New Delhi: Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded a hike in payment of relief to flood-hit farmers in the state under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).

He pointed out that the existing relief norms were inadequate-- Rs 1,600 per acre in case of 100 per cent crop loss--and sought it be enhanced to Rs 10,000 per acre.
    
Badal, who met the Singh on Friday, sought the intervention of the Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation for expeditious clearance of Rs 750-crore HUDCO loan to fulfil the state government’s major initiative to provide basic amenities like roads, streets, sewerage, water supply, street lighting in cities.

Badal invited Singh to lay the foundation stone of Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport in Mohali besides inaugurating the prestigious Khalsa Heritage Centre (KHC) at Sri Anandpur Sahib. Badal thanked the PM for establishing prestigious "Borlaug Institute for South Asia" (BISA) in Ludhiana under the auspices of Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT).

Badal also thanked Singh for his personal role in getting the elections to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) conducted in September.

The Chief Minister also urged for release of Rs 94.40 crore for upcoming memorials for martyrs of Chhota Ghallughara at Kahnuwan in Gurdaspur district, Wadda Ghallughara at village Kup Rohira in district Sangrur and the victory of Sikh forces at a battle heroically fought and won by great warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur at Chappar Chiri in district Mohali.

Responding to the requests, the Prime Minister assured Badal of a positive response and said he would soon get all matters examined from concerned ministries expeditiously.
  
Badal had also met Defence Minister A K Antony to immediately sanction two new NCC battalions in the state – one for boys at Ropar and another for girls at Malout in district Muktsar.

He pointed out that the proposal for sanction of two new NCC Battalions had already been sent to the Ministry of Defence.
  
Antony also appreciated the efforts of the Chief Minister for motivating the state’s youth to join the defence services through his unique initiative by establishing Maharaja Ranjit Singh Preparatory Institute for Military Training at Mohali.

(Agencies)