Friday, October 21, 2011

HC notice to Punjab govt on floods in Fazilka

FAZILKA: The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking compensation of Rs 75,000 per acre against crop loss due to diversion of excess water from Lambi area in Muktsar, has issued notice to the state government to file its reply.

The case pertains to diversion of excess rain water from chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's assembly constituency to Abohar and Ballauana areas of Fazilka district, during the recent monsoon season. The step was apparently taken to save crops in Lambi.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice RN Raina issued notices for December 12, 2011 to the state government to file a reply.

Incessant rain had caused extensive damage to cotton and paddy crop in Malwa region of Punjab, hitting cotton growers and farmers hard. The rain water had also damaged several houses in the area. It was alleged that the CM, whose assembly segment Lambi falls under Muktsar district, had ordered release of flood water into Abulkhurana drain through Sarawan Bodla and Wahabwala drains, in an effort to assuage the feelings of farmers in Lambi, Giddarbaha and Malout areas.

But this increased volume of water had an adverse effect on about 30 villages of adjoining Fazilka district. Sardarpur, Datarianwali, Rajiawali, Bhagu, Bhagsar, Amarpura, Ram Sran, Bhabwala, Khatban and Tabba Kokrian villages of Fazilka were affected badly due to the draining of water from Lambi and Gidderbaha, leaving the fields marooned and damaging the crops.

Dharmvir, a resident of Fazilka, had filed a PIL alleging that due to release of flood water towards Fazilka area, standing crop worth Rs 11.55 crore was damaged besides an estimated loss of Rs 9 crore, caused to several houses in the area. Holding the state government responsible for these losses, he demanded a compensation of Rs 75,000 per acre to affected farmers.

No comments: