Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday conducted an aerial survey to take stock of the trail of destruction left behind by severe cyclonic storm Amphan in West Bengal and Odisha. After conducting an aerial survey of Cyclone Amphan-hit regions in both states, PM Modi announced "advance interim financial assistance" of Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 500 crore for West Bengal and Odisha respectively, and assured that the Centre and state are working together to provide all possible help to people.
PM Modi's visit to Cyclone Amphan-hit regions in West Bengal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday witnessed devastation done by cyclone Amphan in West Bengal and announced Rs 1,000 crore relief package in the form of immediate aid saying that the nation is with Bengal to rebuild the state together. The Prime Minister's statement came after he along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar conducted aerial survey to witness damage caused by the extremely severe cyclonic storm.
Addressing media, PM Modi said a Central government team will also visit the state to conduct a detailed survey about the damage caused due to Cyclone Amphan and the current situation of the affected areas. "All aspects relating to rehabilitation and reconstruction will be addressed. We all want West Bengal to move ahead," he added.
While speaking on Amphan damage, PM Modi also talked about fighting coronavirus and said, "Dealing with COVID-19 requires social distancing whereas battling the Amphan Cyclone requires people to move to safer areas. Despite these contradictions, West Bengal under leadership of Mamata ji is fighting well. We are with them in these adverse times."
Issuing a statement on damage caused to West Bengal due to cyclone Amphan, PM Modi said, "I assure my brothers and sisters of West Bengal that the entire country stands with you in these difficult times. In the month of May, the country was busy with elections and at that time we had to combat a cyclone that battered Odisha. Now, after a year, this cyclone has affected our coastal areas. People of West Bengal have been worst affected by it."
"After reviewing the situation at an official meeting with Dhankhar, Banerjee and the state's top officials in Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district, PM Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the families of each of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the injured. At least 77 people have been reported killed so far in the state due to the extremely severe cyclone.
Large-scale damage to infrastructure, public and private property was reported from North and South 24 Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly districts.
PM Modi's visit to Cyclone Amphan-hit regions in 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 here.
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.
In Odisha, the cyclone has affected over 44.80 lakh people in 1,500-gram panchayats, despite the Odisha government evacuating around two lakh people from vulnerable areas ahead of the landfall. Meanwhile, restoration work is underway particularly in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore, and road connectivity is likely to be restored shortly. But it will take a day or two to fully restore the power supply, an official said.
Though the cyclone did not directly hit Odisha, it uprooted a large number of trees, electric poles and flattened thatched and mud houses as it hurtled towards West Bengal.
(With PTI Inputs)