Sunil Jakhar, the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab assembly, has demanded that the state government should provide a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and a government job to each family of Gandhi Camp, Batala which had lost their members in the gastroenteritis outbreak in the locality about three months ago.
While listening to the grievances of the 47 affected families, Jakhar said the state government had failed to provide basic amenities to the people of the state and the funds which were sanctioned by the Congress-led government at the Centre for providing better facilities to the people had been misused by the SAD-BJP government in Punjab.
He said he would raise the issue of compensation for all the affected families in the coming budget session of the Vidhan Sabha. He warned that if the government did not provide adequate compensation to all the 47 families, he, along with other Congress MLAs of the state, would not hesitate to hold a dharna in front of the assembly.
Demanding strict action against the officers whose laxity resulted in the death of 47 gastroenteritis patients, Jakhar said though the government had accepted that 21 of them had lost their lives due to gastroenteritis and had given them compensation of Rs 1 lakh each, it was not ready to take any action against the erring officials. "Responsibility should be fixed and an FIR should be registered against the guilty officials," he demanded.
Local Congress MLA Ashwani Sekhri said he had got a Rs 11.5-crore grant sanctioned from the Centre for the development of slums of Batala, out of which Rs 3.5 crore had been released, but the money was lying unused in the treasury. He said he would soon raise the matter with the ST/SC commission.