Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Kolkata today to access the damage caused to Cyclone Amphan. The development comes hours after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee requested PM Modi to come and visit affected areas. The cyclone barrelled through the districts of North and South 24 Parganas, unleashing copious rain and windstorm, blowing away thatched houses, uprooting trees and electric poles. Chief Minsiter Mamata Banerjee has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh for the family members of each of the deceased.
Aftermath: Over 70 people were killed and thousands more left homeless after Cyclone Amphan slammed into coastal towns and cities of West Bengal and Odisha. Meanwhile, hundreds of migrant labourers in South 24 Parganas who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and are left with nothing due to the monstrous cyclone now.
NDRF’s dual test: Ever since the pandemic unfolded in India, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) trained its personnel to deal with approaching monsoons and the flooding season. Little did the force know that cyclonic storm- Amphan will challenge their training just a month later. NDRF personnel armed with PPE kits have started helping affected states with restoration, a task that could take months as road connectivity has been snapped and power and communication lines have all been damaged.
In Other News
Counters reopen: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said booking of train tickets will resume at around 1.7 lakh common service centres across the country. Bookings will also resume at counters at specific stations over the next two to three days. Almost 1.50 lakh tickets were booked within two hours of opening the bookings for the 100 pairs of passenger trains that the railways will operationalise on June 1.
Rejected: India rejected China's allegations that Indian troops crossed over to the Chinese side of the frontier in Ladakh and Sikkim, asserting that New Delhi has been taking a responsible approach towards border management. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said it was the Chinese side that recently undertook activities hindering India's normal patrols in the areas.
Domestic flights resume: The Civil Aviation Ministry directed all air carriers to adhere to the lower and upper limits of fares prescribed by it during the period of COVID- 19 pandemic. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said fare structure has been decided such that both airlines and flyers benefit from the ticket price. The pricing has been decided based on the flight duration with fresh rules for availing the service.
Opposition in position: Leaders of several opposition parties are set to discuss the plight of migrant workers trying to reach home on foot amid the nationwide lockdown. A meeting convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi will see the leaders of around 20 opposition parties come together via video-conferencing. So far, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have not confirmed their participation and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will not take part in the meeting.
Death toll: The number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours crossed 40,000-mark after 2,345 new cases and 64 deaths. With 776 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths reported in Tamil Nadu, the total number of cases in the state rose to 13,967. Meanwhile, for the third consecutive day, with the highest single-day spike, Delhi reported 571 fresh cases in the last 24 hours.
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Bigger crisis: Countries battling pandemic have not yet fully explored its psychological impact. People are in a state of constant fear and deep anxiety as there is no final word on how long this pandemic will linger on. People are now told to make up their minds to live with this virus for a long time without any clarity. Mohd Naushad Khan writes that mental trauma and infection threat are now firmly entrenched in the minds of the people and it is most likely to have an adverse impact.
Structural change needed: At least 14 crore migrant workers have left cities for their homes during the COVID-19 lockdown. This huge reverse migration is going to result in a massive economic and societal crisis unless major structural changes are brought about by the state. Suhas Munshi interviews Ajay Dandekar, a trained historian, professor at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shiv Nadar University
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India rejected Nepal's decision to issue a revised map that included Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani.Nepal's Ministry of Land Management officially released the map on Wednesday afternoon. During a televised press conference, Land Reforms Minister Padma Aryal unveiled the new map. Watch to know more.