Kolkata: Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the families of the eight people who died due to a flash flood at Mal river at Jalpaiguri in North Bengal during Durga idol immersion.
Both the state and the central government also said that Rs. 50,000 will be given to those who have suffered injuries.
“Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each of the deceased in the tragic mishap during Durga Puja festivities in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000,” tweeted PMO.
“A tragic flash flood hit the Mal River in Jalpaiguri as Durga Visarjan was underway. Eight people lost their lives, I pray that their families find strength & solace in these difficult times. Around 70 people were saved by the efforts of the police, civil defence volunteers and local youth. I commend their selfless service. There have been no reports of missing persons so far. Search and rescue operations by NDRF and SDRF are still underway,” said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The injured people are undergoing treatment at the Mal Super Speciality Hospital.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister also added that helpline numbers are also open for assistance.
“For any assistance, kindly reach out to the following helpline numbers- 03561230780/ 9073936815,” said Mamata.
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary had sought a report from the District Magistrate.
District Magistrate Moumita Godara confirmed that the incident happened due to the sudden flash flood and also thanked police and NDRF for tackling the situation.
No sooner did the incident happen than the political slugfest started after the opposition slammed the state administration for alleged negligence.
BJP MP and Union Minister John Barla and TMC MLA Manoj Tigga who visited the spot slammed the state administration for the alleged ‘lack’ of arrangement during the immersion process.
“When TMC ministers, several police are seen with them but during the immersion process there was a dearth of police deployed in the area,” said Barla.
TMC MLA Manoj Tigga claimed that the administration should have made arrangements accordingly as the character of Mal river is different from other rivers.
TMC spokesperson and state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said that there was a rush during the immersion and also that it is ‘not’ possible to deploy police behind every individual.
A BJP delegation of nine members is likely to visit the spot on Friday.