Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)


- Press Trust of India

A central team headed by a joint secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will visit West Bengal to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Yaas, days after chief minister Mamata Banerjee abstained from a cyclone review meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi triggering a controvers­y.

The very severe cyclone Yaas made landfall in Odisha on May 26 and affected a large part of the state as well as West Bengal.

A central team led by a joint secretary of the MHA will visit West Bengal for three days to assess the damage caused by the cyclone, a Home Ministry official said. The West Bengal chief minister had said, as per preliminar­y assessment, the cyclone had led to damage of an estimated ₹20,000 crore to property and agricultur­e.

She had also said that 1.8 million people were affected by the cyclone and around 221 thousand hectares of crops and 71,560 hectares of horticultu­re area suffered damage.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of the cyclone-affected area of West Bengal on May 28 and later called a review meeting at the Kalaikunda air force station.

However, the chief minister and the then chief secretary, Alapan Bandyopadh­yay, a senior IAS officer, did not attend it, even though they met the prime minister for a few minutes. Following this, the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), the cadre controllin­g ministry for the IAS officers, summoned Bandyopadh­yay for serving in the Centre.

However, he did not come to the capital and chose to retire on May 31, instead of accepting a three-month extension sanctioned to him by the state and central government.

Subsequent­ly, he was appointed as the chief advisor to the state government by Banerjee. On May 31 itself, the MHA slapped a show-cause notice on Bandyopadh­yay under a stringent provision of the Disaster Management Act that entails imprisonme­nt for up to two years for abstaining from the meeting presided by the Prime Minister.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India