3,000 killed in cyclone
More than 3,000 persons were killed in Chittagong district alone in Wednesday’s cyclone, according to the latest official reports received in Dacca by the East Pakistan rifles, now engaged in rescue and relief operations in the area. Unofficial estimates, however, placed the death toll in Chittagong and parts of Noakhali, Barisal and Khulna districts, at 10,000. Army units were carrying out rescue work and assisting the civil authorities in relief operations. Air, train and tele-communication services between Dacca and Chittagong were partly restored on May 30, but offshore islands are still cut off from the rest of the province. Helicopters, amphibian planes and Air Force Dakotas have been pressed into service to reach the ravaged areas, and it is expected a detailed official account will be available on May 31.
India’s mineral resources
Several recommendations for the expeditious development of minerals in India were made by the Central Mineral Advisory Board, which ended on May 31 its two-day deliberations in Bangalore. The Board discussed the various proposals seeking amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act, 1957, and the rules. The representatives of the mining industry were assured that due consideration would be given to their viewpoints by the Central and the State Governments while implementing the rules and regulations. The Board recommended the constitution of an All India Service of Geologists, Mining Engineers and Metallurgists to attract talent to the profession.
Golden to discard gold
Mr. Morarji Desai, Union Finance Minister, in a speech on Sunday, quoted the Ramayana to impress upon women the evil effect of the lure of gold. Gold was responsible for many ills and wars in the past, he said. The lure of the golden deer made even Sita suffer. Mr. Desai, who was addressing a public meeting at Sursand, a township on the Bihar-Nepal border about 50 miles from Muzaffarpur, defended the Government’s gold policy and the Gold Control Order and appealed to the people to donate their gold to the National Defence Fund.