Govt releases funds under SDRF for states affected by cyclone Bulbul

A woman walks through the rubble of her house in the aftermath of cyclone 'Bulbul', at Bakkhali, in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Photo: PTI

MoS for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday informed the Lok Sabha that the Central government has released Rs 414.90 crore for West Bengal and and Rs 552 crore for Odisha as assistance to states affected by cyclone 'Bulbul' under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

"As on 1st April, 2019, Rs. 447.52 crore is available with State of Odisha and Rs. 264.70 crore is available with State of West Bengal under their State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). Further, during the year 2019-20, central share amounting to Rs. 414.90 crore to West Bengal and Rs. 552.00 crore to Odisha has already been released under SDRF by the Central Government. Additional financial assistance is extended from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) as per the laid down procedure," Reddy said in a reply on providing relief package and other assistance to the affected States by the Central government.

"Based on preliminary estimate, State Government of West Bengal has reported loss of 11 human lives and 35.57 lakh people were affected and the State Government of Odisha has reported no loss of human life but a total of 38.08 lakh people were affected. Damages to infrastructure such as roads, bridges, houses, etc. have also been reported due to cyclone 'Bulbul', the Minister said in a written reply to a question on the cyclone 'Bulbul' and the details of losses and persons killed in the cyclone.

Reddy said that the Central Government has constituted Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCT) for both the states after the cyclone BULBUL. He said that the teams visited the cyclone Bulbul affected areas in both states.

"State Governments have not yet submitted their memorandum for seeking additional assistance from NDRF. Primary responsibility for disaster management rests with the State Government, however, the Central Government extends all possible logistics and financial support to the States to supplement their efforts to meet the situation effectively," he said.

Commenting on Reddy's remark, West Bengal Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said: "Rs 415 crore was given for SDRF in April 2019. This amount is for disaster not for Bulbul. People are being misled. Last polls were a disaster for BJP.

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