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Centre responds to Banerjee’s request, sends 5 Army columns to help cyclone-hit Bengal

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New Delhi, May 23: The Centre on Saturday decided to send five columns of Indian Army to help Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to restore infrastructure in state capital Kolkata.

The move followed by a request from the West Bengal government that appeared to have been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the relief work needed in the state battered by cyclone Amphan.

Cyclone hit Bengal

In a string of tweets, the home department said the state had mobilised just about everyone it could within the constraints of the lockdown in a unified command mode but it needed more help.

Govt releases Rs 1,000 Cr to West Bengal; central team to visit soon to assess cyclone damageGovt releases Rs 1,000 Cr to West Bengal; central team to visit soon to assess cyclone damage

"The Indian Army has provided three columns to assist the Kolkata city administration in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan," a defence official 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.

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