As cyclone Yaas is expected to hit the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal later on the afternoon of May 26, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that she will “monitor the situation closely” in the state from the control room in the secretariat building Nabanna.
Chief minister Banerjee visited the control centre established in view of cyclone Yaas earlier on Tuesday, to inspect the preparations in place. “I have spoken to all the DMs on cyclone Yaas. I will stay in Nabanna tonight. I will monitor the situation closely,” news agency ANI quoted the chief minister as saying. The West Bengal state government had set up the control room to monitor the cyclone that is moving towards the state.
Earlier on Monday, Banerjee while briefing on the steps taken to handle the situation, said that 4,000 shelters have been prepared and a million people were to be evacuated. “As many as 4,000 cyclone shelters are ready, 10 lakh people [are] to be evacuated. 51 disaster management teams, 1,000 electricity and 400 mobile network restoration teams [have been] formed. 20 districts will be severely affected,” ANI quoted her as saying.
On Monday, she also met with the Union home minister Amit Shah over a video conference, in which Shah discussed the preparedness of states expected to be hit by the cyclone. Chief ministers of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were also present in the meeting. During the meeting Banerjee assured that all steps have been taken to ensure minimal loss to life and property by the cyclone, news agency PTI reported.
Alleging that the Centre has been impartial towards West Bengal, Banerjee said that it assured Bengal of all help but earmarked an advance of only ₹400 crore to the state. Following the meeting with the home minister Banerjee said, “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?” PTI quoted her asking.Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in a press release at 1pm on Tuesday said that the severe cyclonic storm Yaas is very likely to further intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours. “It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island close to north of Dhamra and south of Balasore, during noon of Wednesday, the 26th May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm,” the weather bureau further said.