May 31, 2009
Siliguri,28 th May: With the recovery of three more bodies, the toll in the landslides in West Bengal's hill district of Darjeeling due to Cyclone Aila has risen to 27, police said on Thursday.
"We have recovered three bodies from the debris at Rangiabong under Jorbungalow police station area this (Thursday) morning. One of the bodies has been identified as Pramila Rai, 68," a senior official of the Jorbungalow police station said. He said the teams of Natural Disaster Management Authority have started rescue operations in the cyclone-hit areas.
Meanwhile, State Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen reached Darjeeling Thursday morning to hold meetings with the district administration. He is likely to visit the landslide-affected zones and will also survey the situation there. "Search operations are on in some areas as at least four people are still missing from the Darjeeling district after the cyclonic storm," the police officer said.
According to district administration sources, 14 bodies were found in areas under Darjeeling Sadar police station, six in Jorbanglow police station area and seven in Kurseong sub-division.More than 500 houses were damaged due to torrential rain that started Monday, when Cyclone Aila hit West Bengal and continued on Tuesday.
Nearly 100 landslides took place across Darjeeling and its adjoining areas inconveniencing thousands of residents living in the hilly region. Cyclone Aila created havoc across West Bengal Monday, claiming a total of 87 lives by Thursday.
MUMBAI:Riverbank Developers has signed on Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) to run the proposed hotel and serviced apartment facility at its Batanagar township project in West Bengal. As part of the initial 15 year deal between Riverbank and IHG, the hotel at Batanagar will be branded under the Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand and will have 200 rooms and 75 apartments.
Bata India plans to fast track the completion of Batanagar Township project worth Rs 1300 crore. The township project being developed on 262 acre is promoted by Riverbank Developers, a 50:50 JV between Bata India and Calcutta Metropolitan Group. While the Phase I of the project is slated to be completed in 2011, the whole township is expected to be completed by 2013.
Barrckpore Air Base (Kolkata), May 28: Helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out relief operation sorties in the cyclone hit areas of North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas districts in West Bengal.
The IAF helicopters dropped relief materials in the areas like Hingalganj, Sandeshkhali of North 24 Parganas district and in Basanti, Gosaba of South 24 Parganas district which is quite close to the India-Bangladesh border.
“We are planning to drop close to 20 tons of load which includes bread, chira (beaten rice) and water for the people who are marooned in the North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas districts,” said Wing Commander Tapan Srivastava of Air Force Station, Barrackpore.Meanwhile, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she would urge the Central Government to provide more help.
“This is not a time of politics, but I believe this is a time to help the people. I will ask the Central Government to give more relief,” said Banerjee. Cyclone Aila that originated over the Bay of Bengal on Monday caused havoc in many parts of West Bengal and Bangladesh.
The resultant thunderstorm, tidal waves and flooding forced half a million people to abandon their homes in Medinipur, Sundarbans (located in South 24 Parganas), North 24 Parganas and Hooghly districts.
Millions of people in India and Bangladesh who have been temporarily displaced are in desperate need of water, food and adequate shelter after the cyclone hit the region. It is estimated that cyclone Aila killed at least 210 people and injured over 6,400 in India and Bangladesh.
While hundreds of thousands of residents were evacuated to cyclone shelters, schools, colleges and other buildings, the high winds and floods destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, ravaged crops, killed livestock and damaged roads and bridges.
According to the Bangladesh Government, almost four million people have been affected by the cyclone Aila, with at least 100 dead and hundreds more still missing. While in West Bengal, authorities say that nearly 2.3 million people have been affected.
As the human toll from Monday's cyclone rose to 64, beat officers and range officials in the Sunderbans feared hundreds of herbivores and at least a dozen tigers might have been swept away by the giant waves that lashed the forests. While a tiger had sneaked into the Jamespur village wading through the flood waters and was tranquillised early on Tuesday morning, 20 crocodiles and two spotted deer were found dead. The full extent of the damage will be known only after an assessment by forest teams.