KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those killed in Cyclone Bulbul. Reports of 10 deaths were received by the state government from district administrations. Two more bodies were recovered on Monday and the deceased were identified as fishermen who were on a boat that capsized in the cyclone. Seven persons, who were on the boat, are still missing.
The chief minister constituted a task force to oversee the relief and restoration work in three districts—East Midnapore, South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas—which were badly affected by the storm. She appointed chief secretary Rajiva Sinha as the head of the task force which will be reviewing the ongoing relief work every 48 hours.
The chief minister conducted an aerial survey of the cyclone ravaged coastal areas in South 24-Parganas and held an administrative meeting at Kakdwip to review the initiatives being taken in the aftermath of the calamity. "My district administration did an excellent job. If they had not rescued 1.78 lakh people, I don’t know what would have happened. They will be rewarded. Even the central government applauded their effort," she said after holding the administrative meeting.
She also said that around six lakh people have been affected by the cyclone and the number might increase. "We have engaged 94 boats to help in the restoration work," she said.
According to the state government’s record, a total of 323 kitchens have been set up to cater to the cyclone-hit families. ‘’We are assessing the extent of the damage. The government will help the affected people once the assessment is done,’’ the chief minister assured.
She advised the district administration to take help of civic volunteers of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to speed up the ongoing operations.
The chief minister said that farmers were badly affected by the cyclone. "Beetle leaf cultivation and paddy were badly hit. I have directed irrigation, forest and power departments to work hard to restore normalcy in the affected areas," she said.
The Trinamool supremo will visit the affected areas in North 24-Parganas on Wednesday and hold a meeting with the district administration to review the aftermath situation.