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Modi and Shah talk to Mamata on cyclone

Mamata Banerjee called off her north Bengal tour and decided to visit affected areas instead

By Our Special Correspondent in Calcutta

  • Published 11.11.19, 2:47 AM
  • Updated 11.11.19, 2:47 AM
A house damaged by an uprooted tree in Basirhat
A house damaged by an uprooted tree in Basirhat Pashupati Das

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah telephoned Mamata Banerjee on Sunday to know the situation in the aftermath of Cyclone Bulbul that claimed seven lives in Bengal and assured her of assistance from the Centre.

Sources at Nabanna said the chief minister had told Modi the state was still assessing the damage and would get back to the Centre once the task was completed.

“Reviewed the situation in the wake of cyclone conditions and heavy rain in parts of Eastern India. Spoke to WB CM @MamataOfficial regarding the situation arising due to Cyclone Bulbul. Assured all possible assistance from the Centre. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” tweeted Modi.

Reports with the disaster management department suggested the cyclone had killed at least seven people, including five in North 24-Parganas.

Shah also called up Mamata to get details of the disaster.

“Closely monitoring the situation as cyclone Bulbul hits Eastern India. We are continuously in touch with central & state relief agencies. Have spoken to CM @MamataOfficial and have assured all possible help. I pray to almighty for those who are braving out this adverse weather,” he tweeted.

The communication between Mamata and the Modi-Shah duo was deemed significant by a section of state government officials. After Cyclone Fani had hit the state earlier this year, Modi claimed Mamata had not answered or returned his calls for a similar stock-taking.

“The chief minister was not present in Calcutta when Fani had hit. But still the situation was politicised by the BJP. The chief minister did not give them any chance this time and briefed the Prime Minister as well as the Union home minister on the situation,” said a source.

Mamata called off her north Bengal tour and decided to visit affected areas instead.

“Due to the severe cyclonic storm ‘Bulbul’, I have decided to postpone my North Bengal visit in the coming week. Instead, tomorrow I would take an aerial survey of the affected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali,” she tweeted.

“Later I would take a meeting at Kakdwip with administration to review relief and rehabilitation measures of the cyclone-affected people. I am also planning to visit the cyclone-affected areas of Basirhat of North 24-Parganas on 13 November, 2019,” she added.

Sources said Mamata had decided to review the situation on her own and prepare a plan to make sure that the victims didn’t face trouble in getting relief and rehabilitation.

According to the disaster management department’s estimates, at least 4.65 lakh people were affected, of which 1.78 lakh were kept in relief camps. More than 60,000 dwelling units have been partially damaged, while 2,473 houses were damaged severely.