Amarinder Singh surveys flood-affected areas of Punjab, Centre extends support

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday took a stock of the situation at flood-affected areas of Tarn Taran and Kapurthala districts. 

Amarinder Singh surveys flood-affected areas of Punjab, Centre extends support
Image Courtesy: IANS

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday took a stock of the situation at flood-affected areas of Tarn Taran and Kapurthala districts. 

Singh surveyed the areas to assess the damage caused by overflowing Beas river.

The chief minister will be releasing compensation to the affected farmers after the survey will be completed.

Singh announced that compensation would also be provided to the people whose houses had been damaged or for loss of any livestock, an official release said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Amarinder Singh that Centre will fully support the latter in tackling the flood situation. 

Incessant rains have caused damage to crops at several places in the past few days. 

The Congress leader also took an aerial survey of the affected areas. Singh said that the situation was not as bad as he had imagined.

He said reports of some crop damage have also been received from the districts of Gurdaspur and Amritsar, besides Tarn Taran and Kapurthala.

Allaying farmers' fears that the Food Corporation of India will not procure their produce due to higher moisture content this year, Amarinder Singh said he had already taken up the matter with the authorities concerned. "You will not face any problems in procurement."

In Tarn Taran, the chief minister was briefed by the district officials about the flood situation. He later met the residents of the area and assured them that his government would provide all possible help to those whose crops and houses had been damaged by the incessant rains and floods.

The chief minister also met the family of Gurbeer Singh (18), who was washed away on Monday, and announced a compensation of Rs 3.50 lakh.

Amarinder Singh said the special 'girdawari' will be conducted as soon as the flood waters recede. He said once the revenue department receive reports from the district commissioners, the amount of compensation would be decided on the basis of the extent of damage.

Responding to a question, the Chief Minister said Punjab had rejected the Centre's crop-insurance scheme, as it was against the interests of the farmers as well as of the state.

He said if the Centre does not alter the scheme to meet the requirements of Punjab, the government would come out with its own insurance policy for the benefit of farmers.

He said, at present, the compensation to farmers would be paid from the state government's calamity fund.

The chief minister later visited the Mand area of Sultanpur Lodhi city and met the farmers, whose crops had suffered extensive damage due to flooding.

Responding to their demand that all pontoon bridges in Kapurthala district should be replaced with permanent ones, the chief minister said he would take up the matter with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

The chief minister said he would also seek funds from the Centre for the construction of spurs to protect river banks in Beas.

He said the flooding in Beas had occurred mainly due to rains in Himachal Pradesh and the release of water from dams there.

(With PTI inputs)

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