Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], June 6 (ANI): Opposition parties, including Congress and CPI (M) in West Bengal on Saturday demanded the Centre to declare Cyclone Amphan as a national disaster.
The parties demanded the central team who visited West Bengal to examine the extent of damage caused by the cyclone to declare it a national calamity.
"We approached the central government that wherever the central team is coming, we would like to meet them. We met them today. We have some specific demands -- Cyclone Amphan must be treated as a national disaster. Two, on the basis of the on-ground assessment, the fund must be released adequately at the earliest. Three, a mechanism must be evolved to ensure that the support is reached to the victims. It must not be diverted," Left legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty told ANI.
Echoing similar views, Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya demanded the central team to utilise the relief fund judiciously.
"We are happy that the central team has arrived here. They have visited different places and have observed the damage caused due to the cyclone. They saw that people did not even have water for drinking, no food and no shelter. We have requested them to properly utilise the money. It should not go to any party fund. The money should directly go to the people who have been affected," said Bhattacharya.
"We have demanded to declare the cyclone a national calamity. The magnitude of the devastation proves that it should be declared a national crisis," he added.
BJP leader Dilip Ghosh alleged that the state government is distributing relief funds to people associated with TMC and not to the victims of the cyclone.
"The state has faced a huge loss and relief measures have still not reached to the people. The central government had given Rs 1,000 crore relief fund and they are saying that they have provided this fund to at least 5 lakh people. Here, funds are being distributed to the people associated with the TMC. So we discussed this issue with the central team," Ghosh told ANI.
He said a nodal officer should be appointed by the central government to examine and monitor the usage of relief funds in the state.
Ghosh also demanded that an application should be created where people can post their grievances.
According to an assessment report of an Inter-Ministerial Central Team, damages worth Rs 1,02,442 crore occurred due to Cyclone Amphan in West Bengal, while 28.56 lakh houses were damaged in the state. (ANI)