Rescue work on as floods threaten Punjab, Haryana


Chandigarh : Work was continuing on war-footing in Haryana and Punjab Thursday to plug fresh breaches in the Satluj and Yamuna rivers and people were evacuated to safer locations from inundated farmlands and villages.

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In Haryana, the administration was also taking the help of the Indian Army to plug the breaches that emerged in the Yamuna in Karnal and Yamunanagar districts.

In neighbouring Punjab, the Satluj was flowing at “alarming levels”, said officials.

“It seems that the overflowing water can enter villages any time. Therefore we have shifted families in low-lying areas. We have made all safety arrangements and our officials are continuously monitoring the situation,” said K.K. Yadav, Ferozepur deputy commissioner.

Over 500 families in 10 villages of Ferozepur district have been evacuated and sent to relief camps.

“We are working all day and night to plug the over-350-foot breach that emerged in the Satluj river near Laudipur village in Anandpur Sahib sub-division (in Ropar district of Punjab),” added Ropar Deputy Commissioner Arunjit Singh Miglani.

“We have also marked an inquiry to ascertain the reason behind this breach,” Miglani told IANS.

This breach, which emerged late Tuesday, was initially only of 20 feet but the fast flowing water widened it up to over 350 feet.

This resulted in over 15 villages in Ropar being inundated.

To maintain the water level in the Bhakra Dam, the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has been releasing excess water into the Satluj since Aug 21.

This is threatening the low-lying areas of Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Nawanshahr and Ropar districts and the Sikh holy towns of Anandpur Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib.

Water level can reach the maximum height of 1,680 feet in Bhakra Dam. It is increasing about a foot a day.

Besides in Tarn Taran district, fields in at least nine villages were also flooded, as the Satluj flowed over.

Administrations of all affected districts have also told Indian Army to remain on stand by in case of any emergency situation.

Last month, nearly a dozen villages of Punjab and Haryana were severely affected by floods. Over 50 people were killed.