Punjab Urges Norm Changes for Doubling Compensation to Flood Victims

Punjab News

Punjab News: The Punjab administration calculated damages of around Rs 1,300 crore owing to the recent floods in the state and urged a Central committee on Thursday to loosen the rules for enhancing disaster aid for victims. In a meeting with the seven-person inter-ministerial team from the Centre, which recently toured the flood-affected areas of Mohali, Patiala, Sangrur, Jalandhar, and Rupnagar districts to assess the damages, Chief Secretary Anurag Verma raised the issue.

Chief Minister’s Appeal for Compensation Adjustment

Verma emphasised that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had already written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah stating that there is no shortfall in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and that only a change in the standards for compensating the damage is necessary in order to fully compensate for the loss of life. According to him, Punjab has asked for an increase in the amount of compensation for the loss of life and property due to the floods. After providing the Central team with statistics regarding the department-level flood damage, the Chief Secretary gave them a full report at the meeting. According to Verma, the chief minister requested in a letter to Shah that the compensation for a fatality be increased from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 8 lakh, from Rs 17,000 to Rs 34,000 for crop damage, from Rs 37,500 to Rs 75,000 for dairy animals, and from Rs 1,20,000 to Rs 2,40,000 for damaged homes. He claimed that although the state government has the resources to offer compensation and is supporting its citizens during this time of need, it is unable to do so due to Union Home Ministry regulations. Therefore, according to the Chief Secretary, these regulations must be changed.

Assessment of Extensive Damage

The National Disaster Management Authority’s financial advisor, Ravinesh Kumar, stated during the conference that his team visited numerous flood-affected regions and that Punjab had the second-highest level of damage after Himachal Pradesh. It is also obvious from the satellite photos that severe rain caused a lot of damage in Punjab and that many places are hit by heavy floods, according to A V Suresh Babu, another member of the ISRO team and the leader of the flood mapping team. The Chief Secretary provided specifics regarding the entire damages, stating that a loss of Rs 1,320.59 crore had been suffered. In this regard, the Chief Secretary wrote a letter to the Union Home Secretary and informed him that the state’s floods have affected roughly 1,500 villages across 19 districts.

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