A sum of Rs.100 crore has been sanctioned from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the construction of multipurpose storm shelters in the districts of West Bengal affected by cyclone Aila, which struck on May 25.

The State government had sought Rs.252 crore from the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project for the construction of 357 permanent shelters for victims of natural calamities in the region.

Rs.100 crore had so far been sanctioned for the purpose, State Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said here on Thursday. The West Bengal government was informed of the decision by a member of the National Disaster Management Authority.

The funds sanctioned from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund would help in the construction of 200 shelters. Initially, work would begin in the three districts of South and North 24 Parganas and Purbo Medinipur, which were worst hit in the cyclone.

It would later be taken up in other districts in coordination with district authorities and local rural bodies, he said.

The State cabinet that met during the day also ratified a decision to acquire 5963 acres of land for the reconstruction of embankments along a stretch of 834 km in the Sunderbans where cyclone Aila caused extensive damage to the dykes, resulting in flooding in vast areas.

The departments concerned — Irrigation, Sunderbans Affairs, and Land and Land Reforms — have been asked to submit suggestions on how the process of land acquisition for the purpose could proceed.