Opp slams AAP over ‘sheer negligence and insensitivity’ in dealing with flood situation


Slamming the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the state for “sheer negligence and insensitivity” in flood-affected areas, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring Wednesday said, “Five days have already passed and the victims are still awaiting assistance, first-aid and other necessary help. But the government still hasn’t woken up from its deep slumber with its leaders claiming that the situation is under control.”

Leader of opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Partap Singh Bajwa also hit out at the AAP government and accused it of “adopting laxity in making proper arrangements that could have minimised the disaster caused by the recent floods in several districts of the state.” Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal also demanded immediate compensation for the affected people and cleaning of the drains.

In a written statement, the Congress MLA from Qadian said that it is only because of the mismanagement and lack of proper arrangements in the state that the floods wreaked havoc in almost half of the state. “Due to the sheer failures of the AAP government in preparing for the floods well in advance, residents of 1,056 villages have been going through a nightmarish experience. As many as 11 people have died so far while five were still untraceable. Besides, 12 people have been injured,” Bajwa said.

“The Meteorological department in Delhi had issued a warning of heavy rain alert on July 5 for Delhi and other parts of north India, including Punjab. Though Himachal Pradesh and J&K are more vulnerable to such causalities, they made arrangements in advance to deal with the situation but the AAP engaged in its usual theatrics. While Punjabis were fighting the natural calamity on their own, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was attempting to lure Haryana voters. He was addressing the election rallies in the neighbouring state and celebrating his first marriage anniversary. He didn’t even bother to inquire about the well-being of the Punjabis,” Bajwa said, adding that the government has Rs 729 crore available for disaster management. “The Centre gave Rs 488 crore but even then the AAP government remained unsuccessful to prepare for the calamity in advance,” he said.

Warring, who visited flood-hit areas in Fatehgarh Sahib, Bassi Pathana and Samrala to take stock of the situation, wrote in his statement that natural calamities cannot be averted but its aftermath requires immediate attention. “Mann should have ordered immediate rescue operation in the affected areas, besides announcing compensation to the victims and ensure their rehabilitation,” he said. Badal, meanwhile, called for “immediate delineation and cleaning of all drains including that alongside the Rajpura thermal plant which had led to the formation of a lake in the area”. He toured flood affected villages in Rajpura, Ghanaur, Sanaur, Samana and Patiala rural constituencies and also coordinated relief work being conducted by SAD and Youth Akali Dal (YAD) workers in conjunction with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and social organisations.

Talking to mediapersons near the Rajpura thermal plant, he said, “Villagers complained that more than hundred acres of land had been inundated because a natural drain which flowed along the thermal plant had been filled up. They also disclosed that they had demanded the water be pumped out from the area but nothing had been done in this regard till now”.

Punjab BJP president Sunil Jakhar also targeted the state government for its “lack of planning and preparation despite clear warnings by Meterological department before the monsoon season.” “Lackadaisical and irresponsible attitude of state government has visibly worsened the flood situation in most parts and people of Punjab are being made to face hardships for no fault of theirs,” Jakhar said in a written statement and asked the state government to “immediately release compensation to tune of Rs. 20,000 per acre to farmers for crop damage.” He demanded government should not wait for girdawari and provide immediate interim assistance to all those affected.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday reiterated the firm commitment of the state government to duly compensate the people for every single penny of loss incurred by them on account of heavy and incessant rainfall across the state. He said that he is monitoring the situation every moment by taking regular updates from across the state. He said that he is keeping a tab through district administrations in the entire state regarding the level of water and the relief measures being carried out in these districts. He said that the state government is duty bound to help the people in this hour of grave crisis and no stone is being left unturned for this noble cause.


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