- PM was accompanied by Mamata Banerjee and Governor
- All three were seen in face masks as they took stock of the situation
- This is PM Modi’s first travel outside Delhi in nearly three months
Prime Minister Narendra Modi this afternoon undertook an aerial survey of the areas in West Bengal ravaged by Cyclone Amphan that has killed 80. PM Modi was accompanied by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on the helicopter.
Ms Banerjee and Governor Dhankhar had received the Prime Minister at the airport in Kolkata shortly before 11 am.
All three – the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and the Governor – were seen in face masks as they took stock of the situation and looked down at the cyclone-hit areas from their helicopter.
The cyclone swept through several parts of Bengal, including capital Kolkata on Wednesday, leaving behind a trail of destruction, with thousands of homes damaged, and trees and electric poles uprooted.
This is PM Modi’s first travel outside Delhi in nearly three months as he remained in Delhi because of the nationwide lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.
PM Modi had last travelled to Prayagraj and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh on Febraury 29. It is after 83 days that the Prime Minister will be stepping out of the capital, to Bengal and Odisha.
Ms Banerjee had asked the Prime Minister to visit the state and inspect the damage, which she said was in the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore.
PM Modi, in a series of tweets on Thursday, said the entire county stands with Bengal and “no stone will be left unturned” to help those affected. “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,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
PM Modi, along with Mamata Banerjee and the Governor, will take the the aerial survey in a helicopter in south Bengal, large swathes of which have been devastated by Cyclone Amphan. The Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and the Governor will stop over at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas for a meeting before returning to Kolkata.
After Bengal, PM Modi will fly onwards for an aerial survey of Odisha.
Ahead of PM Modi’s visit, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik spoke with Ms Banerjee today and assured all possible support to overcome the crisis triggered by the cyclone.
The cyclone also caused widespread devastation in Odisha, damaging power and telecom infrastructure in several coastal districts. Officials of the Odisha government estimated that it has affected around 44.8 lakh people in the state.