Punjab CM directs ministers, DCs to step up vigil as more rains lash state
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh had written to PM Modi seeking a special flood relief package of Rs 1,000 crore for the state. It is estimated, as per initial calculations, that the state has suffered damage worth Rs 1,700 crore due to the floodsUpdated: Aug 26, 2019 10:58 IST
With rains again lashing parts of flood-ravaged Punjab, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday directed all ministers overseeing relief operations and deputy commissioners to step up vigil.
The CM has deputed four ministers — Charanjit Singh Channi, Sunder Sham Arora, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Bharat Bhushan Ashu — to oversee relief operations in worst-affected Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Rupnagar districts.
He had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a special flood relief package of Rs 1,000 crore for the state. It is estimated, as per initial calculations, that the state has suffered damage worth Rs 1,700 crore due to the floods.
The chief minister, who in the past few days, has extensively toured the affected areas to make an on-ground assessment of the losses caused to standing crops, houses, public installations and livestock, also urged Modi to instruct the authorities concerned to waive crop loans of banks/ financial institutions availed by the affected farmers in the flood stricken villages during the current cropping season.
Heavy rains in some parts of the state have caused extensive damage to the standing crops and inundation of residential areas in several districts, including Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ferozepur, Rupnagar and Kapurthala.
Fortify Embankment On Pak Border To Avert Floods: CM
The CM also asked the water resources department to work out a joint action plan with the army to strengthen the embankment at Tendiwala village located along the Indo-Pak border in Ferozepur district to avert flooding of nearby villages.
The CM gave the directions during a high-level meeting held here to review the flood situation in Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Rupnagar districts.
The CM directed the Ferozepur deputy commissioner to keep National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams on standby to meet any exigency arising out of floods.
Responding to the CM’s request, the Union home ministry has decided to send a central team to assess the damage and loss caused by the floods in the state.
In 15 flood-affected villages in Makhu and Hussaniwala area, nearly 500 persons were evacuated to safer places and 630 persons given necessary medical aid. Besides, nearly 950 food packets have been distributed to people, and adequate arrangements made for supply of feed and fodder to livestock.
The Ferozepur deputy commissioner informed the meeting that the strengthening work at Tendiwala village was going on in full swing and the army was assisting in fixing the rift on the embankment. The CM directed him to keep a close tab on the ongoing strengthening of work at the village to ensure its completion at the earliest, according to an official release.
The CM was informed that with efforts of local residents, religious and social organisations, two major breaches in Sutlej ricer in Jalandhar district had been plugged by the district administration at Mau Sahib and Meowal villages whereas work on other breaches at Powahari and Sailkiana villages of Phillaur and Jania Chahal village in Shahkot was nearing completion.
As per inputs given by Rupnagar DC, the water level in the flooded fields of the district has by and large receded. Nearly 500 persons have been evacuated and drinking water and power supply has been restored in the flood-affected villages. Around 3,300 persons have been provided with medical aid in 13 permanent and 22 mobile camps, and three ambulances pressed into services to provide emergency healthcare services.
The CM also directed the DCs of Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ferozepur, Rupnagar and SBS Nagar to chalk out a detailed programme to initiate the process of assessing damage to crops and infrastructure in the flood-hit areas immediate after the water level recedes.
Group of Secys on Disaster Management to Meet
The group of secretaries on disaster management will meet on Monday under the chairmanship of chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh to take stock of the situation arising in various districts of the state due to floods.
An official spokesperson said the meeting would be attended by additional chief secretaries of home and cooperation departments, principal secretaries of water resources, local government, power and rural development and panchayat departments, secretaries of PWD and water supply and sanitation and the director general of police.
Deputy commissioners of Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Moga, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Rupnagar will also join the meeting via video-conferencing.
During the meeting, the chief secretary will review the flood relief operations being carried out in the various parts of the state besides deliberating with the various departmental heads to further speed up the operations to tackle the situation.
The meeting would also take stock of affected areas, loss of life, people evacuated, quantity as well as quality of food items being supplied in the relief camps, number of breaches, relief teams in affected villages, water release from August 19 and assessment of losses so far, besides discussing the role of the army, NDRF and SDRF.
Govt Drafts Post-Flood Action Plan
With flood water receding in several areas, the state government sent a detailed post-flood action plan to deputy commissioners with exhaustive guidelines to save human lives and animals from diseases and restore normalcy.
The government directed the deputy commissioner, Jalandhar, and others to immediately implement bring it into action, said an official spokesman. The guidelines have issued as a precautionary measure as there is fear of spread of diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, malaria, chikungunya etc in flood-hit areas.
The guidelines listing the “dos and don’ts” explicitly state that IEC activities be carried out to educate the masses about diseases which occur post floods. Personal protection methods like boiling water, proper cooking of food, washing of hands, use of ORS and zinc tablets personal hygiene and cleanliness of surroundings have been prescribed.
The district authorities have been asked to rope in counsellors for prevention of psychological diseases and take special care for management of outbreak of epidemic.
(With inputs from PTI)