Tornado-hit villagers block highway, gherao officials
Raigunj: Angry villagers in West Bengal`s North Dinajpur district, where a deadly tornado killed 43 people and caused widespread devastation, on Friday blocked an arterial highway demanding relief materials.
More than 2000 men, women and children sat on the road outside the office of BDO at Hemtabad on the Balurghat-Raiganj road protesting against absence of relief materials three days since the storm tore through the area, police said.
"Three days have gone by and yet no relief material has reached our villages. We do not have safe drinking water and tarpaulin sheets to cover our heads. We also have no dry food and baby food," Haripada Mondal of Bharatpur village told a news agency.
Hundreds of buses, trucks, cars and small vehicles were seen stranded on the highway which links Siliguri.
Police said agitators also blocked the BDO and SDO offices at Islampur in worst-hit Karandighi bloc.
State relief secretary Madan Lal Meena said in a news conference that local authorities had asked for two lakh tarpaulin sheets and relief materials were being provided to
gram panchayat offices in far-flung areas of the district.
"So far, 72,000 tarpaulin sheets have been distributed. Distribution of dry food has been initiated at several villages through fair price shops. Efforts are being made to send drinking water to the affected villages," he said.
Some voluntary organisations had been engaged to provide relief to the affected, the secretary added.
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