Death toll in WB rose to 86
CM Mamata Banerjee has asked Railway Ministry not to send Shramik Special trains to the state till May 26
With wind speeds of up to 190 kmph, 'Amphan' hit WB on Wednesday
KOLKATA: The death toll in West Bengal due to cyclone Amphan has risen to 86, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday. With normal life thrown out of gear by the region's worst weather disaster, the authorities have been scrambling to restore normalcy.
Banerjee has asked the Railway Ministry not to send Shramik Special trains to the state till May 26 in view of Cyclone Amphan.
"As the district administrations are involved in relief and rehabilitation works, it will not be possible to receive special trains for the next few days.It is therefore requested that no train should be sent to West Bengal till May 26," she said.
The letter from West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha to Chairman of Railway board V K Yadav dated May 22, stated that the state has been severely impacted by Super Cyclone Amphan on May 20-21 which caused extensive damage to the infrastructure.
West Bengal has received the least number of Shramik Special trains since such service began to ferry migrant labourers back home amid the coronavirus-forced lockdown. In fact, Home Minister Amit Shah in a letter had alleged that Bengal was not allowing its migrants to return. Later, it was decided that the consent of the destination state was not required to operate these trains.
So far, over 2,000 Shramik Special trains have been operated since May 1 ferrying over 31 lakh migrant workers. Around 25 trains have terminated in Bengal so far.
Packing heavy rain and winds with speeds of up to 190 kmph, 'Amphan' slammed the Digha coast of West Bengal at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, triggering heavy rainfall in various parts of the state.
The cyclone barrelled through the districts of North and South 24 Parganas, unleashing copious rain and windstorm, blowing away thatched houses, uprooting trees, electric poles and swamping the low-lying towns and villages.