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Over 5 Lakh New Applications Filed for Amphan Aid, Govt Verifying Claims: Bengal Official

The cyclone had wreaked havoc in the coastal districts of Bengal.

The cyclone had wreaked havoc in the coastal districts of Bengal.

The applications were filed last week -- almost two-and-a-half months after the cyclone wreaked havoc in several districts -- leaving the government in a fix, the official said.

More than five lakh fresh applications have been filed demanding compensation for houses damaged during Cyclone Amphan, and the West Bengal governmentis verifying the authenticity of these claims, a senior official said on Monday.

The applications were filed last week — almost two-and-a-half months after the cyclone wreaked havoc in several districts — leaving the government "in a fix", the official at the state secretariat said.

"These new applications were received last week. And the number is quite high. It is surprising and unusual that so many people, who have been affected by the May 20 cyclone, were left out of the beneficiary lists prepared. We have decided to conduct surveys to verify the claims," he said.

The state government had recently urged cyclone-hit people, who did not figure in the initial lists of beneficiaries, to come forward with their claims, following which lakhs of applications were filed at the BDOs and municipality offices. Of the over five lakh new applications, 2.07 lakh are from Purba Medinipur, 1.17 lakh from North 24 Parganas and around one lakh from South 24 Parganas.

"We have also received claims from areas that come under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation as well as from neighbouring Howrah and Hooghly districts," the official said, adding that the state has plans to upload the details of the applications, after proper verification, on its official website by August 14.

The Bengal government has promised an assistance of Rs 20,000 for totally damaged houses, and Rs 5,000 for partially damaged ones.

So far, at least 14.82 lakh beneficiaries have received compensation out of the 17.30 lakh applicants found eligible for the aid.

The opposition BJP had alleged that "genuine"beneficiaries have been left out of the government list, while those having allegiance to the TMC got the money.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in the wake of the allegations, had urged people to file complaints with the police and write to the BDOs and the CMO grievance cell.

At least 40,000 complaints were filed, of which 34,000 were authentic, sources in the state secretariat said.

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