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New Delhi, May 21, 2020
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba today chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) which reviewed the situation in the Amphan cyclone-affected areas of Odisha and West Bengal with the States and Central Ministries and agencies.
Chief Secretaries of Odisha and West Bengal informed the meeting that timely and accurate forecast by IMD and advance deployment of NDRF facilitated in evacuation of about 5 lakh people in West Bengal and about 2 lakh in Odisha. This has resulted in minimal loss of human lives, considering the fact that the intensity of the Amphan was next only to that of the super cyclone that struck Odisha in1999 causing large-scale devastation.
NDRF is moving additional teams in West Bengal to speed up restoration work, especially in Kolkata. FCI will also ensure adequate availability of food grains, especially rice, to West Bengal so that marooned people are provided immediate sustenance, an official press release said.
Power Ministry and Department of Telecommunications will also assist in the early restoration of services in both the States. The Railways, which suffered major damages to its infrastructure, are in the process of restarting their operations at the earliest.
West Bengal said that there were major damages to agriculture, power and telecommunication facilities in the cyclone affected areas of the state. Odisha informed the meeting that damages have been mainly limited to agriculture.
Reviewing the rescue and restoration efforts, the Cabinet Secretary directed that officers of Central Ministries and agencies should remain in close touch with Odisha and West Bengal State Governments and provide all required assistance expeditiously. The Ministry of Home Affairs will be sending teams to carry out early assessment of damages and submit a report.
Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha participated in the NCMC meeting through video conference. Senior officers from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, Shipping, Civil Aviation, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Power, Telecommunications, Steel, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Health, IMD, NDMA and NDRF also attended the meeting.