village. This enables women to collect work at the plant and stitch at home, freeing them up to care for their children and earn an income at the same time.The hand shoe-stitching operation started off with a group of 20 women working from a renovated old farm school building – now, 170 women work at the centre.The women are also learning how to run their own businesses and other local projects such the feeding scheme, which includes a vegetable garden. This benefits the local school creche as children have access to healthy meals.Worldwide successThe Tsonga shoe range has thrived on the overseas market. Part of the success, says Adrian, can be attributed to his dad and him aiming to produce a shoe that was comfortable, but unique in design. “We’ve combined the skills of the local women with modern technology, making it totally design-based. Every shoe is unique.”Selling the “Tsonga story” has been key to the marketing strategy. It was important to the Marees to show that the shoes had faces and people behind them, who had personally hand-stitched each shoe.Many of their distributors have visited South Africa before and “have a soft spot for it”, Adrian says. The Thread of Hope project has also made it easier to tap into the market, as distributors know that a portion of the money they spend on the shoes will benefit local communities in South Africa.The brand continues to grow worldwide and, as Adrian Maree explains, they have clinched some major overseas deals. “We have been fortunate to have our shoes stocked in Nordstrom, one of the biggest shoe retailers in America. Our shoes are also sold on Zappos.com, which markets the brands of all the top shoe designers.”In July 2008 Tsonga shoes will be launched across Europe through a new distributor Group Royer, which currently sells over 28-million pairs of shoes in Europe every year. They also own a significant number of brands, including Converse and Von Dutch.In the US, Tsonga shoes has managed to bring on board some of that country’s top shoe marketers to sell the brand. Currently, Tsonga shoes can be found in Europe, Canada, America, New Zealand and Australia.Selling Tsonga in SAAlthough the brand is well established overseas, Tsonga has only recently ventured out into the South African market. The price factor makes it primarily an overseas-driven product. The Marees say South Africans are price-sensitive, making the average pair of Tsongas (between R400 and R800 [$52 to $103]), “very expensive” by South African standards.The company does, however, remain committed to bringing South Africans the Tsonga brand, and it continues to grow. So far the group has established five concept stores around the country. Tsonga has now also launched an accessories line of designer bags which are also sold at the five stores.As an assertion of his commitment to the brand, Maree says, “We live in a world where everything is mass-produced and cost-reduced. We [Tsonga shoes] are going against that tide and swimming upstream, creating something that is of quality and hand-made.”Useful linksTsonga shoesA Thread of HopeGroupe RoyerDo you have any queries or comments about this story? Email Khanyi Magubane at khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

