Badal urges PM to announce relief for flood-hit farmers | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Badal urges PM to announce relief for flood-hit farmers

chandigarh Updated: Aug 26, 2013 19:04 IST

The Punjab government on Monday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to send a team to assess the damage caused by recent floods in the state and announce a special rehabilitation package in light of the same.

In a letter to the PM, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal urged the former to send a central team to assess the situation and immediately revise the natural calamity norms to ensure adequate compensation for the affected people.

Badal has also written to union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and home minister Sushilkumar Shinde with similar requests.

The CM said he had toured the affected areas of the state in the past few days and had seen the plight of the people whose houses, crops and livestock had been damaged.

"Apart from human life, there has been substantial damage to government and community-owned infrastructure," he said in the letter.

"The relief allowed under the guidelines for utilisation of the State Disaster Response Fund was totally inadequate," Badal said, adding that the state government was working hard to alleviate the sufferings of the people.

Claiming that the affected farmers had spent approximately Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per acre of land on seed, fertiliser, insecticide and irrigation, Badal asked the Centre to provide compensation of at least Rs 20,000 per acre.

Surface drains, which are a lifeline for farmers in several districts, are in a poor condition, Badal said, adding that, "the traditional drainage system requires a major overhaul".

"A team led by Planning Commission member Mihir Shah had studied the water-logging and drainage problem in the state (with a view to) paving the way for central funding, but we are still awaiting its outcome," he said.