PM announces Rs 1,000 crore package for Bengal and Rs 500 crore for Odisha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes an aerial survey of the two cyclone-ravaged states with Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik by his side.

After Super Cyclone Amphan’s destruction across West Bengal and Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did an aerial survey of the most ravaged areas of the two states along with the respective chief ministers. The PM was accompanied by ministers belonging to the states namely, Dharmendra Pradhan, Babul Supriyo, Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Debasree Chaudhuri.

The Prime Minister first went to West Bengal, which has faced the maximum brunt of Cyclone Amphan, where more than 77 people lost their lives and property worth several thousand crores was damaged. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee demanded the destruction should be treated as a national disaster. After that PM Modi and CM Mamata Banerjee conducted an aerial survey of areas affected by Cyclone Amphan in West Bengal.

After the aerial survey, PM Modi conducted a review meeting in Basirhat with Banerjee, Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and senior state officials. Ministers Babul Supriyo and Debasree Chaudhuri were also present in the meeting. The PM reviewed the relief and rehabilitation measures taken by the administration. PM Modi announced a financial assistance of Rs 1000 crore for immediate relief. He stated that after receiving the memorandum of assistance from the state, Union government will deploy an inter-ministerial team to visit the state to assess the extent of damage in the state based on which further assistance will be given.

PM also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the family of those who died in the cyclone and Rs 50,000 to the family of those who were seriously injured. Mamata Banerjee said West Bengal has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore. “In this hour of crisis, we all must work together. I have told PM Modi in detail about post-cyclone situation in Bengal,” she said. Though Union Minister Babul Supriyo said this was a meeting of two able administrators and there was no room for politics, the tone of the Bengal CM suggested otherwise.

Post her meeting, Mamata Banerjee said, “PM announced Rs 1000 crore for the emergency fund but he didn’t clarify whether it’ll be an advance or a package. He said he’ll decide later on but he said it may be advance also. I said whatever you will give you decide, we’ll give you details. There is already Rs 53,000 crore pending with the Centre.” Asked if she was satisfied with the PM visit, Mamata Banerjee said, “At this hour of crisis, we feel that we must work together.

There are so many areas where they can help us. State government also exists in this country and Central government also exists. If there is a crisis everybody must work together.” After his West Bengal visit, PM Modi went to Odisha where he was received by CM Naveen Patnaik and Governor Ganeshi Lal. PM Modi and the CM conducted the aerial survey of cycloneaffected districts.

After that, the PM returned to Bhubaneswar where he held a review meeting with the Odisha CM and officials. Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi were also present. PM Modi announced a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to Odisha and Rs 2 lakh to the family of those who died in the cyclone and Rs 50,000 to those who were seriously injured. PM Modi tweeted and congratulated the people of Odisha. The tweet said that everyone is fighting Covid-19 and in such a time we had a super cyclone in some parts of India.

At the same time, due to the well-established processes in Odisha many lives were saved. I congratulate the people and the government of Odisha. After the announcement of Rs 500 crore package, the PM added that the government will further help state government and make rest of the arrangements to come out of the crisis after a complete survey and formation of a rehabilitation plan. Super Cyclone Amphan caused major devastation in Odisha which saw power and telecom infrastrcuture damaged in several coastal districts.

As per official estimate of Odisha government, the cyclone has affected around 44.8 lakh people in the state. PM Modi’s visit to these two states has taken place after 83 days as he has had to remain in Delhi because of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.