Modi takes stock of massive devastation
Announces advance interim assistance of `1,000 crore to Bengal and `500 crore to Odisha, offers compensation to all the victims
IN his first trip outside Delhi in nearly three months following the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday undertook an aerial survey of the areas badly mauled by the recent Amphan cyclone in West Bengal and Odisha, and announced advance interim assistance of `1,000 crore and `500 crore respectively for the two states.
While Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik accompanied the PM during the aerial survey in their respective states. With the toll rising to 80 in Bengal, Modi also announced compensation of `2 lakh for next of kin of each of the deceased and `50,000 for the injured in both the affected states. A Central team will visit the ravaged areas shortly to quantify the extent of damage.
“I am here to assure everyone in Bengal, in this time of crisis you will find the Central government standing beside you shoulder to shoulder.
All aspects relating to rehabilitation and reconstruction will be addressed to rebuild West Bengal. We all want West Bengal to move ahead and the Centre will always stand with Bengal in this testing time,” Modi said.
‘’We have not placed any demand
before the prime minister. I showed some photographs of Kolkata after the cyclone hit the city. I have told him in detail about the post-cyclone situation in Bengal. I don’t know what will be the Centre’s package for Bengal. In this hour of crisis, we must work together,’’ Banerjee later informed. In Odisha, Modi lauded the chief minister, the state government and the people for ensuring minimum loss of life by undertaking preparations well in advance. Yet, the cyclone caused large-scale damage to housing, power and infrastructure, besides the agriculture sector in Odisha, he observed and assured
full support for restoration work.
The areas the PM surveyed in West Bengal were Kakdwip, Kultali, Namkhana and Patharpratima of South 24-Parganas district and Minakhan, Haroa, Rajarhat and Basirhat in North 24-Parganas district. In Odisha, he flew over Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts.
According to the Odisha government’s preliminary estimate, about 44.8 lakh people in 1,500 panchayats under 89 blocks of the coastal districts have been affected by the cyclone. Agriculture has taken a big hit with crops damaged in over 1 lakh hectare while large number of kutcha houses were blown away.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee doing an aerial survey of the areas affected by the cyclone, on Friday|