September 20, 2011
CM visits quake-hit areas in Sikkim, lends help to Chamling
Kolkata, September 20: Paschimbanga Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee set an example for many by visiting Sikkim on Tuesday to take stock of the devastation caused by an earthquake that rocked Mangan, 64-kilometers away from Sikkim. The quake which was recorded 6.8 on the Richter scale created huge damage lives and property. Ms. Banerjee who was on a visit to North Bengal decided to take a round of the quake affected areas in Sikkim also the epicenter of the earthquake. Initially, the Chief Minister had ruled out the plan to visit Sikkim as the roads are in a very bad condition and she felt going by air would only create an obstruction on the way of relief operations. `I am planning to visit the areas if possible tomorrow provided my visit doesn't obstruct in the way of rescue operations, besides it will take nearly three to four hours to reach the place and considering the poor roads my going via air will certainly hamper the relief operations. However, everything depends on the situation tomorrow when I will decide whether to proceed to Sikkim or postpone for the time being`, she said on Monday evening after reaching Siliguri. However, an aggrieved Ms. Banerjee for whom nothing exists beyond `humanity` decided on Tuesday to proceed to Sikkim ignoring the bad roads.
After reaching Sikkim late in the afternoon, Ms. Banerjee took rounds to the hospitals where victims were being treated. The members of the Sikkim Administration and the aggrieved people in Sikkim gave her a warm welcome. Paschimbanga government had already sent medical aids and food packets to Sikkim. In fact, she was stranded near Rongpo on her way to Gangtok for sometime as the car she was traveling had to make way very cautiously due to terrible conditions of roads which received fresh landslide. She called up Paschimbanga Chief Secretary and requested him to talk to the concerned authority and get the roads repaired at war footing. A medical team and relief materials including dry food has been sent to Sikkim on CM`s order.
Ms. Banerjee also took rounds of the houses that were damaged during the quake and spoke to the victims. Immediately after this the she went to meet the Sikkim Chief Minister Mr. Pawan Kumar Chamling. Ms. Banerjee assured him that her government will do everything to help the poor people who are yet to come out of the trauma of devastating earthquake.