Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today distributed aid in the form of food products and beverages to flood stricken villages in these constituencies even as she asked the Congress government to release Rs 474 crore allocated to it for disaster management among the people immediately.
Interacting with people after disbursing relief material donated by various food processing companies on her appeal at Meonwal village in Phillaur and later at Takhia and Bara Jodh Singh villages in Sultanpur Lodhi, Mrs Badal said “I pray to Wahe Guru for your well being.
It fills me with sadness to visit you at such a juncture when your home and hearths have been endangered by devastating floods. I am doing the Sewa ordained to me and will raise your voice to ensure justice is meted to you”.
Mrs Badal said it was heart rending to realise through people accounts that the tragedy which struck them was man made too. “People told me the Congress government did not clean drains or undertake any flood protection work for the last two and half years and that this had largely contributed to the current flooding. Scores of villagers also told me that illegal mining by Congress leaders had weakened the Dhussi bandh as well as river embankments at several places”.
Mrs Badal said it seemed the Punjab government was misleading the people by stating it had asked for a flood relief package from the centre. She said the centre had already given Rs 474 crore to Punjab for disaster management.
She said the Congress government should tell the people how much money it had spent from this fund. “Apparently this money has still not been released to the people. Once it is released and more funds are needed the SAD will itself approach the union government for the same”, she added.
Stating that work needed to be done on the ground, Mrs. Badal said the State government seemed to be missing from action. “Social and religious organisations were the first to reach the people with help and even now continue to serve them Langar. Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh did an aerial survey of the area only yesterday when he came to know about my visit as well as that of the SAD President”, she added.
Addressing people at Takhia village which is among the most affected in the area, Mrs. Badal said nine motor boats had reached the area today after she approached the union Home Secretary for the same. She said she had also spoken to the union health secretary who had assured to provide all medicines needed to the Punjab government.
SAD workers also assisted in distribution of relief material. Former minister Sharanjit Dhillon, legislator Baldev Khara and Darshan Shivalik accompanied the minister in Phillaur while former minister Upinderjit Kaur and Bibi Jagir Kaur accompanied Mrs Badal at Sultanpur Lodhi. Youth Akali Dal (YAD) Secretary General Sarabjot Singh Sahbi was also present at both places.