New York Cohousing Community Nears Completion

first_imgA cohousing community where work and life are sharedAs GBA’s Richard Defendorf explained in a 2011 article, EcoVillage at Ithaca is a cohousing community, one of 240 such projects listed at the time in a national online directory.Each of the three neighborhoods making up EcoVillage at Ithaca are designed to promote community and cooperative decision making. Houses are clustered to encourage people to meet their neighbors, unlike conventional residential developments that tend to isolate people from each other, Jones said. Residents themselves handle community chores that otherwise would be farmed out to paid tradespeople.“We have a specific orientation process because we want people to understand exactly what they’re getting into when they live in a community like this,” Jones said. “It’s not like moving into downtown Ithaca where you don’t know any of your neighbors. The expectation up here is you will put in two to four hours of work a week for the community on a work team.”The communities have been developed as cooperatives, meaning that the residents essentially developed the property themselves. EcoVillage is part of a global network of similar cohousing communities that promote sustainable building and lifestyles focused on “consuming less and cooperating more.”It’s proved attractive to people far beyond Ithaca. Jones said that new residents for TREE have come from Indonesia, California, Canada, and Italy as well as the Ithaca area.There’s also an educational element to the community. EcoVillage co-founder Liz Walker said that a recent two-day training event on net-zero building attracted 29 green builders, architects, and engineers from New York State and Vermont. Another session is likely in September. The third of three cohousing neighborhoods on a 175-acre tract of land in Ithaca, N.Y., is nearing completion, and every one of its 40 apartments, duplexes, and single-family houses was sold before construction began.The new neighborhood is called TREE, for Third Residential EcoVillage Experience. It will include seven houses certified by the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS), perhaps the largest cluster of PHIUS-certified single-family homes in the country. The balance of 33 apartments and houses are built to nearly the same standards.In all, the three clusters of homes comprise EcoVillage at Ithaca, home to about 150 adults and as many as 75 children, their ages ranging from 2 months to 82 years. The first neighborhood built at the co-housing development was completed in 1996, and although early organizers had originally envisioned a total of five neighborhoods, TREE may be the last.“This is an environmentally oriented village, so we have tried to push the envelope on energy efficiency and green building techniques,” says Jared Jones, one of five members of the construction oversight team for TREE. “Even the houses in the first neighborhood that we built almost 20 years ago are extremely high-performance and they would be considered high-performance houses now.”TREE consists of 17 single-family homes, four duplexes, and 15 apartments on the upper three floors of its central community building. In addition to having some of the houses certified by PHIUS, the community has been certified under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home program. The case against ductless minisplitsHigh levels of insulation and virtually airtight construction might seem to make ductless minisplit air-source heat pumps a slam dunk for both heating and cooling. But in this case, Jones said, they didn’t make as much sense as simple electric-resistance heat.One big reason: Mechanical air conditioning isn’t a necessity on the hilltop site. Instead, residents typically open windows at night and close them early in the morning, which flushes warm air out of the house and replaces it with cool nighttime air. The superinsulated walls and roof keep the house comfortable during the day. Box and ceiling fans also help.“We rarely would need air conditioning, even on the hottest days of summer,” Jones said. “We have a pond, we have beautiful breezes.”Some accommodation can be made, he added, for a resident who needs air conditioning because of a health problem.Two others strikes against the minisplit option was the eventual need for maintenance and repair, and the noise the outside compressors would make, however slight.“A ductless minisplit is a pretty complicated machine,” Jones said. “At that point, we didn’t have anybody in Ithaca who was an authorized factory rep for Mitsubishi or any of the others. And these things are going to break down. Fixing a ceiling fan is a lot simpler than fixing a minisplit. Plus, the expensive of putting in a minisplit and running the common evaporative cooling lines down to the main unit outside the building, and the noise, even though they’re not super noisy. We decided it wasn’t worth it. We’re very conscious about costs.” Homes designed for low energy consumptionThe slab-on-grade houses in this Climate Zone 6 locale are built with double-stud walls using efficient framing practices for about $100 a square foot. They have “very simple exterior designs and interior finishes,” according to a DOE fact sheet about the project.Here are some other construction details:Foundation: Beneath the slab, 5 1/2 inches of foil-faced polyisocyanurate foam (R-36) over a 6-inch layer of gravel and a 6-mil polyethylene vapor barrier. The frost-protected shallow footings are 24 inces below grade and insulated with foil-faced polyiso.Exterior walls: Two 2×4 stud walls, with studs 16 inches on-center, are 5 inches apart, creating a total wall thickness of 12 inches. Walls are sheathed with Huber’s Zip system OSB, the seams sealed with tape. The inner surface of the sheathing is insulated with 3 1/2 inches of closed-cell polyurethane foam and the rest of the cavity filled with blown-in cellulose, for a total wall R-value of 52. Exterior cladding, a mix of metal and fiber-cement lap siding, is applied over a rainscreen gap.Roof: The roofs are asymmetrical, with a longer, lower-pitched side facing south for solar panels. Roofs are framed with raised-heel trusses and insulated with blown-in cellulose to R-90 (spray foam was also used on north-facing roof slopes because of their shallower design). A layer of taped OSB applied to the bottom chords of the trusses makes the air barrier, with the gypsum drywall ceilings installed over 2×4 furring. The metal roof is installed directly over the trusses without any sheathing.Windows: Tripled-glazed Intus units with a whole-window U-value average of 0.16.Ventilation: Energy recovery ventilators, running continuously.Heating: Electric baseboard.Air conditioning: None, unless specifically requested.Domestic hot water: Solar thermal for preheating, with electric-resistance backup.Lighting: A mix of LEDs (72 percent) and compact fluorescents.Airtightness: The PHIUS-certified houses are all below 0.60 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals. Non-certified houses are around 1.5 ach50.Renewable energy: A ground-mounted, 50 kW photovoltaic (PV) array will help power the TREE common house. Of the remaining 25 houses in the neighborhood, more than 80 percent will get PV panels.Lois Arena of Steven Winter Associates, the Passivhaus consultant on the project, said that the certified units include five single-family homes and one half of two separate duplexes, or seven units in all. There are two differences between certified houses and those that aren’t, she said. Certified houses have extra detailing in the attics to increase airtightness, and have spray foam in the exterior walls for slightly higher R-values. (Walls in the non-certified houses are filled completely with dense-packed cellulose). Units sell for roughly market ratePrices range considerably, depending on the size and location of the units. A studio apartment in the common building at TREE, for example, costs between $80,000 and $100,000, while one of the larger single-family homes, a 1,600-square-foot, three- or four-bedroom model, went for between $240,000 and $280,000, according to Jones.That’s comparable to other housing in Ithaca, but EcoVillage residents also get the use of common gardens and workshops as well as access to a lot of open land.DOE said that added construction costs over houses built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code amounted to about $20,000 per unit. Annual energy cost savings, compared to a house built to the 2009 IECC, was $2,928 for a house equipped with PV panels. Projected annual utility costs are $1,593 for units without PV, and $628 for units with PV.last_img read more

