Floods A Man-Made Calamity, Says Punjab CM

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Old 18-Jul-2010
Floods A Man-Made Calamity, Says Punjab CM

Mirjeana July 18:

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the current floods in various parts of Punjab were “man-made” and blamed Haryana for causing the calamity.

Badal said farmers and common people were undergoing misery because Haryana did not allow the channelisation of the Ghaggar in Patiala and beyond by obtaining a stay order against the strengthening of embankments from the Supreme Court. He said it was not a “natural calamity but a man-made tragedy” that had destroyed standing crops on more than 3.25 lakh hectares. Several houses had also been badly damaged.

Badal said when Punjab refused to accept Haryana’s condition for allowing it to build the Hansi-Butana headworks in lieu of the channelisation of the Ghaggar, it created hurdles in the execution of the centrally funded scheme to contain the river. He said the Centre had in the first phase provided a grant of Rs 134 crore for building a concrete bundh to channelise the Ghaggar. However, Haryana obtained a stay when only 22 km of channelisation had been done.

Referring to reports regarding the Centre having asked Punjab to first exhaust the already released natural calamity fund before seeking more money to compensate losses due to the current floods, Badal said the Centre had provided a meagre amount of Rs 1,500 for each victim which was insufficient to meet the loss. The Punjab Government had added Rs 3,500 from its own kitty as compensation to the sufferers.

He said the Punjab Government was committed to cleaning effluents from all water bodies in the state and an action plan had been prepared for this purpose. Steps were being taken to stop the flow of municipal and industrial waste into the Sutlej, Beas, Ghaggar and other rivers.

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