Describing the situation in calamity-hit Joshimath as "very dangerous", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the residents of the tiny hill town in Uttarakhand were not responsible for the disaster and the Centre must take steps on a war-footing to protect people.
She said the government should have taken steps much earlier as there were already predictions of land subsidence.
Banerjee said the Raniganj coal belt in West Bengal's Paschim Bardhaman district might also face a fate similar to that of Joshimath as the area is also subsidence-prone.
"Why were necessary steps not taken when there were warnings of possible landslides? The situation in Joshimath is very dangerous. The residents of the hill town, however, are not responsible. The government must take care of the people if there is any disaster," Banerjee said at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata.
"The government must take steps on a war footing so that people do not suffer," she added.
Banerjee was leaving for Alipurduar where she is scheduled to meet party leaders and hold meetings with government officials before leaving for poll-bound Meghalaya.