Along with Rs 1k crore, PM Modi pledges ‘shoulder to shoulder’ help to Bengal
PM Modi also acknowledged that the Bengal government had worked with Centre on measures to prevent damage caused by Cyclone Amphan.Updated: May 22, 2020 16:18 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday afternoon declared an advance assistance fund of Rs 1000 crore for relief and rehabilitation in Amphan-hit districts of Bengal after conducting an aerial survey of the worst-hit areas in the North and South 24 Parganas districts with chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
“The state and the Centre tried their best to take precautionary measures before the cyclone. But despite that around 80 lives have been lost. This is very unfortunate. The government of India will work shoulder to shoulder with the state administration. We are announcing the release of an advance assistance fund of Rs 1,000 crore,” said PM Modi in Hindi.
Before the Prime Minister arrived at the Kolkata airport, Banerjee said, “We heard last evening that he (Modi) would be coming. Sometimes we have to move out of politics and attend to constitutional obligations and work together as state and Central governments. We have to maintain that relationship. We have to follow the federal structure,” said Banerjee.
“While we have received reports of 80 deaths so far, six crore people in the state have been directly affected. This (Amphan) has done more damage than any other natural disaster,” said Banerjee.
Modi also declared Rs 2 lakh as assistance to families of the dead and Rs 50,000 to the injured people from the Prime Minister’s disaster relief fund.
Before making the announcements, the Prime Minister went for an aerial survey with Banerjee for the first time and even held a meeting with state officials at Basirhat in the North 24 Parganas. They flew over the worst affected areas in a 10-seat army chopper for around one hour.
Modi sought a report on the damages and said central teams would also visit Bengal for damage assessment, said officials who attended the administrative meeting.
“The fight against the coronavirus and the fight against the cyclone are completely different in nature. To fight the coronavirus, we ask people to stay at home while during the cyclone we ask people to leave their homes and take shelter in safe places. Under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, the state has fought both the situations. West Bengal has to fight. We have to work together,” said Modi.