Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday did an aerial survey of cyclone-affected areas of West Bengal and Odisha and announced advance financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 500 crore, respectively, for the two states.
In neighbouring Odisha, he surveyed districts such as Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj for about 90 minutes, PTI reported from Bhubaneswar. He then held a review meeting with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Governor Ganeshi Lal.
Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi were also present at the review meeting held at the premises of Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar.
After an administrative meeting at Basirhat College, in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas, where his helicopter landed after the aerial survey, Modi said, “The (Union) government will make arrangements of an advance of Rs 1,000 crore towards relief and restoration. Rs 2 lakh will be paid to family members of people who died from the Prime Minister’s relief fund, (and) Rs 50,000 will be paid to each person injured in the cyclone.”
He said, “I was in touch with everyone connected with tackling the cyclone. The state government and the Centre both tried hard to minimise the cyclone’s impact, but unfortunately we could not save about 80 lives. Both the Centre and the State extends condolences to the families of those who died.”
Modi said, “Power, agriculture and telecom sectors saw loses. Infrastructure and business sector also saw losses. I did an aerial survey with the CM and the Governor. The state government gave me primary assessment of losses. A detailed survey will be done. We will also send a central team, which will also visit the affected areas and assess the loss. We will work together in relief, rehabilitation and restoration.”
The Centre, he assured, will do “whatever is needed, following rules, to help Bengal”.
Banerjee said, “The PM had assured us Rs 1,000 crore immediately. I have told him to send his team for assessment… We are doing our (own) assessment. We will give a comprehensive report. I have requested him to give whatever he wants as soon as possible…. I told him that the Centre owes us Rs 53,000 crore and requested him to give us some help now. The loss could be more than Rs 1 lakh crore…”