Mamata meets kin of six flash flood victims in Jalpaiguri, promises assistance

Jalpaiguri: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday met the family members of six out of the eight people who died after being swept away in a flash flood in Mal River here during Durga idol immersion on October 5, and assured them of all possible assistance.

Shortly after reaching Malbazar, Banerjee visited the residence of one of the deceased, where relatives of the other five victims had also gathered.

The CM, besides checking on the family members, also sought to know from them if any lapse on the part of the local administration had led to the tragedy.

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Later, talking to reporters, she said, “Today I met the family members of six people who were killed in the flash flood in Mal River earlier this month. I am grateful to the locals who saved the lives of several people. I would like to thank them. Around 450 people were rescued from the river,” Banerjee, who is on a four-day trip to north Bengal, stated.

She asked Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi, who is accompanying her on the tour, to extend all possible assistance to the relatives as and when required.

The state government has paid a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the eight deceased.

Earlier, before leaving for North Bengal, Banerjee, at Kolkata airport, had described the Mal River incident as “unfortunate” and said that she could not visit Jalpaiguri earlier owing to some pre-scheduled programmes.

“I visit the Hills quite regularly. Whatever happened in Malbazar was extremely unfortunate. I had immediately asked North Bengal Development Minister Udayan Guha, MLA Bulu Chik Baraik and local municipality chairman to visit the area and take stock of the situation.

“I couldn’t visit Jalpaiguri at that time because of the Durga Puja Carnival and other scheduled programmes,” she said.

The CM will be hosting a ‘Bijaya Sammilani’ event in Siliguri on October 19, where eminent personalities of the region have been invited.

She will also chair administrative meetings of senior government officials during the visit.

The chief minister is expected to return to Kolkata on October 20.

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