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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Digvijay assures immediate relief to flood-hit

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Saturday, September 25, 1999


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Digvijay assures immediate relief to flood-hit

HOSHANGABAD, SEPT. 24. The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Digvijay Singh, today said his Government had decided to extend immediate relief to flood victims in Hoshangabad under the provisions of the Revenue Book of Circulars (RBC).

Mr. Singh told reporters here that the State Government had already decided to suspend recovery of loans from farmers and the same might even be waived, if necessary. A detailed report on the extent of damage due to floods would be sent to the Centre on October 1, he said, adding that so far no Central team had visited the flood affected areas.

He denied that floods were caused in Hoshangabad due to simultaneous release of water from Tawa, Bargi and Barna dams. A committee had been formed to go into the matter, he added.

The Chief Minister said the Government had also decided to rehabilitate the people of 12 low-lying villages of Patalkot area of Chhindwara district to safer areas. The flood protection scheme meant for Hoshangabad would be analysed in detail and updated accordingly, he said.

He ridiculed the BJP allegation that the State Government's demand of Rs. 75 crores relief from the Centre was inadequate and said that ``if they are really serious they should press the Centre to give more.''

Describing the BJP's allegation on inadequate relief works as a ``poll stunt'', Mr. Singh said that even Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee's promise of giving Rs. 5000 per acre of land for crop damage during the last Lok Sabha polls had not yet been fulfilled.

``We had asked for Rs. 2300 crores for crop damage during 1998 as per Mr. Vajpayee's promise but got only Rs. 32 crores from the Centre,'' he said.

The Chief Minister said the recovery of loans from farmers had been suspended in all the 11 flood-hit districts of the State and it might even be waived, if necessary. These districts were Hoshangabad, Narsinghpur, Chhindwara, Raisen and Sehore.

He said that as per the initial assessment, more than 82 villages had been hit by the floods affecting more than 52,700 people and about 43,000 acres of crop land devastated in Hoshangabad.

When pointed out that the people of Hoshangabad were not in the mood for elections, Mr. Singh said, ``The matter is pending with the Election Commission and I agree with the views of the Hoshangabad people.''

He also regretted that the crop insurance scheme of the Centre had not yet been implemented in Hoshangabad.


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