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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
CHANDIGARH, September 18, 2013
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday asked the state relief, rehabilitation and disaster management department to ensure transparency and speed in disbursing relief to flood victims whose standing crops, houses and cattle were damaged across the state. Financial commissioner (revenue) NS Kang said 41 people had died till now, while standing crops spread across more than 4 lakh acres and 13,000 houses had been destroyed by floods and waterlogging.

Presiding over a meeting to review the disbursement of relief to flood-affected families, especially in waterlogged areas, Badal told the financial commissioner (revenue) to entrust monitoring of work related to the special girdawari (revenue survey) to Punjab Civil Service (PCS) officers for ensuring that compensation was actually paid to flood victims well before the onset of the kharif season.

According to a press statement, Badal said compensation in case of loss of human life, 100% damage to crops and houses should be given first preference over the rest of the cases where damage was minimal. He said the PCS officers would be held accountable in case of any lapse, laxity or dereliction right from the stage of the survey till the completion of disbursement of relief to victims.

Badal also directed principal secretary (irrigation) Sarvesh Kaushal to prepare a time-bound action plan to mitigate the problem of waterlogging, which had been a major cause of recent floods in the Malwa belt, on a permanent basis.

Kang informed Badal that the total amount of relief worked out so far was Rs. 233 crore. Apart from this, he also mentioned that infrastructure of the public works department (PWD) and drainage department had been badly damaged and needed immediate repair.

Chief secretary Rakesh Singh said he would convene a meeting of officers related with the disbursement of relief on October 3 to review the progress and ensure that flood victims who suffered major losses due to floods were duly compensated.