Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: Villages in the Aila-affected region of the Sunderbans witnessed a complete shut-down on Tuesday, the first anniversary of the cyclone, as a result of a twelve-hour strike called by the Left Front in protest against the apathy of the Central government to the plight of the inhabitants of the islands.

While shops and markets remained closed for the day, all forms of transport, including ferries, boats and launches stayed off the waters. Fishermen stayed at home and work on the repair of breached embankments and digging of irrigation canals was suspended for the day.

“The Centre had promised Rs. 1,000 crore for the rehabilitation of the cyclone victims, but has only allocated Rs. 186 lakh so far. It was also said that the advice of international agencies will be sought on the master plan of the Rs. 5,500-crore project for construction of permanent embankments, but there has been no progress,” said Biman Bose, Chairman of the West Bengal Left Front Committee.