BJP sounds poll bugle, CM to begin rath yatra in August

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sounded the poll bugle for the Assembly polls by announcing a rath yatra across the State.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will ride the rath, with slogans such as ‘Abki Bar 220 ke Par’ and ‘Ek Bar Fir Shiv Shahi Sarkar’ on it, the party announced on Saturday. The journey will begin in August, covering all the constituencies before winding up in Mumbai. The elections to the 288 seats of the Assembly are due in October, and both Shiv Sena and the BJP are likely to fight it together. The journey, in parts, will be completed by the Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and former party president Amit Shah, BJP leader Chandrakant Patil said on Saturday.The CM post“The three leaders will decide which party will get to have its chief minister,” said Mr. Patil when asked if the Sena would have one of its candidates as the chief minister this time. The BJP held a marathon meeting of its core committee on Saturday and discussed the possibility of government formations late this year. Senior leaders said the committee is of the opinion the chief minister should belong to the BJP under all circumstances. “But the focus of both the parties would be to win maximum number of seats. The rath yatra will also be used to highlight the works done by the BJP-Sena government in the last five years. The elections are likely to be held between October 15 and 20 and a code of conduct would come into place a month earlier, BJP leaders said. The party is looking to induct new members and has set a target of 25 lakh members. The BJP said three years ago it had achieved the target of adding 1.11 crore new members and believes it can easily achieve the latest target before the polls in the State. “Nearly 20,000 volunteers have been assigned the work,’ Mr. Patil said.last_img read more

Defining matches

first_imgNEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Leo Austria was on his way to oversee San Miguel Beer’s practice on Thursday morning and told the Inquirer the same message he hopes to drill into the Beermen’s heads on the eve of a crucial PBA Philippine Cup clash with back-to-the-wall Blackwater.“This game is very important. Actually, our next two games will be very important,” Austria said over the phone, referring to their 4:30 p.m. clash with the Elite at Cuneta Astrodome on Friday and their tussle with red-hot Alaska on the road in eight days.ADVERTISEMENT And San Miguel will go into its last four games still without high-scoring point guard Alex Cabagnot and back-up power forward Gabby Espinas.There’s still no timeline on Cabagnot’s return, with his injury still “to be evaluated in the next two weeks.”San Miguel is leading the pack with a 6-1 card, with Alaska and Magnolia tied for second at 6-2. The Elasto Painters are the only other team with an outside chance of a twice-to-beat bonus with a 4-3 record.Austria believes that eight wins would mean “an 85 percent chance” of nailing a quarterfinal bonus, but he said that they must get to eight wins or more—and must beat Alaska to get there—to avoid complications in the tiebreak, if ever.“It would be frustrating to fall into ties and losing there,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Arellano, San Beda eye Finals slots Read Next AFP official booed out of forum Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch PLAY LIST 01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel01:33San Miguel will only get better01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Frantic footraceBlackwater, at 2-5, is expected to make its final push for a playoff slot. Unlike those caught in the middle of the standings, the Elite do not have the luxury of playing for position.Instead, the hard-fighting crew of coach Leo Isaac are in a frantic footrace to stay out of the bottom four.Only the top eight teams after the end of the elimination round will make it to the playoffs and as it stands, Blackwater is outside that circle.While the Beermen are trying to salvage a top two spot, NLEX and Meralco clash in the second game at 7 p.m. looking for wins to stay in the running for playoff berths.With a 3-4 record, the Road Warriors still have a chance to salvage a place in the middle of the pack and get a fair chance in the quarterfinals by falling into a best-of-three series.Led by rookie Kiefer Ravena, the league’s No. 2 overall pick, the Road Warriors started the season on the wings of optimism validated lofty predictions by winning their first two matches.But NLEX fell into an inexplicable slump, dropping its next four games to fall out of the race for one of the top two berths. The Road Warriors got back in a big way by bringing down another struggling favorite in Barangay Ginebra but still need to collect wins to stay in the playoff hunt.Meralco, on the other hand, are at 2-5 and would need nothing less than a sweep of its last four games to entertain thoughts of making it past this round for the first time under multititled Norman Black.Struggling anew with a lack of a legitimate big man plus injuries to key players, Meralco has failed to build on the momentum of a run to the Finals in the recent Governors’ Cup. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “These games will practically decide whether we get it (a top two finish) and I will tell my players that we need to go all out (in these),” he said as the Beermen try to keep a solid grip of top spot with a win over Blackwater and make the Alaska game a virtual clash for one of two twice-to-beat privileges.San Miguel has four games left, with KIA Picanto coming after Alaska and then the one against Rain or Shine ending its elimination round schedule.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAustria has put a premium on a win-once bonus on his boys as they gun for an unprecedented fourth straight championship here. “If you have that advantage, you’re virtually assured of making the last four,” he said.The Beermen are in for a rough ride against Blackwater, for not only are the Elite going to fight for dear life, they also have the tools to play big and fast, just like what the Beermen have used to establish a dynasty in this conference.last_img read more

