Mamamta writes to NITI Aayog for inter-disciplianry team for Sundarbans

    Kolkata, June 30 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister
Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday urged NITI Aayog to form an
inter-disciplinary team to initiate preparation for a
masterplan for the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site
wreaked by frequent cyclones.
    In a letter to NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar,
she pointed out that the Sunderbans is home to 50 lakh people
and has the world’s largest single block of mangrove forests,
which had received the worst battering “in living memory” by
Cyclone Amphan on May 20.
    “I would like to request NITI Aayog to kindly
commission the preparation of a Master Plan by an inter-
disciplinary team of experts covering all aspects of
socio-economic development of this ecologically fragile
region,” she said.
    A central team had visited certain Amphan-ravaged
villages in the Sunderbans to assess the extensive damages.
    Banerjee said the latest trail of devastations
reminded of the need for a “systematic review of the multiple
challenge faced by the Sunderbans and calls for a
scientifically designed development package for its protection
and balanced socio-economic development.”
    Any review of the manifold challenges of Sunderbans
will require a pool of experts drawn from the relevant
disciplines as also technical assistance from international
multilateral bodies. “It will also require funding support
from the government of India,” she said. PTI SUS

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