The Army was deployed in Kolkata and neighbouring districts on Saturday (May 23) for the restoration of essential infrastructure and services in the wake of the destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan, a defence official said.
“Five columns of the Army were deployed in different parts of the city and North and South 24 Parganas districts,” he said.
These three parts of the state reported the maximum damage due to the cyclone.
“The Indian Army has provided three columns to assist the Kolkata city administration in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan,” he said.
“Army personnel equipped with road and tree clearance equipment were deployed at Tollygunge, Ballygunge and Behala in south Kolkata,” he added.
Army columns were also deployed for restoration work at New Town in North 24 Parganas district and at Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district, he said.
An Army column has 35 men, including officers and junior commissioned officers.
The army was deployed following the West Bengal government’s request for support of the Indian Army, railways and port for restoring essential infrastructure and services in the cyclone-ravaged areas of the state.
“Army support has been called for; NDRF and SDRF teams deployed; Railways, Port & private sector too requested to supply teams and equipment (sic),” it had tweeted.
The announcement came after protests in several parts of Kolkata and neighbouring districts over power and water crisis even three days after cyclone Amphan hit the state.
In a rare move, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar not only agreed with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s request for Amry but also appreciated the move.
Known for a stormy relationship with the state government, Dhankar on Saturday praised CM in a tweet.
“A good move @MamataOfficial to seek support and assistance of the Army. These are trying time and appeal to people to keep calm. Authorities must restore connectivity, electricity and other services at the earliest,” he wrote on Twitter.
A good move @MamataOfficial to seek support and assistance of Army. These are trying time and appeal to people to keep calm. Authorities must restore connectivity, electricity and other services at the earliest.
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 23, 2020
Cyclone Amphan has claimed 86 lives in the state and caused havoc in at least 14 districts, mainly in South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore.
(With inputs from agencies.)