Cyclone Amphan: PM Modi announces ₹1,000 cr interim aid to W. Bengal

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on May 22, 2020 Published on May 22, 2020

PM Narendra Modi doing aerial survey and assesses damage due ot cyclone Amphan which created large-scale destruction in West Bengal. Photo: Special Arrangement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an advance “financial assistance” package of ₹1,000 crore for West Bengal to cope with and re-build the state in the wake of large scale destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan.

A more detailed package is in the works post surveys by the state government and Central teams, the PM further said.

The Prime Minister, along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar took an aerial survey to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Amphan especially across South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas – the two worst affected districts in the state.

A major chunk of South 24 Parganas is said to have been devastated as Cyclone Amphan passed over it with wind speed of 155-165 km/hr and gusts up to 180 km/hr. The cyclone had made a landfall in the South 24 Parganas district.

Post aerial survey, the Prime Minister chaired an administrative meeting at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas, some 70 kilometers from the state capital (Kolkata). The CM and Chief Secretary were also present.

“I have been briefed in detail by the state government. They will prepare a report post the survey and send it to the Centre. A central team will also survey and assess the damages. A comprehensive package will be announced for Bengal,” he said post the meeting and aerial survey.

“As an advance, we are now announcing a financial assistance of ₹1,000 crore for the state. Together we will rebuild Bengal,” the Prime Minister said in an emotional speech.

Incidentally, the West Bengal Chief Minister has already sought central assistance to rebuild the state from one of worst natural calamities in recent times. Losses are expected to be to the tune of Rs 1-lakh crore or more.

‘With the people’

The Prime Minister further added that the Centre will “stand shoulder to shoulder with Bengal”. “Necessary precautions were taken. But even then 80 people have died. We feel sorry for the loss of lives and damages to property,” he mentioned.

Of the 80 dead so far, 19 are from Kolkata. There are a number of electrocution deaths too.

Incidentally, West Bengal had carried out a massive evacuation exercise with over 5 lakh people being relocated to community centres, schools and cyclone and flood relief centres. Modi also announced a compensation of ₹2 lakh for the kin of the deceased; while another ₹50,000 has been announced for the injured.

The Prime Minister will take a similar aerial survey to assess the damage in the neighbouring state of Odisha.

Kolkata still affected

Power outage continues in many parts of Kolkata and the surrounding areas – running into 40-odd hours in some areas – while a majority of the city’s thoroughfares bear the marks of the devastation with around 1,800 uprooted trees and complete destruction of unstructured markets.

Efforts are being made to normalise traffic movement and putting essential services back on track. People in some localities of Kolkata are also shifting out temporarily.

According to sources, death toll in Cyclone Amphan has reached 80.

Purba Medinipur, Howrah and Hooghly have also borne the brunt of the cyclone.

Published on May 22, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.