Rupnagar, August 19-Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday announced Rs 100 Crore for emergency relief and rehabilitation measures in the flood-hit regions of the state and said a special Girdawari will be conducted as soon as the water level recedes to ensure adequate compensation for the affected farmers.

The Chief Minister made these announcements during a tour of the flood-affected areas of Rupnagar, where he evaluated the damage caused by the torrential rains of the past 72 hours and met the people who had suffered damage as a result of the flooding. Captain Amarinder expressed grief over the death of three persons due to roof collapse in Ludhiana district.

The Chief Minister later reviewed the overall flood situation in the state with senior officials. He was informed by the Chief Engineer Drainage that the overall situation in the rivers Beas and Ravi was under control though danger continued to lurk in areas adjacent to the Satluj river and further downstream, at Harike Headworks in Ferozepur. The flood releases from the Bakhra dam was above its maintainable level, flowing currently at 1681.23 feet, the meeting was informed.

The Chief Minister, who earlier travelled by road from Chandigarh to Rupnagar, described the situation as unprecedented, and assured of all possible assistance from his government to the local residents. He was briefed by the local officials on the damaged caused to the standing crops, houses, public installations and livestock due to heavy discharge of water from the catchment area of Bhakra dam.

Interacting with IIT students displaced due to heavy flooding on their campus, Captain Amarinder Singh directed the state administration to ensure their boarding and lodging arrangements in the Punjab Bhawan and Kissan Bhawan at Chandigarh till their return. Acceding to a request from the IIT Director, he asked his Chief Principal Secretary to work out a strategy to ensure foolproof and efficient drainage system to avert recurrence of flooding incidents in the campus.

Reviewing the ground situation at village Shampura after visiting Rupnagar Head Works, the Chief Minister met slum dwellers in the area and directed the district administration to extend all necessary help to the affected families. He also asked the deputy commissioner to keep a tab over the situation till the situation normalises.

The Chief Minister instructed the district officials to organize health camps in cooperation with the Health Department to prevent outbreak of any water borne diseases in the wake of the floods. He also asked the Animal Husbandry Department to provide veterinary health services to the needy, and to make necessary arrangements to ensure supply of feed and fodder.

Wading through a flooded road at village Khairabad, the Chief Minister freely intermingled with the people and patiently listened to their grievances and assured them of prompt redressal.

Earlier, on his arrival, the Deputy Commissioner apprised the Chief Minister that due to heavy downpour yesterday the total release at Ropar Head Works was 2,50,000 cusecs, in addition to unprecedented increase in flow in many rivulets like Swan Nadi (90,000 cusecs), Sirsa Nadi (60,000 cusecs), Budhki Nadi (20,000 cusecs). The DC said the district administration, with the help of Police, NDRF and NGOs, was able to rescue more than 600 families from 45 villages. There had been no reports of human life but there was significant loss of crops and cattle which was being assessed, he added.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Speaker Vidhan Sabha Rana KP Singh, Technical Education & Tourism Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, MP from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari, and MLA Rupnagar Amarjit Singh Sandoa, besides Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, DC Rupnagar Sumit Jarangal, and SSP Rupnagar Swapan Sharma.

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SUKHBIR’S LIES ON RAJIV A CONSPIRACY TO INCITE & DIVIDE SIKHS, SAYS CAPT AMARINDER

Chandigarh, August 19-Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder on Monday trashed Sukhbir Singh Badal’s lies on Rajiv Gandhi as a conspiracy to incite and divide the Sikh community by defaming the late former prime minister.

Slamming the Akali president for the brazen falsehoods unleashed on the eve of Rajiv Gandhi’s 75th birth anniversary, the Chief Minister said the former Prime Minister’s name never came up during or after the 1984 riots, and was being propped by the BJP and the Akalis in a desperate bid to garner Sikh votes.

By repeatedly lying about the issue, they have been trying to manipulate the facts, which clearly showed that Rajiv was in no way complicit in the events that followed the tragic assassination of his mother, then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, in 1984, said the Chief Minister. The fact was that Rajiv was not in Bihar and heard of his mother’s death on a transistor radio (with no mobile phones etc available then), recalled Captain Amarinder, lashing out at Sukhbir for trying to mislead the people of Punjab by feeding them outright lies on the issue.

They (the Akalis) claim to be protectors of the Sikh community but did nothing for Sikhs during 10 years of ruling the state, pointed out the Chief Minister, adding that under their (BJP-SAD) regime, Punjab witnessed some of the worst incidents of sacrilege, which they did nothing to either prevent or solve. The attack on Rajiv just ahead of his birth anniversary was just another attempt by the Akalis to cover up their own acts of omission and commission, he added.

The Chief Minister cornered the Akalis over their support to the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, in shameful violation of the very principles on which the Anandpur Sahib resolution was founded. By backing the Kashmir developments, they had made it clear that they had no respect for the country’s federal structure and its Constitutional philosophy, he added, pointing out that the Anandpur Sahib resolution had advocated more powers to the states, with a stronger federal structure for the nation.

With Prakash Singh Badal maintaining a studied silence on the issue, nobody really knew what the stand of the Akalis was now on the Anandpur Sahib resolution, said Captain Amarinder, asking Sukhbir to clarify the same.

The Akalis have always misled and deceived the people of Punjab on every issue concerning their welfare, right from SYL to the 1984 riots, said the Chief Minister, warning Sukhbir that his continued and persistent lies would only lead to further alienation of his party from the people, who had already rejected SAD politically.