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Inter-ministerial central team to visit Punjab to assess damage in flood-hit areas

Inter-ministerial central team to visit Punjab to assess damage in flood-hit areas

/R Chandigarh, Aug 28 (PTI) An inter-ministerial central team will soon visit Punjab for on the spot assessment of the damage caused by the recent floods in various districts of the state, an official said on Wednesday. The team will also recommend whether the disaster could be considered of a "severe nature" in the state, he said. The central team will be visiting the state after the Punjab government made a request to the Centre to make an assessment of the damage. Following recent heavy rains and the release of excess water from Bhakra dam, the Sutlej river and its tributaries had inundated villages in several areas of Punjab, causing extensive damage to crops, especially the paddy, and homes in the low-lying areas. The team will be led by a joint secretary level officer of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It will also comprise representatives of agriculture, finance, power, road transport & highways, rural development and jal shakti ministries, the senior official said. "It has been decided to depute and inter-ministerial central team with responsibility for on the spot assessment, firsthand assessment of damage and relief works carried out by the state administration," according to the communique shared by the Centre with the state government. "Further upon submission of final memorandum by the state government of Punjab, the same central team will visit the state again for detailed assessment of damage and relief operations conducted for making final recommendation for allocation of additional funds," it said. People in several Punjab districts, including Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ferozepur, Rupnagar, Moga, Ludhiana, have lost their houses, belongings, and standing crops in the recent floods, which are said to be the worst since 1988. The Punjab government had assessed the damage to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore due to the deluge and had already sought Rs 1,000 crore from the Centre as the special flood relief package. PTI CHS VSD AQS