Badal visits flood hit areas

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Chandigarh, Aug 18 (UNI) Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited the flood hit areas of Jalandhar, Ferozpur and Hoshiarpur districts and interacted with the affected families that have been evacuated from theri homes.

An official spokesman here today said that the Chief Minister directed the officials of the three districts to speed up relief measures. He asked to seek the assistance of religious and social organisations while providing relief to the flood affected.

He also directed the officials to carry out special 'girdawari' of the affected areas once the water receeded. The Chief Minister also interacted with senior army commanders supervising the rescue operations in the flood hit areas.

Mr Badal visisted Gidderpindi village where the first breech in the 'dhussi bundh' of the Sutlej occured on August 16. He also visited Makhu town in Ferozpur district where a relief camp has been set up.

As many as 40 to 50 villages have been affected due to breaches in the right and left bank of the Sutlej in Ferozpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Moga districts. In the last three days the army has rescued a large number of families from the marooned villages.

So far only one death due to drowning has been reported in Ferozpur district while two children drowned in a flooded seasonal drain in Sangrur district. The floods in the four districts have washed away standing crops in large tracts of agricultural land.

Official reports said that the water level in the Sutlej and Beas rivers had receeded this morning. The army with the help of sand banks has begun building a 'ring bundh' at the four points where the breaches occured in the 'dhussi bundh' of the Sutlej.

Reports said that all 25 to 27 members of a family of three belonging to the Gujjar community who were trapped between the Ujh and Ravi rivers in Gurdaspur district have been rescued. The water level in the Ravi has marginally receeded.

The Chief Minister also toured certain areas of Hoshiarpur district which were hit by flash floods in the numerious 'choes' (seasonal rivulets) that cris-cross this district along the lower Shivalik hills.

UNI HS MMS1309

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