With Aila scars still fresh, state's initiatives help them see through Amphan
Kolkata: Well-knit infrastructure developed by the Mamata Banerjee government in the past nine years to combat storms in the coastal areas has minimised devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan, said Aila victims on Monday.
The devastating Aila had hit Bengal on this day in 2009. Recollecting the nightmarish experience of facing Aila without no proper infrastructure then, the same people claimed that this time around, they were taken to flood shelters that have been set up after Mamata
Banerjee came to power in the state. Gosta Gopal Bera, who has been evacuated along with his mother Sandhya Bera, said he had a narrow escape during Aila as he did not find any safe place for refuge then.
"But this time, we were taken to a flood shelter and were safe with our family members," said Bera, a resident of Ramnagar
village. Similar was the experience of a resident of the same village at Patharpratima block of South 24-Parganas. He said the state witnessed havoc this time as Cyclone Amphan lashed Sagar Island at a speed of 165 km per hour. "So far 86 people have died. It would have been much more and the property loss would have been
manifold as well if the state had not constructed better embankments and flood centres at each of the vulnerable blocks," he said.
With relentless efforts of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, as many as 20 flood centres have been constructed in Patharpratima block only. Two-storeyed school buildings have been constructed. At present, there are at
least 42 school buildings in the block, which helped in providing shelter to those in distress.
With the infrastructure in place, more than three lakh people have been evacuated in the South 24-Parganas. The state Irrigation department had spent more than Rs 400 crore to construct the embankments in the Sunderbans. Samir Jana, MLA of Patharpraima, said: "It has only become possible to save so many lives just because of the Chief Minister's proactive steps."