The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on Thursday reviewed the rescue and relief operations in cyclone-hit West Bengal and Odisha, where minimal loss of lives was reported due to accurate forecast by the IMD and timely deployment of NDRF troops.
The NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, reviewed the prevailing situation in West Bengal and Odisha with the state and central agencies in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan.
Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha informed that timely and accurate forecast by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and advance the deployment of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) facilitated in evacuation of about five lakh people in West Bengal and about two lakh in Odisha, an official statement said.
"This has resulted in minimal loss of human lives, considering the fact that the intensity of the Amphan was next only to that of the super cyclone that struck Odisha in 1999 causing large scale devastation," it said.
The NDRF is moving additional teams to West Bengal to speed up restoration work, especially in Kolkata.
The Food Corporation of India will also ensure adequate availability of food grains, especially rice, to West Bengal so that marooned people are provided for for immediate sustenance.
The Power Ministry and Department of Telecommunications will also assist in the early restoration of services in both the states.
The Railways, which suffered major damages to its infrastructure, is in the process of restarting its operations at the earliest, the statement said.
The West Bengal government informed that there were major damages to agriculture, power and telecommunication facilities in the cyclone-affected areas.
Odisha informed that damages have been mainly limited to agriculture.
Reviewing the rescue and restoration efforts, the cabinet secretary directed that officers of the central ministries and agencies should remain in close contact with the Odisha government and provide all required assistance expeditiously. Ministry of Home Affairs will be sending teams to carry out early assessment of damages and submit a report, the statement said.
Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha participated in the NCMC meeting through video conference. Senior officers from the Ministries of Home, Defence, Shipping, Civil Aviation, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Power, Telecommunications, Steel, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Health, IMD, NDMA and NDRF attended the meeting.