Mann promises foolproof plan to end waterlogging woes in Malwa


Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday said that the state government will come out with a foolproof plan to rid the state of waterlogging, especially in the Malwa region.

The CM, who undertook a whirlwind tour of the waterlogged villages of Sri Muktsar Sahib and Fazilka districts, also announced that the food growers of the state will be duly compensated for the loss incurred by them due to nature’s fury.

He asked the officers to immediately disburse the compensation to the affected farmers. Also, the CM asked them to ensure that ‘girdawari’ for assessing the loss incurred by the farmers is conducted without any delay.

While crops of farmers have been under water in more than 50 villages of these two districts since July 15, this was Mann’s first visit to the flood-hit region.

On July 15, it rained around 89 mm in Muktsar and 38.5 mm in Fazilka. More than 100 villages were hit by waterlogging on the same day covering over 1 lakh acres of agricultural land. However, the number of flood-hit villages gradually reduced to nearly 50, which are still affected as on Thursday.

Crop damage due to waterlogging had forced a 55-year-old farmer (Niranjan Singh) of Gaddadob village in Fazilka district to commit suicide on July 25 by consuming poisonous substance. Before killing himself, he had posted a video on social media saying that he was upset over his crop loss due to waterlogging and no help coming his way all these days.

Also, a 10-year-old child drowned in waterlogged Midda village on July 27. Hundreds of houses have been damaged due
to persistent rain.

On July 25, Rajya Sabha member Balbir Singh Seechewal visited the waterlogged villages.

The CM said that the state government is duty bound to ensure that the problem of waterlogging is resolved at the earliest. There is no dearth of funds for this noble cause, he added. He took an aerial view of the flood-affected villages of both districts and also interacted with farmers in Mullianwali village of Jalalabad constituency in Fazilka district and Panniwala village of Lambi constituency in Muktsar district.
Mann bemoaned that none of the previous state governments had taken any steps to prevent this problem.

Meanwhile, Lambi MLA Gurmeet Singh Khuddian said, “Many canals and small water channels were constructed during the Badal government. There is a need to work on the length and depth of many of these channels. In many villages of my constituency like Aspal, Panniwala, Midda, Raniwala, Pakki Tibbi, etc., the crops have been damaged completely and the farmers need relief. The compensation is not enough. It can’t meet the expenditure of farmers. This problem needs to be resolved as farmers have been suffering for more than 25 years now. Such damage happens every 2-3 years in many villages.”

The CM said that faulty planning and haphazard execution of anti-waterlogging measures during the previous regimes had only compounded the problems of the farmers of the region.





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