Badal hopes Centre will compensate farmers living near border

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Chandigarh, Feb 9 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today expressed the hope that the Union Government would sanction the required sum of around Rs 20 crore to mitigate the economic loss to farmers living near the border fence.

He said the State Government had been regularly taking up with the Union Home Ministry and the Planning Commission the matter of compensation to the farmers on annual basis through a grant of atleast Rs 10,000 per acre to offset their monetary loss on account of numerous restrictions imposed upon them by the BSF.

Mr Badal said that unlike in other states all land along the border in Punjab was cultivable and was under plough right till the Zero line.

He thanked Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil for visiting the border area of Gurdaspur district yesterday and interacting with local people to apprise himself of the problems facing them.

"We are happy that the Union Home Minister has been able to appreciate the multifarious problems faced by these hard-working farmers" said Mr Badal.

The Chief Minister requested the Home Minister to increase the Punjab's allocation under the Border Area Development Programmes so that the state may be able to remove the infrastructural bottlenecks in border districts to bring them at par with the rest of the state.

UNI VKJ BP1902

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