Kolkata, Jun 2 (PTI) Questioning the fate of thousands of fallen trees under the impact of cyclone Amphan last year, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday sought a report from state chief secretary H K Dwivedi within three days.
Hitting out at the forest department that had lifted many of the uprooted trees, Banerjee said ,Several trees uprooted during last year's cyclone Amphan were either taken by the KMC, municipalities, urban development, and the forest department. What happened to those trees? I want a report about them within three days' The chief minister said this while addressing a meeting with officials of the irrigation department.
Hitting out at the irrigation and forest departments for poor performance, the chief minister announced a proposal for planting 15 crore mangroves in three districts affected by Cyclone Yaas to prevent soil erosion as part of the state governments latest initiative to combat cyclones through nature.
'Five crore mangroves will be planted in Sunderban, Digha, and North 24 Parganas each. The mangrove plantation will act as the first line of defence against soil erosion. We have already planted five crore mangroves in Sunderbans at a cost of Rs 6.5 crore and it was effective in preventing soil erosion,' Banerjee said.
The chief minister also directed immediate repair of all damaged embankments amid alerts of a serious high tide on June 26.
'Irrigation department has built embankments and natural disasters are damaging them. We cant allow our money to go down the drain. It is best to build concrete embankments. Agencies which are building the embankments must be entrusted with the maintenance of those structures for 10 years,' she said.
The irrigation and forest departments were held by Trinamool Congress turncoat Suvendu Adikari and Rajib Banerjee respectively.
According to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) , as cyclone Amphan hit the city with wind speeds of 130 kmph in May last year, over 5,000 tress were uprooted.
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