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

The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

AFP

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|

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