Both the state and central governments on Wednesday announced compensation for those affected by landslides in Darjeeling Hills even as they differed on the number of victims.
While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 1.25 lakh to the injured, Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to hand over relief worth Rs 2 lakh each to the dead and Rs 50,000 each to those hurt.
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Bimal Gurung, chief of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.
Mamata said in a Facebook post that 30 lives were lost and eight persons were missing in the disaster. “As reported till now, 30 precious lives have been lost and eight persons are missing. I have been monitoring the situation very closely since morning and providing all necessary assistance from the administration to the affected areas,” she said.
Earlier in the day, officials in the state’s Disaster Management Department had put the death toll at 38 in the three sub-divisions of Darjeeling district since Tuesday night.
“Administration is working round the clock to complete all procedures to hand over bodies of the victims to their families for last rites….,” Mamata said in a post. “After cancelling tomorrow’s administrative meeting at Birbhum, I am now on my way from Murshidabad to Darjeeling, so that I can be amid the affected people at their hour of grief…,” she added.
“Deeply pained at the loss of lives due to the landslides in Darjeeling district. Condolences to the families of the deceased,” the PM tweeted.
Deeply pained at the loss of lives due to the landslides in Darjeeling district. Condolences to the families of the deceased.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 1, 2015
Meanwhile, following directions from the PM, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju visited the district in the evening. He is expected to submit a report to the PM on Thursday.
“Despite rough and hilly region and inclement weather, rescue efforts were on. It is very sad to see such catastrophic damages. So far, 38 bodies have been recovered and efforts are on to recover the remaining missing people,” he told PTI.
Rijiju visited relief camps in Ting Ling area in Kurseong where hundreds were rendered homeless. Along with Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia and officials of Home Ministry and NDRF, Rijiju visited hospitals. Bimal Gurung, officials from the state government, NDRF and SSB also accompanied him. On Thursday, the team will visit Kalimpong.