West Bengal govt releases Rs 1,444 cr for cyclone Amphan relief

Kolkata, Jun 2 (PTI) The West Bengal government has released Rs 1,444 crore to assist people as part of the rehabilitation process following cyclone Amphan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.

The state government has already transferred money to nearly five lakh affected people for repairing their homes, besides crop damage assistance to 23.3 lakh farmers, she said.

Financial assistance to two lakh betel farmers has also been provided, Banerjee said.

'While fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Bengal witnessed a super cyclone Amphan, the fiercest storm in our recent memory. From the destruction of dwelling houses and physical infrastructure to disruption of fisheries and agriculture, the devastation has been unprecedented,' the chief minister tweeted.

Banerjee earlier announced that her government would release Rs 6,250 crore for Amphan relief measures.

'However, through the resilience of Bengal and its people, along with a determined effort by GoWB machinery, we have been able to kickstart major relief and rehabilitation work for the distressed, with an immediate announcement of a Rs 6,250 cr package as first tranche,' she said in another tweet.

'I'm happy to share that GoWB has transferred funds to nearly 5L affected people for repairing their homes, released crop damage assistance to 23.3L farmers, apart from 2L betel farmers. We've released Rs 1,444 cr so far, against an initial estimate of Rs 1,350 cr,' Banerjee added.

Cyclone Amphan has claimed 98 lives in West Bengal and at least six crore people were directly affected by it.

At least eight districts of West Bengal have been ravaged in the cyclone that hit the state on May 20.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced an immediate relief package of Rs 1,000 crore for the cyclone-hit state. PTI SCH SOM KJ KJ