<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session II (Winter Session) </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session II (Winter Session) Wednesday, December 8, 1999/Agrahayana 17, 1921 (Saka )

Title: Need for early release of Central assistance to flood victims of West Bengal.

SHRI LAKSHMAN SETH (TAMLUK): Mr. Speaker, Sir, there were heavy floods in West Bengal in the month of September this year. Ten districts are totally devastated. The Government of West Bengal had requested for financial assistance from the Government of India to the rune of Rs.725 crore. A Central team also visited West Bengal. They have made a recommendation to make financial assistance of Rs.125 crore, but not a single farthing has been given to West Bengal to combat this flood devastation. This is very very important because West Bengal is a flood-prone area and everywhere we are witnessing floods. Central assistance is not coming. Hon. Finance Minister is here. We want reaction from him why not even a single farthing has been given to West Bengal Government to combat this devastation. This is very important. All the roads are flooded and all the houses have collapsed. The death toll is high. It is more than 5,500. No financial assistance has been given by the Central Government. I want reaction from the hon. Finance Minister.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: You can also associate with them.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE (BOLPUR): Half of my Constituency is seriously affected. Even during election, we had to face the serious problem of floods. I am sure the hon. Minister is aware of the extent of damage. But the only thing is some quick response should be made by the Central Government so that money is made available to West Bengal Government. This is the problem. You know what is happening to the citizens of this country. They are like sitting ducks. Unfortunately, they cannot float on water like ducks! They are becoming the targets of misery whenever floods come. There is no protection, relief or rehabilitation to them. Money is a serious problem.

Therefore, I request the hon. Finance Minister and the Government as a whole to render financial assistance to the flood victims of West Bengal. Shri Naveen Patnaik realises the havoc which his State is facing. We are all sharing the same concern. Urgent relief work should be undertaken soon to save the people and to rehabilitate them.

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SHRI ANIL BASU (ARAMBAGH): What is the reaction of the hon. Finance Minister?

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SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): Mr. Finance Minister, why can you not respond? ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Finance Minister has to go to the other House also. If the House agrees, Item 14 Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) may be taken up.


... (Interruptions)


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