Mamata to seek flood assistance from PM

Mamata to seek flood assistance from PM

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek financial assistance to combat the severe flood situation in the state which has claimed 93 lives so far.

The latest statement came just two days after she had said that the state itself would take up all rescue efforts since the Centre did not extend help during the recent landslides in Darjeeling.

Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat that she has sought the appointment during her two-day trip to Delhi starting August 11. “I will seek funds from the Centre to help the flood victims. I will also urge the prime minister to waive loans of those farmers who have lost their homes and crops due to the flood,” she said.

The chief minister, who blamed the Damodar Valley Corporation for aggravating the flood situation by releasing more water than usual, said she would also raise the issue during her meeting with the prime minister.

Banerjee has also called an all-party meeting on August 8, where she would apprise all political parties about the steps her government has taken to tackle the flood situation. The decision to convene the meeting was taken following requests from parties like the CPM and Congress.

Complaints on relief

Meanwhile, even as the flood situation in South Bengal started improving on Wednesday with water-levels of all major rivers receding, complaints of poor relief management continued to erupt from various corners of the region.

No fresh rainfall on Tuesday or water discharge from barrages in neighbouring Jharkhand saw some improvement in the flood situation in the state. However, the challenge of resettling the displaced people remained a huge one.

Sources in state disaster management department said 2,546 relief camps and 667 medical camps have been set up to cater to around 4.60 lakh people. Overall, 63 lakh people have been affected.

Extensive damage

“As many as 1.12 lakh houses have been damaged totally and 3.78 lakh houses damaged partly. Crops over an area of 8.20 lakh hectares has been damaged. The chief minister has demanded adequate funds from the Centre for post-flood work from the National Disaster Relief Fund.

The affected areas included 235 blocks, 53 municipal bodies, two municipal corporations and 781 gram panchayats, across 16,414 villages. Steps were being taken to protect affected people from health hazards, including distribution of medicines and drinking water pouches,” an official said.

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