Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said she would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi complaining that the state government is yet to receive Rs 17,000 crore dues from the Centre which could have assisted the state in carrying out relief and rehabilitation for the people affected by cyclone Bulbul.
Miss Banerjee said she was hopeful that Modi would keep his promise of helping the state in taking up relief work.
“The Centre has assured us of help and even the prime minister had told us that necessary help would be given. We are hopeful about it. But nothing can be said till we receive any aid,” she said after the administrative review meeting in Nabanna.
She added: “Around Rs 17,000 crore is due to us from the Centre. If they had given us that amount, we could have used that to carry out relief work.”
Miss Banerjee pointed out that the state has suffered a loss of Rs 640 crore due to a fall in the state’s share of Central taxes.
“These taxes (Central taxes) are distributed equally among all states. But the Central growth has been so low that all states have been suffering,” she added.
She asked the Centre to send a team to visit the cyclone affected areas of the state.
Miss Banerjee reiterated that the state’s revenue earnings have increased though the overall economic growth of the country has dipped.
“We had earnings of Rs 33,739 crore till October last year. This time our revenue earning has gone up to Rs 34,868 crore,” she said.
Speaking about the “devastating effect” of the cyclone, Miss Banerjee said that nine people have died (including five from North 24-Parganas, three from South 24-Parganas and one from East Midnapore), with 15 lakh hectares of agricultural land affected in the state. Paddy and betel cultivation have been the worst hit, she said, adding that five lakh homes have been damaged and six lakh people were directly affected.
Urging all political parties to refrain from politics in connection with relief work, she said: “It was a devastating cyclone. But some are playing politics and indulging in vandalism. They should not indulge in politics and should stand by the people who have been affected. We have rehabilitated 15 lakh people to safer places following the cyclone warning. So loss of life has not been much,” she said.
She assured all assistance to the farmers who suffered damage in the cyclone.
“We will provide 50 lakh drinking water pouches and have already distributed 10 lakh pouches,” she said.
The state government has decided to provide six lakh kits consisting utensils, food and other essential commodities in the affected areas, she added.
Meanwhile, Miss Banerjee pulled up a few departments, including PWD, PHE, transport, north Bengal development, environment and MSME, for slow work.
This apart, she enquired about the actions that have been taken in connection to the complaints lodged at the grievance cell at Nabanna and sought a comprehensive action-taken report.
On the occasion, Miss Banerjee inaugurated a host of facilities through remote control. These include modern equipment and a new six-bedded paediatric intensive care unit at the College of Medicine and Sagar Dutta Hospital and modern equipment and 20-bedded a sick newborn care unit at Hooghly Serampore Subdivision Hospital.