Criticising the Centre for allegedly not making arrangements earlier in landslide-hit Joshimath in Uttarakhand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the government should work on a war footing for the safety of the people in the Himalayan town.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo described the situation in Joshimath as extremely alarming, as she questioned the Centre why steps were not taken much earlier as there were predictions of land subsidence. The West Bengal CM further said a Joshimath-like situation may arise in the Raniganj coal belt in Paschim Bardhaman district of West Bengal as the area is also prone to land subsidence.
“Why were not arrangements made in Joshimath earlier? We are facing the same situation in Raniganj and are fighting with the Centre for funds. There is the same problem with Coal India in Raniganj. 30,000 people will be affected. Government should work on a war-footing in Joshimath,” Banerjee told reporters here.
Meanwhile, hundreds of residents have been shifted to relief centres in safe places after land subsidence began in Joshimath. The Uttarakhand government has already announced relief packages worth crores of rupees for the affected families of Joshimath.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said the relief package has been released for nearly 3,000 families affected by gradual but persistent land subsidence in the Himalayan state.
“For the time being, interim assistance of Rs 1.50 lakh per family is being given. An advance amount of Rs 1 lakh has been given to the affected land owners or families due to landslides in the affected area before the permanent settlement displacement policy is prepared,” Dhami told reporters during his visit to Joshimath last week.
The Uttarakhand chief minister also announced that Rs 50,000 have been given by the state disaster authority to each family as a non-adjustable one-time special grant for the transportation of goods and immediate needs of their buildings.