Millennium Post

Mamata undertakes aerial survey

Mamata undertakes aerial survey

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee undertook an aerial survey of the Bulbul-hit areas of Bakkhali and Namkhana in South 24-Parganas on Monday. She also announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the families of those who have lost their lives.

Five to six lakh people have been affected and around two lakh mud houses have been partially or fully damaged. Seven fishermen are still missing and search operations are being conducted to trace them.

The Chief Minister also held an administrative meeting at the Kakdwip Sports stadium. Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha and other senior state government officials attended the meeting.

Earlier, Banerjee cancelled her North Bengal trip in view of the situation. She will be visiting the affected areas of North 24-Parganas on November 13. She manned the control room at Nabanna and oversaw the rescue operations when Bulbul hit Sagar Island on Saturday evening.

Cyclone Bulbul has so far claimed seven lives in the six affected districts including South and North 24-Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and East and West Midnapore. Two lakh mud houses have been partially or fully damaged. Paddy fields covering 9.15 lakh hectare in these six districts have been affected. Agricultural experts will visit the affected areas. At least 41 sub-stations, 247 electrical transformers got badly damaged while 6,749 poles got uprooted in the affected districts. The initial estimated cost of damage will be around Rs 8.5 crore.

Banerjee also handed over a cheque worth Rs 2 lakh to the spouse of Sanjay Das, a fisherman who went missing when Bulbul struck on Saturday. Bodies of two more fishermen — Mujibar Sheikh and Asit Bhuniya — were recovered on Monday evening. Seven fishermen are still missing. A massive hunt is on and the rescue team even visited Mousuni Island in search of the missing fishermen. Banerjee wondered why the owner of the trawler did not come back despite repeated requests from the administration before the cyclone struck on Saturday evening.

Addressing senior state government officials, she said paddy and vegetables have been badly damaged. Vast areas of Kakdwip have been badly affected. The paddy fields are underwater and no one knows when the accumulated water will recede. She said the houses that got damaged either fully or partially will be repaired under the "Gramin Abas Yojna". Three task force units have been set up in three districts while another one under the Chief Secretary has been opened at Nabanna.

She said it will take at least a week to 10 days time to restore electricity in vast areas affected by Bulbul. She urged parents to keep their children under vigil so that they do not touch snapped wires.

Banerjee asked Sanghamitra Ghosh, the state Health secretary, to keep adequate medicines at the health centres and hospital ready. "The anti-venom medicines to save people who have been bitten by snakes should be kept ready," she said.

Banerjee instructed to engage workers under 100 days' work and local youths for rehabilitation. She said the mangrove trees need to be preserved and directed the South 24-Parganas' district administration to get in touch with the state Forest department.

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