New Delhi: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, often seen in confrontation with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Saturday questioned the state government’s handling of the Cyclone Amphan crisis. However, the Governor also welcomed the government’s request to the Army to assist it in relief works, calling the decision ‘commendable.’ Also Read - Cyclone Amphan: After West Bengal's Request, Army Sends 5 Columns For Help in Relief Work
Speaking to news agency ANI, he said, “I couldn’t have any discussion with state government. It’s unfortunate. I had extensive discussions with the Indian Coast Guard and BSF, they did a great job. I spoke to Army, they were ready for relief work. What did Kolkata Municipal Corporation do?” Also Read - West Bengal: Cyclone Amphan Damages World's Largest Banyan Tree in Howrah Botanical Garden
He further questioned the Corporation over why it couldn’t anticipate anything, adding that most of the deaths took place due to uprooting of trees. Also questioning the lack of a contingency plan, he asked why arrangements were not made beforehand. Also Read - Cyclone Amphan: West Bengal Farmers Stare at Catastrophic Losses in Aftermath of Superstorm
Notably, thus far, a total of 86 people have lost their lives in the state due to the cyclone.
He further remarked that it would be beneficial for the state if both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Mamata Banerjee-both known adversaries-were on the same page, adding that as the Governor he hoped that both would be on the same page for a long time and this doesn’t end.
On PM Modi’s Rs 1,000 crore financial assistance to the state, he remarked that ‘it’s not a package but a beginning.’
“Before landfall, I had spoken to Commander of Eastern Command. They had made great preparations for relief work. He had said that their 11 columns are ready and another 12 are waiting, they have all equipment so that no stone is left unturned in helping people,” Governor Dhankhar further said.
“I have come to know that the state government has taken the positive step of taking the help of Army. This is commendable. We must use every available resource. Our defence forces are the best,” he concluded.
Notably, after the state government’s request, the Army has sent five columns to assist the Kolkata city civil administration in relief works.
Amphan, which made its landfall in Wednesday, hit both West Bengal and Odisha, but it was the former which bore its brunt. PM Modi, on Friday, did an aerial survey in the two states.
For Odisha, he announced a Rs 500 crore package, which, the state government said, it has received already.