About 60 percent people in WB are impacted by cyclonic storm, says CM Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that the severe cyclonic storm  Amphan that devastated several parts of  Bengal, including  Kolkata megacity, on May 20, has affected about 60 percent of the State’s six crore population. Amphan has left a massive impact on the agricultural sector where about 10.5 lakh hectares of land has been damaged. Most of these lands have been filled with salt water that burst in from the maze of rives in the Sundarbans delta. The Sundarbans is a cluster of low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal in India and Bangladesh and is famous for its unique mangrove forests. This active delta region is among the largest in the world  measuring about 40,000 square km. In many ‘places, standing crops have been affected. Prices of vegetables and other agricultural products have gone up. Besides,  58,000 fisheries have been damaged in addition to several hundred boats. Fishing is the second biggest bread earner after agriculture for the 3 crore people living in  North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts. About 21 jetties have been lost to the super cyclone, she said recalling that river transportation is a lifeline for the people living in  Bengal. Kolkata Municipal Corporation and residents of the megacity say about  6,500  trees,  most of these more than one hundred years old have been destroyed. Meanwhile, as electricity is being gradually restored in  India’s seventh populous city, the iconic  New Market with 2,000 stalls is set to resume business.   Trade and commerce are also at a standstill due to double whammy—COVID pandemic and super cyclone AMPHAN pronounced as UM-PUN meaning sky in the Thai language. Bengalis are worried about the celebration of Durga puja slated to be from Thursday, October 22 to Monday, October 26. The mercantile community substantially donates to the community puja committees. They are among those most affected. Famed Kumartuli in North Kolkata near the Ganga has also borne the brunt of the natural calamity. It is the place where most of the images of Durga and other goddesses and gods are made. As educational institutions remain closed due to lockdown, most of the middle-aged and youngsters are tired of sitting idle compelling them to engage in WhatsApping. People are apprehensive of taking tea at roadside tea stalls and ADDA to avoid infection. Aged diabetics are afraid of sheepishly buying and eating Sandesh and rasgulla. (picture courtesy:flipboard.com)

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