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Amphan: Centre announces interim relief package of Rs 1,000 cr to Bengal, Rs 500 cr to Odisha

Modi, Mamata, Dhankhar survey storm hit areas by copter

By Our Bureau and Agencies in Calcutta
  • Published 22.05.20, 5:34 AM
  • Updated 22.05.20, 6:47 PM
  • 2 mins read
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducts an aerial survey of cyclone Amphan affected areas with West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee (unseen), in Calcutta, Friday, May 22, 2020 TV Grab/PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced an immediate relief package of Rs 1,000 crore to the West Bengal government to deal with the aftermath of the cyclone Amphan, which has left at least 77 dead in the state.

The Prime Minister also said Rs 2 lakh will be given to the kin of the deceased and up to Rs 50,000 to those injured from the PM Relief Fund.

Expressing his grief over the hardships faced by the citizens of the state, Modi said that a team sent by the Centre will conduct a detailed survey in affected sectors of the state.

“We have decided to conduct a detailed survey for various sectors, including agriculture, telecommunication and power, besides assessing damage to houses and infrastructure as soon as possible. A team will be sent by the central government and it will conduct a survey in these sectors,” he said.

Modi said be it “rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction,” we will together formulate a plan to assist Bengal tide over the problems and help the state “stand on its feet” as fast as possible.

The announcement came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertook an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit areas of the state along with chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Banerjee had urged the Prime Minister on Thursday evening to visit the affected areas and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of the deceased and a corpus fund of Rs 1,000 crore for preliminary restoration work in the affected areas.

On Friday, the chief minister contended that the calamity is "more than a national disaster", adding that it will take time to restore normalcy as Amphan has ravaged at least seven to eight districts in Bengal and adversely impacted 60 per cent of the state's population.

Mamata had already reached out publicly to political opponents on Wednesday night, urging them to forget politics and join hands with her to help the cyclone’s victims.

The natural calamity has posed a huge challenge for the state government, already left cash-strapped by its battle against the coronavirus. The lockdown has brought economic activities to a halt, drying up revenues. Help from the Centre is therefore crucial to post-Amphan relief and restoration.

The Prime Minister tweeted Thursday afternoon: “Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy.”

PM aoounces Rs 500 Crore for Odisha

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an advance financial assistance of Rs 500 crore for cyclone-battered Odisha on Friday.

Modi made the announcement after an aerial survey of areas hit by cyclone 'Amphan' and holding a review meeting with Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The prime minister said further assistance will be provided for long-term rehabilitation measures after getting a detailed report from the state government.

The leaders toured districts such as Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj for about 90 minutes.

Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi were also present at the review meeting held at the premises of the Biju Patnaik International Airport.

Modi said that though the Odisha government has been able to save lives by undertaking preparations well in advance, the cyclone has caused damage to housing, power and infrastructure, besides the agriculture sector while moving towards West Bengal.

Complementing the people of Odisha, administration and the chief minister for saving lives, Modi said the disaster posed a serious challenge before the state as it struck at a time when everyone is engaged in a formidable battle against Covid-19.