CM’s ex-gratia for kin of gastro victims draws flak

Even as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs 1 lakh each for families of the 21 people who died due to cholera in Batala,Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa alleged discrimination against Majha residents,and termed the compensation too little.

Written by Express News Service | Amritsar | Updated: April 17, 2014 5:48 pm

Even as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs 1 lakh each for families of the 21 people who died due to cholera in Batala,Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa alleged discrimination against Majha residents,and termed the compensation too little.

“When it comes to Malwa,the ex-gratia grant for similar cases of unnatural deaths is Rs 5 lakh. I had demanded Rs 5 lakh grant when I spoke to the CM over the phone,during my visit to the affected locality. But,the residents of Majha are being subjected to discrimination,” Bajwa said,adding that despite 21 people losing their lives,the state health minister was yet to pay a visit to the locality. “This is ironical,” he added.

While announcing the ex-gratia,Badal said the state government was duty bound to help the people affected. He further said that the Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) was already carrying out relief operations on war-footing in the city,adding that free medicines worth Rs 3 lakh were being supplied to the area residents to prevent any mishap in future.

The CM said that keeping in view the grave situation of cholera and gastroenteritis in Batala,the state government would organise a mega-health camp in the city in December to diagnose patients with serious ailments.

Talking to the media persons on Tuesday after taking stock of the situation in gastro-infected locality of Gandhi camp in Batala,CM said the mega camp would be organised in Batala on the lines of ‘Sangat Darshan’ programme,which would facilitate people to avail quality health care facilities under one roof for free.

Expressing grief over the deaths,Badal said the disease spread due to contamination of sludge sewage with drinking water,owing to the dilapidated condition of supply pipes.

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