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Bengal yet to get Bulbul aid from Centre: CM Mamata Banerjee

She informed that her government had evacuated 1.78 lakh people to flood relief centres prior to the cyclone

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 3.12.19, 2:18 AM
  • Updated 3.12.19, 2:18 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
A house damaged in the cyclone at Bakkhali in the Sunderbans. Picture by Jayanta Basu

Mamata Banerjee on Monday said Bengal was yet to get compensation from the Union government for damage caused by Cyclone Bulbul even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised all financial assistance and two central teams had visited the affected areas.

“Central teams had made an aerial survey of the affected areas, following which we had submitted a detailed report of losses caused by the cyclone in three coastal districts. The Prime Minister had tweeted the next day promising all help to the state. But so far, not a single penny has been given to us. But we are still hopeful,” the chief minister said in the Assembly while replying to a question by Gita Rani Bhunia, the Trinamul MLA of Sabang.

Mamata, sources said, made the statement in the Assembly to put the ball on the Centre’s court as demands for compensation and restoration of infrastructure had already started pouring in from North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas and East Midnapore.

“The state government has already sent to the Centre a detailed report on the damage. The state mentioned that the total loss due to the cyclone is Rs 23,811 crore. It is clear that the chief minister wants to put pressure on the Centre so that the state can get the recompense,” said a source.

Mamata said she had gone to the cyclone-affected areas of North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas, while her cabinet colleague Suvendu Adhikari had visited East Midnapore.

She informed that her government had evacuated 1.78 lakh people to flood relief centres prior to the cyclone, which minimised the loss of life.

“Five lakh houses were damaged by the cyclone and we have promised to build all of them under Bangla Awas Yojna. Around 15 lakh hectares of agricultural land, including paddy fields, were severely damaged. The finance department has already released

Rs 1,200 crore to kick off the restoration work,” Mamata said during Question Hour in the Assembly.

Senior government officials said the chief minister had elaborated on her government’s initiatives as she had felt it was almost impossible for the state to undertake the rehabilitation and restoration works alone. “The Prime Minister and the Union home minister had spoken to the chief minister soon after the cyclone had hit Bengal and promised all possible assistance. The chief minister is trying to remind them what they had promised,” said an official.

Mamata is also eager to

ensure that people don’t get angry with the state government because of the delay in undertaking the restoration works.

Sources in the disaster management department said the process of releasing assistance could take some more time as the Centre would check minute details of the state’s claim. “The central team had visited the affected areas. Their report would be tallied with that of the state before the compensation is fixed,” said an official.