Mamata Banerjee urges Centre to release Rs 17,000 cr due to state for carrying out relief work in Cyclone Bulbul-affected areas - LiveNow24x7: Latest News, breaking news, 24/7 news,live news

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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Mamata Banerjee urges Centre to release Rs 17,000 cr due to state for carrying out relief work in Cyclone Bulbul-affected areas

Kolkata: Alleging that the central government was not providing the funds which were due to the state, West Bengal Chief Minister on Thursday said the money would have helped the state in carrying out relief work in Cyclone 'Bulbul'-hit areas.

Banerjee expressed hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would keep his promise of helping the state in dealing with the relief work in cyclone-affected areas.

"Around Rs 17,000 crore is due to us from the Centre. If they had given us that due amount, we could have used that to carry out relief works," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a rally in Midnapore. PTI

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

The CM said she would write to the central government in connection with the dues.

The Trinamool Congress supremo said the Centre was urged to send a team to take stock of the situation in the three affected districts - North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore.

"I would also request the Centre to help us in this situation. We will send them our report after the central team completes their survey. The prime minister had earlier said he will help us. Let's hope (that he will keep his promise)," she said.

Banerjee claimed that the state government has incurred a loss of Rs 640 crores after the Centre failed to provide its due share of the central revenue.

Apparently referring to the visit of Union minister Babul Supriyo's visit to cyclone Bulbul-ravaged areas in South 24 Parganas district on Wednesday leading to protests there, Banerjee asked people to refrain from playing politics in relief distribution.

"Instead of standing by the affected people, some are playing politics and indulging in vandalism. I would urge them to refrain from it. This is not the time for politics," the chief minister said.

Without naming state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who earlier in the day shared the views of Banerjee that there should not be any politics over the distribution of relief materials, she said some individuals were acting as the "BJP mouthpiece" and playing "a dirty game".

"I generally do not comment on constitutional posts, but a few people (governors) are acting just like BJP mouthpiece. In my state too, you have seen what is going on — they want to run a parallel administration," Banerjee said.

Banerjee also stressed that the central and the state governments have specific roles to play and the two should work together in this situation.

A total of six lakh people have been affected and over five lakh houses damaged due to the cyclone, which made landfall late on Saturday between Sagar Islands in West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh. Altogether 14 people, including fishermen of a capsized trawler whose bodies were found by the Coast Guard, had died in the calamity.

The chief minister said the administration is able to provide lanterns to only 40,000 families and kerosene and asked the Centre to get more lamps and kerosene.

Banerjee had on Wednesday announced one lantern and 5 litres of kerosene for each affected family in the state.

A kit meant for the affected families was being prepared and would soon be delivered to them, she added.

In the three affected districts, school examinations would be held in early December instead of late November.

"Several schools are still submerged. How will the students go and appear for the examinations? That's why the dates of examinations need to be rescheduled," she said.

The chief minister met a group of school children in the secretariat on the occasion of Children's Day.

November 14, 2019 at 10:24PM

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