Central team assess flood damage in Mohali, Patiala & Sangrur districts in Punjab - Hindustan Times
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Central team assess flood damage in Mohali, Patiala & Sangrur districts in Punjab

By, Mohali/patiala/sangrur
Aug 09, 2023 12:52 AM IST

An inter-ministerial Central team visited flood-affected areas in Punjab to assess the damage caused by recent floods and gather information from local officials and farmers. The Punjab government had requested the Centre's intervention to compensate farmers for the loss of crops. The team will submit a report to the Union government for appropriate action to be taken.

An inter-ministerial Central team led by national disaster management authority (NDMA) advisor Ravneesh Kumar visited Mohali, Patiala and Sangrur on Tuesday to assess the flood damage caused by Ghaggar.

The team led by NDMA advisor will be in Rupnagar and Jalandhar on Wednesday. (HT Photo)
The team led by NDMA advisor will be in Rupnagar and Jalandhar on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

The seven-member team visited Dehar, Alamgir, Tiwana, Khajur Mandi, and Sarsini in the Dera Bassi sub-division of Mohali. The team also visited villages along the Ghaggar in Patiala, and Sangrur, while on Wednesday it will visit villages in Rupnagar and Jalandhar along Sutlej.

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The Punjab government had sought the Centre’s intervention to allow the use of disaster relief funds to compensate farmers whose transplanted paddy saplings were destroyed in the flash floods last month. The Central team gathered details of the damage from local officials and also addressed the grievances of farmers.

During the interaction, farmers’ representatives shared details of the damage to recently sown crops and the deaths of livestock. They also provided suggestions to the team on how the lives of small and marginalised farmers could be brought back on track.

“Floods have deposited a two feet layer of sand and silt over the agricultural land, rendering it completely uncultivable. Earthmover operators are charging 1 lakh per acre to clear the sand and silt to make the land suitable for the Rabi crop season,” said Jassa Singh of Tiwana village.

Sukhdev Singh, a farmer from Khajur Mandi, said, “We are burdened with heavy debt. Many farmers like me had borrowed money to sow the rice crop, but the floods damaged the entire crop.”

Krishna Kumar, principal secretary of the water resources department of Punjab, explained the damage due to floods in the state’s rivers, while deputy commissioner Aashika Jain provided detailed information about the destruction caused by Ghaggar in the district.

In Patiala, the team visited flood-affected areas in Sanaur, Samana and Patran. Patiala DC Sakshi Sawhney briefed the team about the damage due to floods.

The team spoke to the farmers and other representatives regarding damage caused by the floods in Tangri and Ghaggar at Rohar Jagir, Badshahpur, Rampur Padta. The team also obtained information from the officials of agriculture, water drainage and other departments, about the losses.

The central team also visited the Moonak sub-division in Sangrur which was ravaged by recent floods. The district administration has pegged the district losses at around 100 crore.

Sangrur deputy commissioner Jitendra Jorwal briefed the team about the scale of destruction and damage. The flood has affected around 94,000 residents in 27 villages and two cities, submerging 50,000 acres of agricultural land in the Moonak sub-division. Besides several link roads, portions of state and national highways were also damaged. Four people have died in flood-related incidents in the district, as per official figures.

An official accompanying the team stated that the Central government is authorised to release 75% of the funds for disaster relief, while the remaining amount is provided by the state government. According to the state government’s estimates, crops on 2.59 lakh acres were destroyed in the floods.

Kumar in an informal conversation with the media, said that the team will be submitting the report to the Union government. “The team will prepare a report according to its assessment and give it to the Central government. The state government will also give its report. Appropriate action will be taken as per the prescribed rules to compensate for the loss of lives, crops, houses and other property and infrastructure,” he said.

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