Punjab Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister Bikram Singh Majithia Monday underlined the need for major enhancement in the present limit of Rs 6,000 per hectare compensation under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF),in case of crop damage is beyond 50 per cent.
Majithia said,Keeping in view the rising input costs in agriculture and its vulnerability to adverse climatic challenges,it becomes imperative to double this amount immediately.
He informed that Punjab government was paying Rs 5,000 per acre (Rs 12,500 per hectare) on its own to fill the huge difference. He also demanded to double the damage compensation for loss of cattlehead and house due to various natural calamities.
Taking part in the deliberations during the inaugural session of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) held under under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi,Majithia pointed out that keeping in view the gravity of various disasters - from flash floods to earthquakes,industrial,air,train and road accidents - it was high time to chalk out effective disaster management plans both at national as well as states level to deal with any eventuality besides ensuring preventive measures.
He also advocated for a comprehensive techno-legal regime to limit the ill effects of disasters through formation of effective policies,guidelines and bye-laws and their strict enforcement by relevant state departments,local bodies,agencies and private establishments.
Majithia lamented that even after in principal admission,the Union government did not grant a single penny to state against a demand of Rs 5,112 crore drought compensation.
He also demanded a raise in five per cent bar on SDRF for creation of Disaster Response Infrastructure to minimum 20 per cent so that required infrastructure could be created to meet any eventuality due to any calamity strike.
The minister also demanded for provision of at least 10 per cent of SDRF money for preparatory or emergency flood protection measures.