Flood situation in Punjab improves, army still on alert

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Ferozpur, Aug 18 (UNI) The flood situation in Punjab showed signs of improvement with the water level receding in the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers, even as the army continued with its relentless efforts to pull out the residents of marooned villages in Ferozpur, Moga and Jalandhar districts.

Army columns from the Vajra Corps have moved in to plug the breaches in the 'dhussi bundh' on the right and left banks of the Sutlej river at Gidderpindi village and in Makhu area of Ferozpur district and Dharamkot sub-division of Moga district. The army is expected to construct a 'ring bundh' near these breaches with the help of sand bags.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today visited the flood hit areas of Jalandhar, Ferozpur and Hoshiarpur districts and interacted with the affected families that have been evacuated from their homes. Alongwith army commanders the Chief Minister went to Kasuwala, Gidderpindi and Mundi Shurimar villages in motorboats and appealed to the residents to move out with the army to safer areas.

A large number of residents of marooned villages refused to be evacuated from their homes and have taken shelter atop their houses alongwith their essential belongings and livestock. The Chief Minister assured the villagers that adequate security arrangements would be made in the affected villages to guard the marooned areas from anti-social elements.

Col Ravi Kapila briefed the Chief Minister about the rescue and relief operations undertaken by the army. He also briefed him about the 'ring bundh' that the army would be constructing as part of its breaching operations.

Mr Badal, accompanied by Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon and MLA Sukhpal Nannu and DC Megh Raj, also visited the relief camps at Makhu and along the 'dhussi bundh' where a large number of families had taken shelter. The army has erected tents for the affected villagers at these relief camps where food, water and medicines are being provided.

Mr Badal announced that the next-of-kin of the deceased (due to floods) would be given Rs one lakh as compensation while for house damages the compensation will be Rs 25,000 for each family. A special 'girdawari' has been ordered to assess the crop loss due to the floods.

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