Kolkata, Nov 14: Losses caused by cyclone Bulbul in West Bengal could climb to Rs 50,000 crore, with 15 lakh hectares of agricultural land damaged by the calamity on Saturday night, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday after making an aerial survey of the affected areas of North 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.
“A total of 15 lakh hectares of agricultural land has been damaged, ruining the entire paddy cultivation. The state government will extend all help to the farmers,” Banerjee said after an administrative meeting in Basirhat.
She said a special package would soon be announced for the affected farmers.
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.
Banerjee assured the victims that her government would re-build the damaged houses under its housing scheme for the poor and directed the education department to give books to the school students appearing for the board examinations in the Bulbul-hit areas.
She also handed over cheques of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those who died in the cyclone.
Banerjee had on Monday made an aerial survey of the Bululbul-hit Kakdwip, Namkhana and Bakhkhali areas in South 24 Parganas district.