NDRF moves more teams to cyclone-hit Bengal for restoration work
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) which reviewed the situation in the cyclone affected areas of Odisha and West Bengal on Thursday decided to send additional teams of the NDRF to the latter to speed up restoration work, especially in Kolkata, according to an official statement. In the meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Chief Secretaries of Odisha and West Bengal informed the NCMC that timely and accurate forecast by the IMD and advance deployment of NDRF facilitated the evacuation of about 5 lakh people in West Bengal and about 2 lakh in Odisha, an official statement said. This has resulted in minimal loss of human lives, considering the fact that the intensity of the Amphan was next only to that of the Super Cyclone that struck Odisha in 1999 causing large scale devastation. “NDRF is moving additional teams in West Bengal to speed up restoration work, especially in Kolkata. FCI will also ensure adequate availability of food grains, especially rice, to West Bengal so that marooned people are provided immediate sustenance,” the statement said. The Power Ministry and Department of Telecommunications will also assist in early restoration of services in both the States. The Railways, which suffered major damages to its infrastructure, is in the process of restarting its operations at the earliest. West Bengal informed that there were major damages to agriculture, power and telecommunication facilities in Cyclone affected areas. Odisha informed that damages have been mainly limited to agriculture. “Reviewing the rescue and restoration efforts, the Cabinet Secretary directed that officers of central ministries/ agencies should remain in close touch with Odisha and West Bengal state governments and provide all required assistance expeditiously. The ministry of home affairs will be sending teams to carry out early assessment of damages and submit a report,” it said.. Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha participated in the NCMC meeting through video conference.