Guv hails WB govt, central agencies for cyclone preparedness

Rahul Vaishnavi

Kolkata, Nov 10 (PTI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee 'led from front' as the state government and other central agencies worked in synergy to minimise the impact of cyclone 'Bulbul'.

Dhankhar also lauded the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for its timely forecast of the severe cyclonic storm, which barrelled through the coastal districtsof West Bengal on Saturday evening.

'The directional efforts of the state government, its agencies as also the central outfits including the National Disaster Response Force, the National Disaster Management Authority, the Coast Guard, the Navy and others have minimised the damage due to 'Bulbul'...' the governor was quoted as saying in a Raj Bhavan release.

Later in the day, Dhankhar told reporters, 'I praise the way the Honourable Chief Minister led from the front as the state and central agencies worked in synergy to cope with the situation and minimise the suffering of people.' The chief minister and the Governor have been at loggerheads over several issues including Dhankar's visit to Jadavpur University, his allegation of being 'insulted' at the Red Road Durga Puja Carnival and not being invited to the Kolkata International Film Festival.

'I would seek to connect with the Hon'ble' Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee), who has been keeping a diligent watch, after she made aerial survey of the affected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali as projected in the media,' the Governor said in a statement earlier in the day.

Banerjee had said in a tweet that she would conduct an aerial survey of the two affected coastal areas in South 24 Parganas on Tuesday.

Appreciating the efforts of the weatherman that contributed to the preparedness of the agencies, Dhankhar said the 'accurate and timely prediction by the IMD is indicative of the scientific skills the nation now possesses'.

The Governor also urged NGOs to come forward and assist in the relief and rehabilitation measures in the statement.

In an earlier tweet, Dhankhar said in all the coastal districts of the state, the Indian Navy, the West Bengal Police and the Indian Coast Guard are monitoring the situation but 'there has been suffering'.

Cyclone 'Bulbul' has claimed at least seven lives in different parts of West Bengal, official reports said on Sunday.

The cyclonic storm made landfall late on Saturday between Sagar Island of West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh, and moved northwestwards into the neighbouring country over the Sunderban delta. PTI SUS RBT RHL