No fresh spell of rains; flood-like situation continues in Punjab, Haryana
Chandigarh, Aug 20: No fresh spell of rainfall was reported on Tuesday morning in Punjab and Haryana, though a flood-like situation prevailed in many parts of both the states after heavy rains over the past few days.
Although the water-level has started receding in some of the affected areas, many villages in Ludhiana, Rupnagar and Jalandhar remained inundated because of breaches in earthen dams of the Sutlej river. There was no report of rainfall on Tuesday morning in any part of Punjab and Haryana.
The weather was clear in most parts of both the states, an official of the Meteorological (MeT) Department said here. Following heavy rains in past few days and release of excess water from the Bhakra Dam, the swollen Sutlej river and its tributaries had inundated villages in several areas, including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Ferozepur and Rupnagar, causing extensive damage to crops, especially paddy, and houses in low-lying areas. Rescue operations were being carried out in the affected villages by teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF), which were assisted by district authorities in the affected areas, officials said.
In Jalandhar, the deputy commissioner along with senior superintendent of police took stock of the situation on Tuesday morning in Mandala village where people were being rescued with the help of the NDRF, they said, adding that boats were pressed into service to evacuate villagers from flood-hit areas. Due to breaches in earthen dams of the Sutlej river, Phillaur, Shahkot and Lohian Khas in Jalandhar were flooded.
District authorities in the affected areas have set up relief camps in order to evacuate stranded villagers to safer places, the officials said. They said all arrangements, including food and water, have been made there. On Monday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had announced Rs 100 crore for emergency relief and rehabilitation measures. The state government had also declared the flood situation in the affected villages as a natural calamity.
The Bhakra Beas Management Board authorities on Monday had decided to increase the release of excess water through spillway gates from 19,000 cusecs to 41,000 cusecs after water level in the Bhakra Dam crossed its permissible limit of 1,680 feet. Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday directed all deputy commissioners of the affected districts in the state to make necessary arrangements to deal with any adverse situation caused by rising water level in the Yamuna.
Khattar spoke over phone with the deputy commissioners of Yamunanagar, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Karnal and Sonipat and gave them necessary instructions to extend all kinds of assistance to people affected due to heavy rains and floods in these districts. Directions had been issued to evacuate people in affected areas in Yamunanagar, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat and Sonepat to safer places.