Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced an immediate financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for West Bengal after conducting an aerial survey of areas affected by Cyclone Amphan.
Promising to continue helping the state to get it back on its feet at the earliest, the Prime Minister also praised the work done by chief minister Mamata Banerjee in dealing with the disaster while also handing the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dealing with Covid-19 requires social distancing whereas battling the Amphan Cyclone requires people to move to safer areas. Despite these contradictions, West Bengal under leadership of Mamata ji is fighting well. We are with them in these adverse times,” the PM said.
Although the PM and Mamata Banerjee have been political adversaries, the two have promised cooperation in these testing times. The Prime Minister said the Centre will stand should to shoulder with Bengal and Banerjee also said her government will work with the Centre for relief and rehabilitation.
Modi had landed in Kolkata and was received by Banerjee earlier in the day, after which the two undertook an aerial survey in Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district, which is one of the worst hit.
In a video message after reviewing the situation, Modi said the damage had been extensive. "In this time of distress and despair, the entire country and the Centre are with the people of Bengal," he said.
He also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the families of each of those killed during the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan, and Rs 50,000 for the injured. This is in addition to the compensation announced by the state government.
At least 80 people have been reported killed so far in the state due to the extremely severe cyclone. Large-scale damage to infrastructure, public and private property was reported from North and South 24 Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly districts.