TMC govt demands funds after cyclones but doesn't give spending data: BJP

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Kolkata, May 27 (PTI) The BJP's West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government in the state demands funds from the Centre to fight disasters like cyclones, but it does not provide details of how the money is spent.

Ghosh said that the chief minister claimed that West Bengal did not get any money from the Union government for relief operations after Cyclone Amphan barrelled through the state last May, but 'our findings prove that the Centre gave Rs 2700 crore after the disaster.' The Centre had given Rs 5500 crore after Cyclone Aila hit West Bengal in 2009 when the Left Front was in power, but Banerjee who was then in the opposition had asked the Manmohan Singh government not to give money to it, he claimed.

'We do not say such things. We ask the Centre to release funds due to the state, but also tell the state to provide details of the use of the money given,' Ghosh said.

Ghosh said the list of people who get relief in villages should be put up in BDO offices to maintain transparency.

He claimed that on Wednesday when Cyclone Yaas battered parts of the state, a minister had faced demonstration from people who did not get relief for Cyclone Amphan even after one year.

'No permanent work has been undertaken in areas of South and North 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur districts to stop the flooding of villages and destruction of properties,' the BJP MP said.

He alleged that a section of ruling Trinamool Congress leaders is helping unscrupulous fish farm owners who cut mangrove trees and other plantations in the Sunderbans.

'This is nothing but violation of environmental laws.

It causes flooding during cyclones. Such destruction of ecology in the Sunderbans should stop,' Ghosh said.

He said that after Cyclone Amphan, the chief minister had set a target of planting five crore mangrove saplings in the Sundarbans.

'We wonder how many saplings have actually been planted till this date,' Ghosh said.

He also questioned how the chief minister came to know shortly after the Cyclone Yaas that 134 embankments and were flattened and 10,000 houses damaged. PTI SUS NN NN

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