Cyclone Fani, the extremely severe cyclonic storm that had hit India’s eastern coast on Friday has left chaos and devastation in its wake. Odisha was the hardest hit in the cyclone as the storm made landfall near Puri, but as it moved north-westward, it has also affected almost the entire Odisha coast and coastal areas in West Bengal.
PM Narendra Modi is on a tour to Odisha today. He has conducted an aerial survey and is meeting officials of the state government, along with CM Naveen Patnaik, to take stock of the relief, rescue and reconstruction work in progress as the state struggles to stand up after the devastation.
— ANI (@ANI) May 6, 2019
After the aerial survey with Odisha CM Naveen Pattnaik, PM Modi praised the state government for its commendable efforts. PM Modi stated that the state authorities in Odisha have worked in great coordination and also praised the people of the state for their cooperation to the authorities.
#LIVE | I’d been monitoring the #CycloneFani during campaigning & had held a meeting. State’s authorities have worked with great coordination. The way people of Odisha have cooperated with instructions from authorities is commendable: PM Modi after undertaking aerial survey pic.twitter.com/P5hZD4KnOO
— Republic (@republic) May 6, 2019
It is notable here that Odisha had undertaken one of the largest evacuation missions in the world in preparation for the cyclone. Over 12 lakh people were evacuated from vulnerable locations to safe shelters before the cyclone. The large-scale evacuation operation is the sole cause behind low casualty numbers. A similar cyclonic storm in 2008 had caused over 1.5 lakh deaths in Myanmar.
The office of the PM has informed that PM Modi wanted to conduct a review meeting with state authorities in West Bengal too, to take stock of the situation. The PM’s office has reportedly also written to the West Bengal government in this regard. However, the West Bengal government has informed the PM’s office that their officials are busy in election duty and hence a review meeting cannot be held.
PMO Sources: However the state government has replied that the govt officials are busy with election duty and hence the review meeting should not be held. 2/2 https://t.co/i1p0GpB24y
— ANI (@ANI) May 6, 2019
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had claimed that while PM Modi spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik after Cyclone Fani, he did not bother calling her. Mamata and her party had claimed that PM Modi speaking to the governor of West Bengal and not to the CM after the cyclone was ‘an attack on the federal structure’ of the state.
However, it was later clarified by the PMO that the PM’s staff had attempted twice to get CM Mamata over the phone to speak with the PM, without success. On both the occasions the PM’s staff were told that she would return the call which never happened.