Central team to submit report of flood-hit areas in two days

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Chandigarh, Aug 24 (UNI) A central team, which visited the worst-hit villages in the recent floods in four districts of Punjab, today assured the state that the Centre would soon announce adequate compensation after the team submits its report within two days.

The team, led by Joint Secretary Home Affairs (Disaster Management) Prabhanshu Kamal, toured the Ferozpur district's Makhu area, where 134 villages were flooded by Sutlej waters after the breach in Dhussi band, before going to flood-affected villages in neighbouring Moga, Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts.

After interacting with the flood-affected villagers, the Joint Secretary observed that due to the breach in Dhussi bandh, heavy damages were caused to crops and property.

Later, addressing mediapersons at Boghewal, the Joint Secretary said he had also asked the Punjab government to send a complete damage assessment report to the Central government so that the Centre could decide upon the adequate quantum of compensation.

He also stressed that there was an urgent need to provide doctors and medicines in the flood-affected region to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases.

Punjab Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, who accompanied the team said 134 villages were flooded and 55,000 people were affected by floods in Ferozpur district, out of which 6320 people were rescued through boats and motor boats and were now lodged in rescue camps.

Mr Sekhon demanded that the Centre must pay the total loss to farmers as 60 to 70 per cent of food grains were contributed by the Punjab farmers in the central pool. He also demanded waiving off loans of the flood-affected farmers.

Punjab Irrigation Secretary Suresh Kumar, who was also with the visiting team, told reporters that the state government had already ordered the department of revenue for assessing the crop loans and other losses of human lives and property, beside animals wealth. The state government would soon submit its report to the Centre, he said.

He said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had urged the Centre to revise the existing amount of compensation as the present rate of giving Rs 1600 per acre for crop loss, Rs 25000 for pucca houses and Rs 10,000 for kacha houses was quite inadequate.

He also said that Mr Badal had also impressed upon the Centre the need for permanent strengthening of Dhussi bandh and the state government was awaiting the Centre's nod for its 21 flood control projects worth Rs 448 crore.

The Irrigation Secretary also stated that the flow in river Sutlej had now come down to normal and there was no danger of further flooding of the river. The state government was reviewing water level situation, Mr Kumar added.


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