Cyclone Amphan and COVID: How's West Bengal Recovering? | Interview With Mahua Moitra

  • 3 years ago
Super cyclone Amphan has left in its wake devastating damage across parts of West Bengal. In a conversation with Mitali Mukherjee, Mahua Moitra (All India Trinamool Congress, Lok Sabha MP of Krishnanagar, West Bengal) says the destructions is unlike anything the state has ever seen before.
While 80 – 90 people were killed, the hit to infrastructure and homes has been immense.

In her own constituency she says 70,000 hectares have been destroyed and over 60,000 houses, both kuchha and pucca have been completely decimated.

In the worst hit areas of South and North 24 Parganas, relief efforts have also been affected because many areas are physically difficult to reach .

Elsewhere, esp in the state capital Kolkata, Ms. Moitra says tree fall has been intense and many parts of the state still have no power or water supply- While 70 to 80% restoration has happened, removing trees and getting power supply back on is taking time and effort.

The Cyclone comes at a time when the state has seen a spike in COVID cases. Ms Moitra told Mitali Mukherjee that the state is braced for an increase in numbers because people are huddling in shelters post Cyclone Amphan and reaching or testing those infected is even tougher.

She also said the influx of migrants at a time when the cyclone has spread ruin, will only exacerbate the rise in COVID cases which is why the state has asked to stop air & rail travel into West Bengal for a few days.

“ We are running at a zero-revenue situation, in my constituency alone, the spend on quarantine centres, testing etc is going at Rs 10 lakhs per district” says Ms Moitra

Rebuilding efforts will take us many years, so many parts like the Sunderbans are still reeling from the impact of the previous Cyclone Aila, she said.

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