View Punjab as different case, Badal tells Central team

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Chandigarh, Aug 25 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called upon the visiting Central team to make recommendations for flood relief to the state on revised norms as the nature and quantum of damage caused to crops and property was ''absolutely different'' from other states.

Pointing out that the paddy crop which was near the ripening stage had been completely destroyed, the Chief Minister, in a meeting with the Central team last night, urged it to project the state's case ''entirely in a different perspective'' because the affected farmers could be compensated only with the revised norms of relief at the rate of Rs 15,000 per hectare.

''The existing norm of relief offering Rs 4000 per hectare was ''too meagre and nothing but a cruel joke,'' the chief Minister said, while presiding over a high-level meeting here to review the relief measures in flood-affected areas.

The Central team leader, Joint Secretary Disaster Management Prabhanshu Kamal, assured Mr Badal that the team had interacted with a number of flood-hit families and would recommend the Ministry to take stock of the flood situation in the state from a ''different angle, it being an agrarian one''.

Mr Badal informed the Central team that the damage so far assessed by the various government agencies was now estimated at Rs 945 crore against the earlier tentative damage assessed at Rs 530.36 crore, with a substantial damage caused to crops (Rs 344 crore) over 172269 acres, Irrigation/Drainage infrastructure (Rs 448 crore), house property (Rs 27.61 crore) roads and buildings (Rs116 crore) and miscellaneous (Rs 10 crore) including loss of human lives, livestock and other infrastructure like water supply and sanitation, power, panchayats and rural development.

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