Punjab urges revised norms for flood relief

August 25th, 2008 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Aug 25 (IANS) The losses suffered by Punjab in the recent floods were different from other states, Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal Monday told the central government and asked it to assess the relief package on the basis of revised and Punjab-specific norms.At a meeting with a central team that visited the state to assess damage to crops and property in floods earlier this month, Badal urged the central team to recommend the state’s case for flood relief to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the basis of revised norms.

He asked the team to project the state’s case in a different perspective because the paddy crop, which was near ripening stage, had been completely destroyed. He said the affected farmers could be compensated only with the revised relief norms as the existing amount of Rs.4,000 per hectare was a cruel joke with them.

Terming the amount too meagre, Badal said the farmers had to spend about Rs.25,000 per hectare on inputs only and had already spent more than 60 percent of this on raising the crop till this stage. In the light of this, the existing amount needed to be revised upwards to at least Rs.15,000 per hectare, Badal added.

Badal sought the compensation for damage to property and livestock to be enhanced substantially also.

He said the damage assessed by government agencies was estimated at Rs.9.45 billion against the earlier tentative damage of Rs.5.3 billion. This included crop damage of Rs.3.44 billion and damage to irrigation infrastructure Rs.4.48 billion.

The central team led by joint secretary Prabanshu Kamal asked the government to prepare a detailed project report on strengthening the embankment of Sutlej river so that breaches do not take place in future.

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