Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, after an aerial survey of North 24 Parganas District, pegged the loss in her state owing to cyclone Bulbul at Rs 50,000 crores.
Banerjee had on Monday made an aerial survey of the Bululbul-hit Kakdwip, Namkhana and Bakhkhali areas in South 24 Parganas district.
"The cyclone has caused massive destruction. By massive, I mean really massive. People sitting in the comforts of Kolkata and other areas of the state will not be able to gauge the massiveness of the destruction. If I am not wrong, there has been a loss of Rs 50,000 crore," she was quoted as saying.
Initial estimates had pegged the loss owing to Bulbul in a range of Rs 15,000 - 18,000 crores. The revised estimates of Rs 50,000 crores is higher than the September Kerala floods which was estimated at Rs 40,000 crores.
The West Bengal Chief Minister was quoted as estimating that Bulbul affected 15 lakh hectares of agricultural land. The calamity that struck on Saturday night is reported to have ruined the entire paddy collection in the state. A special package is expected to soon be announced for affected farmers. "The state government will extend all help to the farmers," Banerjee said post attending an administrative meeting in Basirhat.
The Chief Minister said that six lakh people have been affected and over five lakh houses have been damaged in the cyclone, which ploughed through the Bengal coast close to Sundarban between 8.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. on Saturday before heading towards Bangladesh as a weakened cyclonic storm.
Victims have also been assured by the Chief-minister that their homes would get re-built under a housing scheme for poor. The education department has also been directed to offer books to school students appearing for the board examinations in the Bulbul-hit areas.
Meanwhile, cheques of Rs 2 lakh each have issued to families of the deceased.
With inputs from agencies.