Bengal spent Rs 1,000 crore for cyclone Yaas hit people from own fund: Mamata

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Kolkata, Jul 15 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that the state has spent Rs 1,000 crore from its own fund for relief and rehabilitation of Cyclone Yaas affected people in coastal areas of three districts.

She regretted that the Centre did not provide even a small part of the Rs 20,000 crore relief package sought by the state for the large scale devastation caused by the cyclone in May.

'They (the central government) are referring to a Rs 300 crore grant. They did not release it for cyclone relief but as part of the advance fund due to the state (before the calamity),' she told reporters.

The CM, who also announced distribution of 52 mobile vending carts and repair of 114 shops for cyclone-hit hawkers and vendors in the Digha-Sankarpur coastal area, said that Rs 364.3 crore was spent by the state for people affected by the calamity in the entire Purba Medinipur district.

She said that two masterplans were being chalked out for Sunderbans and Digha, battered by several cyclones in past years, and a 24-member expert committee was formed in this regard.

'We have set a target of planting 5 crore mangroves in Digha-Shankarpur, 5 crore each in Sunderbans and other coastal parts of South and North 24 Parganas districts. Altogether 15 crore mangroves (will be planted) in three parts,' Banerjee said.

The CM alleged that despite repeated requests, the Centre is yet to allocate funds for Ghatal in Paschim Medinipur which is prone to floods and Farakka barrage in Murshidabad.

Turning to the issue of inoculation against Covid-19, she said the state needs 14 crore doses to fully vaccinate everyone with both doses and avert the third wave, but the Centre has so far given only 2.12 crore.

'Another 18 lakh vaccines we bought but they are giving more vaccines to states like Uttar Pradesh,' she said.

Banerjee said that despite such hurdles, the state has ensured -6 per cent (negative) wastage of vaccines topping the country.

According to a central government website, more than 2.50 crore people have been vaccinated in West Bengal till 8 am on Thursday. PTI SUS NN NN

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