West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met her Sikkim counterpart Pawan Kumar Chamling and offered him all assistance to meet the situation arising out of Sunday's quake.
"Sikkim is our neighbouring state and we stand by the people of Sikkim at this hour of crisis with all sorts of assistance to help them tide over the situation," Banerjee told reporters after meeting Chamling at NHPC guest house in Gangtok.
Earlier in the day she went around some quake-hit areas in Sikkim where the toll has climbed to 50 and promised all help to the state to tide over its major crisis.
As her convoy reached Rangpo to enter Sikkim through the landslide-hit National Highway-31A, the lifeline of the state, she was welcomed by some ministers and a large crowd. She was greeted with traditional khada (scarf).
Banerjee interacted with people and visited two hospitals, including the central referral hospital where many quake victims have been admitted. She enquired about their health, talked to attending doctors and nurses, asked about medical requirements and assured them that West Bengal would provide necessary help for their treatment.
Expressing concern over the loss of several lives in the state due to the earthquake, she said while the Centre was extending all help, "We in West Bengal have already given some relief materials and medicines and are ready to provide more." "What is needed is joint effort to overcome the crisis," she added.
Before leaving for Sikkim, Banerjee, who has been in Darjeeling district since Monday to survey the extent of damage, said her government was ready to offer assistance to Sikkim. "We are with our brothers and sisters in Sikkim at this hour of distress," she said.
The chief minister took pride in the fact that the West Bengal government was the first to reach relief materials and medical kits to the quake-hit people of Sikkim.
The West Bengal government may send a medical team as well to the state.