Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an immediate relief package of £100 million to the West Bengal government to deal with the aftermath of the cyclone Amphan, which has left at least 77 dead in the state. The Prime Minister also said Rs 200,000 will be given to the kin of the deceased and up to Rs 50,000 to those injured from the PM Relief Fund.
Expressing grief over the hardships faced by the citizens of the state, Modi said that a team sent by the Centre will conduct a detailed survey in affected sectors of the state. “We have decided to conduct a detailed survey for various sectors, including agriculture, telecommunication and power, besides assessing damage to houses and infrastructure as soon as possible. A team will be sent by the central government and it will conduct a survey in these sectors,” he said.
Modi said be it “rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction,” we will together formulate a plan to assist Bengal tide over the problems and help the state “stand on its feet” as fast as possible. The announcement came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertook an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit areas of the state along with chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Earlier, Banerjee had urged the Prime Minister to visit the affected areas. Mamata said that the calamity is "more than a national disaster", adding that it will take time to restore normalcy as Amphan has ravaged at least seven to eight districts in Bengal and adversely impacted 60 per cent of the state's population.
Mamata had already reached out publicly to political opponents, urging them to forget politics and join hands with her to help the cyclone’s victims. The natural calamity has posed a huge challenge for the state government, already left cash-strapped by its battle against the coronavirus. The lockdown has brought economic activities to a halt, drying up revenues. Help from the Centre is therefore crucial to post-Amphan relief and restoration.