June 3, 2009

West Bengal FM to discuss cyclone aid with Pranab, Chidambaram

KOLKATA,1st June: West Bengal Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta is leaving for Delhi on Monday night to discuss the State government's demand for at least Rs 1,000 crore as cyclone relief with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram.

A memorandum has already been prepared on the basis of sectorwise inputs on destruction caused by cyclone Aila across several districts.

Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty, who has been asked to submit the memorandum to the Centre, has already rushed to Delhi.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will visit the cyclone-hit areas of Hingalganj and Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas district on Tuesday, State's Irrigation Minister Subhas Naskar told reporters after reviewing the situation with Mr. Bhattacharjee. He visited Gosaba and Basanti in South 24-Parganas district recently.

State's Disaster Management Minister Mortaza Hossain, who was also in the review meeting with the CM, said the State government had released Rs 67 crore so far. Steps had been taken to ensure relief material reaches the grassroot level immediately.

Giving details, Mr. Hossain said the death toll had climbed to 126. A total of 67 lakh people have been affected and 8.94 lakh houses destroyed.

Over 3.78 lakh people have taken shelter in 765 relief camps, he said. 

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