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Bengal Minister initiates fencing drive in cyclone-ravaged Sunderbans

Kolkata, June 5 (IANS) Fortnight after Cyclone Amphan rocked a large part of south Bengal districts, West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee on Friday initiated the fencing work in core forest areas of Sunderbans with large nets to stop tigers from sneaking inside the human habitations.

Banerjee, along with other senior state forest department officials, reached Peerkhali area this morning to start the fencing off operation.

The minister was seen working with the villagers and other officials to cover the core areas with bamboo and large fencing nets, sources said.

Meanwhile, the seven-member Central team, formed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), started off for Patharpratima, Gosaba, Sandeshkhali and Hingalganj to assess the quantum of damage caused by Cyclone Amphan.

According to state government sources, the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT), led by MHA Joint Secretary Anuj Sharma, were divided into four groups to conduct both aerial and ground assessment in Sunderbans region ascertain ingthe quantum of loss and destruction caused by the severe cyclonic storm last month.

The team is also expected to tour around the state capital Kolkata that had witnessed substantial damages in the wake of the super storm. Before leaving for New Delhi, the IMCT is slated to hold a meeting with State Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha and other government officials on Saturday.

Earlier, two days after cyclone Amphan Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited West Bengal along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The duo had conducted an aerial survey of affected areas after which the PM had announced an advance relief of Rs 1,000 crore for West Bengal.

–IANS

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