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Aila devastation: Buddha to meet PM to seek assistance

June 11, 2009 00:03 IST
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on June 19 to discuss the demand for Rs 1000 crore for relief and restoration work in cyclone Aila-hit areas.

"The CM has taken stock of the situation of the affected areas before going to Delhi to take up the issue with the Prime Minister and demand relief assistance for the affected people," Irrigation Minister Subhas Naskar told media persons after a high-level meeting with the chief minister.

A central team has already visited the affected areas in South and North 24 Parganas districts as requested by Bhattacharjee. The CM would also take up the matter of construction of a permanent concrete river embankment in the Sundarbans to prevent loss of lives and property every year in cyclones and floods.

Giving an assessment on the concretisation of 3,500 km of embankment in the Sundarbans, Naskar said it would cost about Rs 20,000 crore, including the price of land to be acquired.

Sundarbans Affairs Minister Kanti Ganguly said that all-party assembly delegation had twice made representations to the Centre, while a team of the Asian Development Bank made a study, but nothing had materialised. "The priority now is reconstruction and desalination of water bodies with the help of NGOs," Ganguly said.

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