Siliguri: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said 108 people from the state who were in Nepal on various purposes were yet to be traced and efforts were on to locate them.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTIWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

“As per the information available, another 336 people of Bengal who were in Nepal have either come back or are on their way back,” Banerjee told a press conference after holding a meeting with senior officials of different departments in Siliguri.

“We are sending a bus to Nepal to send people who want to go there to meet their near and dear ones, as also to bring back those stranded there,” Banerjee said.

“Our first priority is to save and protect lives. We will ask for funds from the Centre only after proper and total assessment,” she said in reply to a question.

She also formed a crisis management group to deal with the impact of the devastating Nepal earthquake on three districts of north Bengal and said monetary assistance would be sought from the Centre after detailed assessment of the damages.

“We have formed a crisis management group headed by Director General of Police (Coastal Security) Raj Kanojia. It has members from the disaster management group, police and hospital authorities,” Banerjee said.

Three persons were killed and 69 others, including 43 school children, were injured in the earthquake which had a major effect in the districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar.

The Chief Minister also visited some of the places affected by Saturday’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake in neighbouring Nepal, which shares its border with the Darjeeling district.

“We will write to the Centre for financial assistance only after making a detailed assessment of damages to life and property,” the chief minister said, adding, it was the onus of the central government to provide such support as it was a case of natural disaster.

“I have asked the PWD and Irrigation departments to check all the bridges in North Bengal to find out whether these have been damaged by the earthquake,” she said.

PTI

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108 people from West Bengal yet to be traced in Nepal: Mamata Banerjee