Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa today visited flood-affected areas in Muktsar and Faridkot districts and expressed concern over slackness in relief work.
Accusing Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of paying no heed to the affected people,Bajwa demanded compensation of Rs 25,000 per acre for fully damaged crops and Rs 15,000 per acre for partially damaged crops.
He said the Punjab government was giving only Rs 5,000 per acre for fully damaged crops,out of which the Centres share was Rs 3,500 per acre and the states share only Rs 1,500 per acre. Bajwa asked the state to present its case before the Centre so that compensation can be increased.
He demanded Rs 2 lakh for each of the houses damaged in the floods. He said the Centre was giving Rs 1 lakh per house to the state under Indira Awas Yojna. The Punjab government should give Rs 1 lakh from its exchequer,he added.
Bajwa said that standing crops were damaged in about 1.74 lakh acres in Muktsar district alone,236 villages are affected in Malwa and schools in 60 villages were still closed. He said that 6.5 lakh acres of standing crop was damaged in the whole of Punjab but the maximum damage was in Muktsar (1,01394 acres),Malout (54520 acres) and Gidderbaha (18600 acres). Hundreds of houses have been damaged,too.
Bajwa,who visited the villages of Aulakh,Bhundar,Karniwala,Raniawala,Bodiwala,Midda,Bamb,Udaikaran,Mehraj and Harikewala,said that he was moved by the plight of the people. He said that during the last six years,a sum of Rs 1,900 crore was spent on strengthening of canal banks and flood protection works,but the conditions were still miserable.
The state Congress chief said the SAD-BJP government had earmarked Rs 922.64 crore for irrigation and flood control in the financial year 2012-13,including 75 per cent central grant. The funds were being misutilised,he claimed.