11 August, 2023 – Chandigarh : Citing 54 deaths, 488 breaches in rivers, choes and canals, and 27,600 animal fatalities in the state during the recent deluge, the Punjab Government today urged the Centre to double the compensation allowed under disaster management.
The government further stated 1,562 villages had been ravaged and crops on 6,25,560 acres affected by floods caused by overflowing Ghaggar and Sutlej rivers.
n terms of damage to life and property suffered between July 7 and 13, the state’s agrarian economy is feared to have taken the biggest hit. The government estimates a loss of Rs 605.38 crore because of damage to paddy seedlings and other crops on 6.25 lakh acres due to waterlogging in fields for days.
Loss estimates prepared by state
Rs 605.38 cr Towards damage to crop
Rs 230.26 cr 54 human & 27,600 animal deaths; 547 complete & 2,645 partial damage to houses
Rs 138.54 cr 234 breaches in rivers, choes
Rs 20.81 cr 254 breaches in canals
Rs 173.10 cr Repair of 2,251 km damaged roads, including 1,733 km link roads in the state
Rs 26.86 cr 1,097 government schools affected by floods
Rs 4.45 cr 41 health centres affected in eight districts
Further, there is fear of paddy yield facing a “major shortfall” with re-transplantion being carried out now and farmlands still having large-scale deposition of sand. Even the basmati paddy is expected to suffer loss of yield because of “foot rot” disease in re-transplanted paddy.
Though the rules do not permit for compensation to be given against seedlings, the state government is demanding the same. If the rules are relaxed, farmers may get Rs 1,210 crore in compensation, according to estimates prepared by the state government. The report of special girdawri to assess the crop damage will be ready by August 15, Chief Secretary Anurag Verma told The Tribune, adding the government was hopeful of a positive response on their request.
Making a case for extensive loss suffered by the state, to the tune of Rs 1,320.59 crores, the state government team led by Chief Secretary Anurag Verma held discussions with a Central team led by Ravinish Kumar, Financial Adviser, National Disaster Relief Authority, here today.
After the meeting, Kumar said the seven-member central team had visited six flood-affected districts. “We will wait for the report on damage to be sent by the state government, and then prepare our report,” he said.
The idea behind the meet was not just to give a detailed report of damage suffered by the state, but also seek Centre’s nod for higher compensation for deaths, crop damage and damage to other property. Since the Centre contributes 75% to the Disaster Relief Funds and state 25%, former’s nod for use of funds is a must. CM Bhagwant Mann had earlier written to the Union Home Ministry, asking it to double the compensation for flood loss. The state government, in its report, also highlighted how the neighbouring states of Haryana and Rajasthan remained non-cooperative by refusing to take canal water; Haryana releasing water into the Ghaggar without informing Punjab authorities and refusing support to plug breaches at Chandpur and Lassara Nullah.
Courtesy : The Tribune