West Bengal on Friday saw two political adversaries, working together as leaders for a common cause and the greater good.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Bengal to take stock of the trail of destruction left behind by severe cyclonic storm Amphan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar came to receive him along with the senior state BJP leadership.
Modi and Banerjee then together conducted an aerial survey of the areas affected by Amphan, said to be the strongest super cyclone to have made a landfall in the Bay of Bengal area since 1999.
They flew over the areas which have been submerged in water due to incessant rainfall.
Modi later announced a $130 Million relief package for the cyclone-hit state, saying the nation stood with Bengal in this hour of crisis.
The Prime Minister also said that a Central government team will soon visit West Bengal and conduct a detailed survey of the losses caused by the cyclone.
Amphan made its landfall in West Bengal on Wednesday afternoon and caused severe damages in various parts of the state with a wind speed ranging from 155 to 185 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall. At least 80 people have lost their lives due to the severe cyclonic storm, as per sources.
On Thursday, Banerjee had said, “I would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and visit the affected areas,” adding that she had never witnessed such a severe cyclone in her entire life.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had tweeted: “Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy.”
Modi also did an ariel survey of Odisha, another state which has been severely affected by the cyclone.
In Addition to the $130 Million for Bengal, the PM has also provided $66 Million for Odisha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an advance financial assistance of $66 Million for cyclone-battered Odisha on Friday.
Modi made the announcement after an aerial survey of areas hit by cyclone ”Amphan” and holding a review meeting with Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The prime minister said further assistance will be provided for long-term rehabilitation measures after getting a detailed report from the state government.
The leaders toured districts such as Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj for about 90 minutes.
Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi were also present at the review meeting held at the premises of the Biju Patnaik International Airport here.
Modi said that though the Odisha government has been able to save lives by undertaking preparations well in advance, the cyclone has caused damage to housing, power and infrastructure, besides the agriculture sector while moving towards West Bengal.
Complementing the people of Odisha, administration and the chief minister for saving lives, Modi said the disaster posed a serious challenge before the state as it struck at a time when everyone is engaged in a formidable battle against COVID-19.