West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday for a discussion on the impact of cyclone ‘Yaas’ that swept past the coastal regions of the State and Odisha on Wednesday.
Ms. Banerjee told journalists on Thursday said that she would meet Mr. Modi at the Kalaikunda Air Base in Paschim Mednipur district. “He is coming from Odisha after visiting the cyclone-affected regions and after visiting Digha, he will be coming to Kalaikunda, where we will have a short meeting,” she said at the State Secretariat.
This will be the first meeting between the two after Ms Banerjee was elected the Chief Minister for the third time earlier this month. Ms. Banerjee will visit the cyclone-affected areas of Sandeshkhali and Sagar on Friday before meeting Mr. Modi.
The Chief Minister claimed that the State suffered damage amounting to ₹ 15,000 crore due to ‘Yaas’.
Relief at the doorstep
The government would start a scheme, “‘Duare Traan’ relief at the doorstep”, on June 3 for the next 15 days at the village level, where people could give applications seeking relief. After that, from June 18 to June 30, verification of the applications would be done, and in July first week, money would be credited to beneficiaries through direct benefit transfer. The scheme was an extension of the ‘government at the doorstep’ scheme.
Ms. Banerjee said the government had allocated ₹ 1,000 crore for rehabilitation. “We should immediately start rehabilitation work. Distribution of tarpaulin, dry rations, drinking water should start immediately.” She directed the Irrigation and Panchayat Departments to ensure that the embankments made by the State or roads constructed in the coastal areas should last and not washed away in a one or two years.
At a meeting called to assess the damage caused by the cyclone, Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said 1.16 lakh hectares of agriculture land had been damaged, amounting to ₹ 2,000 crore. Three lakh dwelling units have also been destroyed.
Coastal areas under water
Large parts of the coastal areas of the State still remained under water, particularly in Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas. The combined effects of the cyclone and full moon tide resulted on overflowing and breach of the embankments. During the day, localised tornado was reported in Ashoknagar in North 24 parganas and Santipur in Nadia.
Kolkata and adjoining areas witnessed heavy rainfall and water in the Hooghly river rose. There was water-logging in certain parts of the city. Two youths died of electrocution in Nandigram. Death due to electrocution was also reported in Baharampur in Murshidabad district.