Cyclone AMPHAN: Toll rises to 80 in West Bengal

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after an aerial survey on Friday, 22 May 2020 said that the West Bengal government and the Central government worked hard together to take all the necessary steps to minimize the loss caused by cyclone AMPHAN but despite that, we could not save the lives of about 80 people. We are all sad about it. The Central Government, State Government and all of us offer our condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and we are with them in this hour of crisis.

Once again, a cyclone has hit the coastal region of India, especially the eastern region. It has caused great loss to our brothers and sisters of West Bengal and has caused extensive damage to the property here.

There is also considerable loss of property – whether it is agriculture, the power sector, telecommunication, or the houses that have been damaged. There have been losses of different infrastructure, and also in the business world and the agriculture sector; everyone has suffered great losses.

Today I have done an aerial survey of this vast expanse of affected area by closely inspecting with the Chief Minister, and the Governor. Right now the State Government and the Chief Minister have given me the details of the primary assessment. We have decided to send a central team and conduct a detailed survey at the earliest on different sectors like agriculture, power sector, telecommunication, the status of houses and infrastructure.

Immediately a team will come from the central government and that team will conduct survey in all these areas and together we can arrange for rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction. By preparing a comprehensive plan, we will fully support Bengal in this hour of grief, and help Bengal bounce back as quickly as possible. Bengal should again start moving at a fast pace as soon as possible. And for this, the Government of India will work shoulder to shoulder with the State government. We will stand by the state and help West Bengal by fully implementing every policy and regulations of the Government of India to fulfil those requirements.

One thousand crore rupees will be arranged by the Government of India as an advance assistance to help the State Government in this hour of crisis. At the same time, we will also provide assistance of up to two lakh rupees from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to the families who have lost their loved ones and up to 50 thousand rupees to those who have suffered injuries.

The whole world is struggling with a crisis. India is also constantly fighting a battle against the corona virus. The Mantra of winning the battle against corona virus and the cyclone are completely opposite to each other.

The mantra to fight the corona virus is – do not get out of the house and stay wherever you are; do not get out of the house if not required. But the Cyclone’s mantra is – be at a safe spot as soon as possible. Shift to a safe site, try to get there and leave your houses. That is, both are different types of battles that have to be fought by West Bengal simultaneously.

But even then, the state government, under the leadership of Mamata ji, has done its best. The Government of India has also been with them constantly and all measures that were necessary to take in advance had been taken beforehand to deal with this crisis and are also taking steps regarding what needs to be done in the days to come.

Today is the birth anniversary of Raja Rammohan Roy, for whom the entire country feels proud. And at this time, being on the holy land of West Bengal, I feel overwhelmed. But we are struggling with this crisis at hand, So, I will only say that may Raja Rammohan Roy ji blesses us all so that we can sit together and work together to fulfil the dreams of social change which he had dreamt of! We will continue our work in the direction of bringing about social reforms for the development of the future generations and for a better future. That will be the best tribute to Raja Rammohan Roy.

I assure all my brothers and sisters in West Bengal that the whole country is with you in this hour of crisis. The central government will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in every work. I have come to meet you at this time of crisis, but due to Corona virus, I am unable to meet all the citizens; so, there will be a regreat in my mind. From here, I will go to Odisha today and will also conduct aerial survey there. I will talk to the honourable Chief Minister and the state government.

Once again I would say that I am with you in this hour of misery in West Bengal. And I will be always with you so that you are able to get out of this crisis as soon as possible.

PM’s remarks after aerial survey of Odisha

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi arrives at Bhubaneswar to take stock of the situation in the wake of Cyclone Amphan, in Odisha on May 22, 2020.

The world is fighting a war to save lives from the corona virus on one side. In the hour of such a crisis – be it the central government or the state governments – all the departments and all the citizens have been engaged in the fight against corona virus for the last two-and-a-half months.

At such a time, another major crisis in the form of a Cyclone – a Super-Cyclone – was a matter of great concern. How much damage would it cause to Odisha while moving towards Bengal also remained a matter of concern! Odisha has been able to achieve a great success in saving the lives of the citizens here with the help of the arrangements that have been institutionalized here and with the knowledge of what should be done by the citizens in the villages. And many congratulations to the citizens of Odisha, the administration and the Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Babu and his entire team.

But when such a big natural disaster comes, then there is an extensive loss of property. The loss in Odisha has not been much as compared to that of West Bengal, but even while crossing the state it has left its trail. It is such a crisis. And so I have fully reviewed the damage that has been caused to the housing, agriculture, power, communication and infrastructure today. The state government has also placed all the preliminary details in front of me.

The central Government will soon receive the report from the state government after assessment. A central government team will also reach here at the earliest and after reviewing the whole situation, work and help related to long-term relief, restoration and rehabilitation would be provided. The work will be carried forward, giving priority to all these things.

But keeping in mind the immediate needs, we have decided to give 500 crore rupees as an advance arrangement on behalf of the Government of India. And once the rest of the requirements are completed and the complete planning for rehabilitation is in place, the Government of India will work shoulder to shoulder with the State government in the journey of development in Odisha and help the State to come out of this crisis.

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