At least 38 people have been killed and many injured in landslides triggered by heavy rain in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisions of Darjeeling district since last night. Most of the bodies have been recovered.
A Shashatra Seema Bal officer said today, the landslides have caused extensive damage to National Highways, cutting off road and telecommunication link to Darjeeling and Sikkim.Twenty five landslips were reported in the three sub-divisions.
Army has been called in for rescue and relief operations. The West Bengal Chief Ms Mamata Banerjee is rushing to Darjeeling to oversee the rescue and relief operations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced ex-gratia compensation of two lakh rupees each to families of those who lost their lives in landslides in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. The amount will be paid from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. This amount will be in addition to the compensation of 4 lakh rupees to be given from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to West Bengal Mamta Banerjee and assured all possible assistance from the Centre. He directed the authorities to take up the rescue and relief operations immediately. Two NDRF teams have been dispatched for rescue operations. On the instruction of the Prime Minister, a high level team headed by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju is leaving for Kurseong and Kalimpong to take stock of the situation.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will also visit Mirik to take stock of the situation. Miss Banerjee has asked state Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee to go to the affected areas and oversee the situation. Electricity supply and telephone networks are also badly affected due to heavy rains.