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1 dead, 14 injured in Tezpur town

One died and as many as fourteen people have been injured when suspected ULFA militants exploded a powerful bomb on Wednesday in Tezpur town forcing a spontaneous bandh of the town from afternoon. According to information, the bomb was planted at a bicycle in front of Borgola, at 100 km away from the Tezpur Police Station. Four of the injured people are stated to be serious and they have been rushed to the nearest Tezpur Civil Hospital. They are Raju Barman, Suraj Prasad, Srimanta Hazarika. The critically injured Ajit Ghose died on way to the Guwahati medical College Hospital. Four injured people have been released after primary treatment. High level police and civil officials are at the hospital to monitor the situation. It has been said to be the handiwork of ULFA although nobody has so far claimed its responsibility. Meanwhile, the town entire is remaining closed minutes after the explosion that rocked the town.
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Hills scholar bags PhD for study on energy efficient architecture

29 Sep 2018 - 10:51pm | CM Paul

Darjeeling: A Darjeeling based Energy Engineering scholar has become the first one in the region to get a PhD degree in Building Thermal Comfort and Environment for his thesis entitled 'Study and Analysis of Adaptive Thermal Comfort Model in Darjeeling Hills’.

The above study was undertaken in the School of Engineering and Technology at Poornima University, Jaipur.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Salesian College Sonada for over 15 years, Mr Samar Thapa from Kurseong in Darjeeling district successfully defended his doctoral thesis early September.

“Thermal comfort standards are required not only to ensure good indoor climatic condition, but also to optimize the energy used in a building for heating or cooling purposes,” says Mr Thapa returning to 80 year old hill’s college after his successful doctoral thesis defense.

Explaining further on his study Mr Thapa says, “The aim of the research was to study the effect of difference in elevation which is a major factor for temperature difference in hilly terrain, on the thermal comfort of residents.”

To prove his hypothesis, Mr Thapa conducted a field survey in 10 naturally ventilated buildings of different types at five different elevations in the Darjeeling Himalayan Region of north east India. A total of 2608 questionnaires based on ASHRAE Standard 55 Class II Protocol regarding the indoor occupant thermal comfort were collected from 436 subjects during the monthly survey held in the year 2015 along with the simultaneous monitoring of the indoor and outdoor environmental condition. Variations in clothing insulation and other thermal comfort parameters were seen both with difference in elevation and with outdoor environmental conditions. 

The models proposed by Mr. Thapa in his thesis and in his publications in Journals like Elsevier and Springer could be used by Building Designers, Architects and Engineers in the region or elsewhere with a similar bioclimatic set up to determine the required indoor comfort condition before the building is actually built, thereby allowing them a window to incorporate passive features which can lead to a comfortable indoor condition. 

This pioneering study by Mr. Thapa in this field of energy saving architecture has drawn a partnership in the prestigious project Residential Environments Project (known as RESIDE) - a four-year research project that aims to evaluate the impact of urban design on energy efficiency.  The project will be implemented from October 2018 in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Darjeeling.

“It is a matter of pride for us to partner in knowledge creation in the field as the only undergraduate college selected for the task,” says Saleisan College Principal Dr George Thadathil complimenting Mr Thapa’s achievement.

“Salesian College Sonada is the only college among the selected five, while others are MNIT Jaipur, IIIT Hyderabad and other industrial partners from Mumbai and Delhi.”

Salesian College Sonada (SCS) established in 1938 is situated 6,500 feet above sea level at Gorabari village on NH55 – Siliguri Darjeeling Hill Cart Road – just two kilometers before Soanda town.

The RESIDE project aims to measure over a four year period the comfort level of housing units in five different climate zones of India. It will propose policies to streamline construction industry on minimum standards as to save on energy consumption.

The project also consists of POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) on 40 different aspects of room temperature and energy utilities.

The RESIDE project which SCS is a partner was among the four selected from among 22 applications by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), India, and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) by Newton-Bhabha UK for funding.

The Newton Bhabha Fund aims to bring together the UK and Indian scientific research and innovation sectors to find joint solutions to the challenges facing India in economic development and social welfare

Red alert on I-Day security threat

11 Aug 2012 - 10:51pm | editor

Assam Police are fully prepared to counter the ULFA threat in the run up to the Independence Day. Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Saturday, Director General Police Jayanta Narayan Chaudhury revealed that Ulfa's anti-talk faction plans massive strike in the run-up to the Independence Day celebrations. He said Ulfa wants to make its presence felt carrying out blasts and small killings before August 15. He said that the outfit tries to instill fear and create an atmosphere where they can carry out their extortion attempts. According to the DGP, among the major targets of Ulfa are Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Goalpara, Bongaigaon and Jorhat districts.

NDFB(R) withdraws unilateral ceasefire

8 Aug 2012 - 2:19pm | editor

In a major setback to peace initiatives, NDFB’s Ranjan Daimary faction has withdrawn the unilateral ceasefire announced ten months ago. According to a statement signed by IK Songbijit, the decision to withdraw the unilateral declaration for cessation from all types of violence has been taken after considering all aspects of present situation. The Ranjan Daimary faction is the breakaway group of parent NDFB, which renamed itself as NDFB (Progressive), after signing the bilateral truce with the Centre in 2005. The faction has its presence in Myanmar, sharing camps with the anti-talks faction of Ulfa and NSCN (Khaplang).