Reiterating his government's commitment to resolve various issues of residents living in villages along the 553-km-long Punjab border with Pakistan, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday said he would take up all border-related issues with the central government.
Though most of their problems are primarily related to poor infrastructure in the border villages, the most important issue was providing adequate compensation to the farmers having agricultural land between the barbed wire fence and the internal border.
Due to restrictions, farmers cannot work after dusk in their fields, which often affects crop yield. The state government wants the Centre to compensate the farmers for the loss as was being done during the rule of the previous NDA government. The UPA had halted the compensation after which the state government came forward to give an amount of `3,000 per acre to the farmers.
On the concluding day of his two-day 'sangat darshan' in villages of the Attari assembly segment on Sunday, the chief minister announced that he would once again take up the matter regarding the hardships faced by the people residing along the border with the union government. He said he had been persistently raising these issues with the successive governments at the Centre.
"I will be very soon conducting an exclusive sangat darshan in villages of border districts of Punjab to boost the pace of overall development in this area," he said during an informal chat with reporters after a sangat darshan at Kambo village.
Indicating that he is well aware of the problems faced by people of the border districts, Badal said sangat darshans would facilitate the government in solving their long-pending problems. He said the state government would soon chalk out a multi-pronged strategy to ensure the overall development of the border districts.
Besides Kambo, the chief minister also held sangat darshans at Bhittewind, Heir and Nangali village. Badal said in order provide clean and hygienic environment to every village across Punjab, the government would launch a new scheme by the next fiscal year for constructing toilets in every rural household.
He said he had asked his officers to complete the necessary formalities for meeting the target. "Sangat darshan system was a boon for the general public as it virtually brings the state government at the doorsteps of the people," he added, while referring to the criticism of this system by the opposition.
Compensation for crop loss
Badal, in the meantime, assured people that all those who suffered losses due to floods and rain would be duly compensated. "Compensation will be given for the damage caused to houses and crops," he added. He said the deputy commissioner would survey the loss, after which the compensation would be given to the aggrieved people.
He also announced that the process of identifying the remaining beneficiaries of the New Atta Dal Scheme would also be completed soon.