Wednesday, August 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Rain brings cheer to farmers
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
“Sada bhangra paun nu jee karda”. This was the mood among farmers this morning in certain areas, especially in Patiala, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and certain other parts which received a moderate-to-heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours.

However, the monsoon has not been kind enough in a major part of the Malwa belt of Punjab. There has been no rain in the Bathinda, Mansa, Sangrur and Faridkot belt as also the Sirsa-Hisar belt in Haryana. Rain has so far skipped the most devastated drought-hit areas in Punjab and Haryana. However, the Met office says that in the next 24 hours, entire Punjab and certain additional areas of Haryana are expected to receive a moderate-to-heavy rainfall. In fact, the MET Department has predicted a heavy rainfall in north-eastern parts of Punjab that is the Gurdaspur- Hoshiarpur belt and the eastern part of Haryana.

Though rain in the past 24 hours will not make a difference to the fortunes of the farming community, whose over 50 per cent crops have already been damaged by drought in Punjab and in Haryana it brought momentary happiness to them.

In this region, Amritsar had the heaviest rainfall of 129 mm in the past 24 hours followed by Rohtak (89.6 mm), Patiala (43 mm), Ambala (40 mm), Chandigarh (25.4 mm), Shimla (43.4 mm), Bhuntar (16.2 mm), Nahan (60.7mm), Pandoh (39 mm) and Rampur (25 mm).

Rain has gladdened PSEB officers who had been on tenterhooks for the past several weeks and facing a lot of difficulties in managing the power crisis in the state. The power supply to the farming sector has been increased from 10 to 12 hours and there was only one-hour power cut on the industrial sector while the urban areas were not subjected to any power cut today, according to informed sources in the PSEB. The PSEB today bought only 262 lakh units of power from the national grid. Yesterday’s power supply in the state was to the tune of 1009 lakh units. One unit of the Ropar thermal plant is still down while one unit of the Bathinda thermal plant bogged down this morning.

With a moderate-to-heavy rainfall in the hill region, the water inflow in the Bhakra and other reservoirs has improved considerably. Sources said the Bhakra dam water level had gone up by two feet in the past 24 hours. Its level was now around 1615.34 feet, with an inflow of around 47,000 cusecs. Even the water level in the Pong dam had gone up to 1303.26 feet in the past 24 hours with an inflow of 22,600 cusecs. The situation in the Ranjit Sagar dam has also improved. Its water level which was earlier around 487 metres had not gone up to 491.47 metres, according to official information.

As the inflow of water in reservoirs has increased, the Dehar project authorities today flushed out silt from the reservoir. The NHPC flushed out silt from its reservoirs in Himachal Pradesh, according to sources.

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