CM's visit brings no relief for affected villagers
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's visit to the 11 flood-hit villages in Muktsar was a disappointment to the villagers as he stopped short of announcing any compensation for the villagers.punjab Updated: Aug 23, 2013 23:42 IST
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's visit to the 11 flood-hit villages in Muktsar was a disappointment to the villagers as he stopped short of announcing any compensation for the villagers.
All his visit did was divert attention of the administration, already struggling to cope with the disaster, towards making arrangements for his visit and leaving people in the lurch.
In most villages, there was no spot to hold the public meetings and one such meet was organised on the Muktsar-Ferozepur road. At the Udaikaran village, the meeting was organised in the style of sangat darshan style and all arrangements were made to ensure the comfort of the CM.
For some reason, Badal made no announcement and just repeated the statement that strict action will be taken against officials who do not execute the relief and rehabilitation work with complete dedication.
Drainage department officials were found to be clueless on the queries put forward by handful of people fortunate enough to be present before the CM.
Poor people were nowhere to be seen as SAD loyalists were in the front row and nobody was ready to displease the CM by pressing him or the officials for any immediate relief.
CM chose not to visit spots like the Muktsar grain market, Government College Muktsar and other sites where daily labourers and slum dwellers have taken shelter.
"Farmers at least have grain stock to survive. The administration is not paying attention at all towards the Dalits, who are not getting any work due to floods and finding it difficult to arrange a meal a day. CM should have announced immediate relief amount for the poor. Poor people are in the need of money now. They are not in position to wait for long," said Ashok Mahindra, an activist of the Dalit Human Rights Organisation for Justice.
Meanwhile Muktsar MLA Karan Kaur Brar also followed CM's visit to the same villages but she did not joined him in public meetings.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal again claimed that PCS officers deputed for the execution of relief and rehabilitation operations in the flood-ravaged areas across the state as 'nodal officers' would be accountable for any lapse or dereliction in their duties.
He added genuine flood victim was deprived of his legitimate share in the relief then the concerned officer and the panchayat would be held responsible for it.
He said that extensive damage caused to the public installations would be undertaken on the priority for which a comprehensive master plan would be prepared in the coming days.
He only said, "We are committed to help all of you and it is obligatory on our part to extend all possible help in this hour of grave crisis."
Badal did not forget to accuse the Centre for allegedly turning a deaf ear to their repeated requests for revising the norms of compensation for the damage caused to crops, cattle and house property. He claimed that the compensation was too meager to compensate for the loss of the victims.
The chief minister said that the policies of the Union government reflected complete insensitivity of the leaders and officers towards the matters concerning the common man especially the farmers. He said that the farmers of the state were already on crossroads due to the anti-farmer policies of the UPA government, which has made their life deplorable.
Prominent amongst those accompanied CM include Ferozepur MP, Sher Singh Ghubaya, Malout MLA Harpreet Singh, financial commissioner revenue NS Kang, principal secretary to the chief minister SK Sandhu, principal secretary irrigation Sarvesh Kaushal and deputy commissioner Parmjit Singh.