Don't indulge in politics, help us rebuild state, says Mamata
Kolkata: Urging people to show patience, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the administration was working tirelessly to bring about normalcy in the state that has been ravaged by Super Cyclone Amphan that left behind mass destruction.
She also denounced the "negative campaigning" against her government, and maintained that "this is not the time to do politics".
Banerjee conducted an aerial survey of the worst affected regions of South 24-Parganas district for the second consecutive day, after accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday.
"We are facing four challenges at a time, COVID-19, lockdown, issues related to migrant labourers and now the cyclonic disaster," she said.
After holding a review meeting at Kakdwip in the district, the Chief Minister said the devastation caused by Amphan is "more than a national disaster".
Talking to the press at Nabanna after visiting Kakdwip, a visibly emotional Mamata said: "We are working round-the-clock to restore normalcy. We have been in action from Thursday — within 24 hours after the cyclone hit Bengal. As many as 225 teams are working in Kolkata. My request is please do not play nasty politics at this critical hour. You will get enough time to criticise me," she said adding "my sincere apologies to the people for the inconvenience. Kill me if you want but please cooperate with us to restore normalcy."
Banerjee appealed to those who have put up blockades at various areas to withdraw the protests. "We are trying our best. Do not get provoked by those who are instigating you. You must understand the ground reality," she said.
Referring to thousands of hapless people who have been rendered homeless in South 24-Parganas, she added: "More than one crore people have been affected. Many tubewells have become defunct under the impact of saline water. Innumerable houses have been damaged or razed to the ground. The roads have been washed away. Thousands of trees have been uprooted and many of them have fallen into water bodies. Those who are demanding restoration of power should think of these hapless people first and how they are facing the odds," she maintained.
Banerjee also said it was unfortunate that during this critical hour when the whole administration is trying hard to restore stability, some sections of the media are publishing "negative news to defame the government. Why don't you write on the workers who are spending sleepless nights to restore normalcy. Such positive news helps boost up their morale."
The Chief Minister also appealed for contribution to the West Bengal State Disaster Relief Fund. "If you contribute even Re 1, we will accept your donation respectfully. I appeal to the industrialists to contribute under their CSR schemes."
Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said the West Bengal State Disaster Management Authority has been set up. It is a society registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961.
Details of the bank account for donations have been provided: ICICI BANK A/c no 628001041066, address: 8/1 Hardatrai Chamaria Road. HOWRAH IFSC ICIC0006280, MICR code 700229010.
Cyclone Amphan has claimed 86 lives in the state and caused havoc in at least 14 districts mainly in South 24-Parganas, Kolkata, North 24-Parganas, East Midnapore.
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