BNP to stage protest if gas prices hiked Fakhrul

first_imgBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File PhotoBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday warned that their party will not accept any gas price hike as it will only inflict sufferings on people, reports UNB.”Our position is clear about the government’s move to hike the gas prices. Neither we nor the country’s people will accept it,” he said.Fakhrul issued the warning at a press conference at the party’s Naya Paltan central office after a joint meeting of BNP and its associate bodies.He also said their party will take all-out protest programmes if the government increases the gas tariffs.About the Bangladesh part of US State Department’s annual country report on human rights practices, the BNP leader said it has depicted the real scenario of the country’s human rights condition and 30-December polls.The US 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released on 13 March said unlawful or political killings, forced disappearances, life-threatening prison conditions, limitation of freedom of speech, negative government pressure on and fear of reprisal by press and media, and impunity for security force abuses were the most significant human rights problems in Bangladesh last year.On elections and political participation, the report termed the 30-December parliamentary elections a “lopsided” one and said it was considered to be marred by irregularities, including ballot-box stuffing and intimidation of opposition polling agents and voters.Fakhrul said not only the US State Department but also all other global media outlets, including CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera, The Guardian and The Washington Post clearly said it was not an election at all on 30 December, 2018. “They also said people’s opinion and desire were not reflected in the election as they couldn’t cast their votes.”Even, the BNP leader said Indian media depicted what happened in the election.He alleged that Bangladeshi media could not properly report on the election due to a serious censorship on them. “Still, they’re vocal about it as much as possible for them””We’re very respectful to the media, and we thank them for the role they’re playing in such an adverse situation,” Fakhrul said.He alleged that the government has indulged in enforced disappearance, extrajudicial killing and arrest of its opponents to establish one-party rule.”One-party rule has been established in the country. Now people have no security and they don’t get justice. We’ve been witnessing for nearly 10-12 years that whom the government doesn’t like are being killed and made disappeared,” the BNP leader observed.last_img read more

Exide overbridge project groundwork begins

first_imgKolkata: The second modern foot overbridge in the city, based on public private partnership (PPP) model, with all modern facilities is coming up at Exide Crossing in South Kolkata. The groundwork for construction of the overbridge has already started and the civic body has chopped off five trees on the footpath to facilitate its construction.The bridge will be in close proximity to the gates of Rabindra Sadan metro station located on either sides of the road. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”It will be more or less similar in look to the one that have come up at Alipore. There will be facilities of escalators and stair cases on either sides,” said a senior official of the Town Planning department of KMC which will be overseeing the construction. Exide Industries will bear the entire expense of construction which will be in the tune of Rs 4 crore. The foot overbridge will be nicely illuminated and will be under CCTV surveillance. Exide will have the rights for putting up advertisements in the foot overbridge. “We will be signing an agreement for a period of 20 to 30 years in which the company will be paying a fee to the KMC for advertisement rights,” the official added. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe KMC has cut down trees after taking necessary permission for the state Forest department and have already earmarked places where they will be planting the same number of trees. In February 2018, when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated a modern foot overbridge in front of Alipore Zoological Gardens through remote control at a government programme at Tarakeswar in Hooghly district. It was the first foot overbridge under PPP model. The one at Exide will be the second such bridge in the city. KMC has already sought permission from the Defence Ministry for construction of another foot overbridge on Turf View Road. “The main objective behind these foot overbridges is to enable the pedestrians to cross smoothly from one side of the Alipore Road to another and also to have smooth and uninterrupted movement of vehicles,” said DG (Town Planning), KMC Biswajit Majumder. The spots have been selected as these places have witnessed a number of road accidents.last_img read more