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West Bengal braces for Cyclone Yaas, Mamata Banerjee accuses Centre of discriminating in funds


New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday (May 24) pointed out that the Centre, despite promising all forms of assistance to combat Cyclone Yaas, has agreed to provide an advance of only Rs 400 crore, while smaller states such as Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are being given Rs 600 each.

Centre discriminating with funds, keeping West Bengal deprived, claims Mamata Banerjee

Mamata, following a meeting of Home Minister Amit Shah with Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Bengal and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said her state, which is more densely populated, was facing ‘repeated discrimination’. “We had a meeting with Amit Shah-ji this morning. The Centre is providing more than Rs 600-crore each to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, and only Rs 400 crore-something to Bengal to fight Cyclone Yaas. This is money being paid in advance, something the states are supposed to get. This isn’t extra…

“At the meeting, I sought to know why Bengal, despite being a bigger state than Odisha and Andhra Pradesh — both in terms of population density and number of districts — is getting less? Why are we being deprived repeatedly?” she told reporters at the state secretariat.

She said that Shah had promised to extend full cooperation, but when it came to announcing advance funds for the states, Bengal got less.

“Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are my sister states. I do not have any problem with what the Centre is offering to them. That said, can you compare UP with Pondicherry? It depends on the population density, history, geography and the boundaries,” she said.

She added that that Amit Shah, on hearing her argument, stated that ‘scientific views are taken into consideration’ before arriving at such decisions.

Deep depression over the East-central Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm: IMD

Earlier today, the India Meteorological Department informed that the deep depression over the East-central Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm and it would further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours. In a tweet, IMD informed, “Deep Depression over East-central Bay of Bengal intensified into Cyclonic Storm `Yaas` and about 600 km of Port Blair. To intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 24 hours and into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during subsequent 24 hours.”Keeping in view the approaching cyclone, the Eastern Railway on Sunday cancelled 25 trains between May 24 and May 29.

The West Bengal government has opened control rooms at state secretariat Nabanna to monitor the cyclone and its fallout, an official said. The coastal districts of Purba and Paschim Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, along with Howrah and Hooghly will experience light to moderate rainfall in most places with heavy to very heavy downpour at one or two places from May 25 owing to the system, the weatherman said.

On May 26, the spread and intensity of rain will increase with the possibility of extremely heavy rainfall in Jhargram, Purba and Paschim Medinipur, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata, according to the MeT Department.

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