For the third time in the last five years,while waters from the Sutlej have wasted crops in Ferozepur and Fazilka,agricultural land in Muktsar has also met the same fate due to overflow of nallahs. The Punjab government,however,is still no closer to a solution.
All it seems to do,year after year,is provide compensation to farmers. On Tuesday,Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon said that part of the problem was that the inundated land was along the riverbeds. We cannot build any advance bundh,it will further shorten the river course. Moreover,the crop which has been damaged all lies within the riverbed area. So,irrigation in such land is always a risk and the farmers know it very well. Residents have made houses in riverbed areas,which they should not have done, he said.
Sekhon added the government always handed over compensation to all farmers whose crop gets damaged. This year,Sekhon said,the compensation per acre has been fixed at Rs 5,000,for which the Centre pitches in with Rs 1,500 per acre.
Meanwhile,situation at the flooded regions of Ferozepur and Fazilka remained the same on Tuesday with a majority of villagers preferring to stay in their flooded land. They only sought boats from the administration to deal with emergency situations.
Ferozepur MLA Parminder Singh Pinki,however,alleged that the administration was not making the people aware of the need to evacuate. Ration in many houses have finished and relief teams are handing over flour to villagers through boats, he said. While the administration has claimed that no houses have been damaged,Pinki said hundreds of houses had borne the brunt of the rising waters.
The government has sanctioned Rs 30 lakh as relief funds,of which,Rs 10 lakh has already arrived, Faridkot Divisional Commissioner V K Sharma said.
Warring visits affected areas
Gidderbaha MLA Amarinder Raja Warring,who on Tuesday visited affected areas in Muktsar,claimed that over 1,000 houses had been damaged due to flooding in his constituency.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines