June 11, 2009

Central team to submit 'Aila' impact report to Home Minister

New Delhi June 09, 2009: The Central team, which visited West Bengal to assess the damage caused by cyclone 'Aila', will submit its detailed report to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
The 11-member central team, visited West Bengal to take stock of the post Cyclone Aila situation. The team during its three-day visit surveyed a large part of cyclone-ravaged South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts in southern West Bengal and Darjeeling hills. The central observers Tuesday took an aerial view of the marooned Sundarban Islands.

Later they held a high-level meeting with state Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta, Chief Secretary Ashok Mohon Chakraborty and other senior government officials at the state secretariat Writes’ Buildings. On the basis of the team’s report, the central government will announce its compensation package for the cyclone-affected people of the state.

Meanwhile, the state’s Left Front government has demanded Cyclone Aila be declared as a national disaster and sought the central government’s help to carry out the rescue operation in the delta region. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has asked for Rs.1,000 crore of funds to provide relief to thousands of cyclone victims in the state. Dasgupta rushed to Delhi and submitted a memorandum to the central government on the state’s demands.

The team, which returned to the capital today after a three-day tour, visited all cyclone-affected districts, including South and North 24 Parganas and the Darjeeling hills and took stock of the damage caused to the people and their livelihoods.

"They are now compiling all the inputs and submit the report to the Home Minister within a day or two," a Home Ministry official said. On the basis of the report, the Centre will announce its compensation package for the cyclone-affected people of the state.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the Rajya Sabha that "the Centre will do everything in its power to provide purposeful relief to West Bengal". Observing that a Central team has already visited the state, Singh said, "I have been in touch with the Chief Minister and there will be no laxity in meeting the need of relief and rehabilitation".

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