‘Govt failed to provide compensation to farmers for loss of paddy due to floods’
Chandigarh, Sep 7, 2023- Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Badal on Thursday said after failing farmers by refusing to come to their aid and releasing compensation for paddy destroyed by flooding, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab was now adding to their distress with drastic power cuts which were threatening to destroy paddy and vegetable crops.
In a statement here, he said “The sheer apathy of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann towards the plight of farmers has crossed all limits. After refusing to release a fair compensation to farmers one and a half months after they battled floods which destroyed paddy crops in thousands of acres, the government is enforcing massive power cuts which are creating a drought like situation in the state”.
Stating that this was the Chief Minister who had promised uninterrupted power supply to farmers, Badal said, “Farmers in Muktsar, Fazilka and Ferozepur districts are reporting 18 to 20 hours of power cuts which is resulting in the withering of their paddy and vegetable crops, besides severely affecting their horticulture trees”.
He said the situation had been compounded in the districts by attempts to forcibly close more than 700 lift irrigation pumps. He said farmers were being forced to operate lift pumps at one week intervals or face registration of cases.
“Those farmers who have been allocated canal water share are being banned from operating lift pumps altogether with the order being enforced by the police.”
Badal said simultaneously the AAP government which had flooded its own villages in Ferozepur by releasing water from the Harike headworks into villages in the state instead of the Rajasthan canal during the recent floods, was now increasing canal water supply to Rajasthan.
“The forcible closure of lift irrigation pumps of farmers in Punjab is also aimed at artificially inflating the availability of canal water so that Rajasthan’s share can be increased further to derive political benefits for AAP in elections to that state.”
He said such policies had resulted in drying up of water at tails of canals which had further aggravated the misery of farmers of the state. (Agency)