Day by day anger seems to be rising among the villagers against the state government for forcing them to evacuate their houses near the border and stay at relief camps. Many have even complained that they have not been compensated after floods damaged their crops last year.
“Last year, our crops were completely damaged due to floods. Till now we have not been compensated. And now, the government is displacing us,” said Jeet Singh, a farmer of Pakka Chishti village. Supporting Jeet’s views, another farmer Darshan Singh of Tendiwala village said, “ Border residents are never given any facilities. We are yet to receive the compensation for our damaged crops. This evacuation has ripped open our old scars once again.”
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Villagers hailing from Fazilka blamed the ruling alliance for the delay in payment and for not carrying out any works on drains to stop overflowing of water into the fields. Few even accused Health Minister and Falzilka MLA Surjit Kumar Jayani and raised their concerns with him at the Sant Kabir ITI college relief camp.
Clarifying the doubts of the grieving farmers, Jayani said, “The budget for solving the flooding of fields have been sent and the project will be carried out soon. And regarding compensation, only a few are left who are yet to receive compensation.”
Extending support to the farmers staying in the relief camps, Congress MLA Rana Sodhi said, “People are being forced to shift to the relief camps as the Chief Minister is due to visit the camps on Monday. There are hardly any facilities there and an inquiry needs to be conducted regarding the usage of funds in these camps.”
*Legal aid facility
Apart from screening movies for border residents in the relief camps, the Punjab Police Sunday introduced legal aid facility within the camp. Separate stalls were also put up in the camps by the police. “In case residents want free legal aid for their old disputes, we are here to help them out. In addition to this, police is available for local disputes as well, said SSP Narinder Bhargav.