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Torrential rain claims 8 lives
Breaches in Bhakra, Ghaggar, SYL Canals
Tribune Reporters

The raging Ghaggar with a record water discharge of 2.50 lakh cusecs, leaves a trail of destruction by washing away protective spurs near the lion safari at the Chhat Bir Zoo and damaging crops downstream on Tuesday.
The raging Ghaggar with a record water discharge of 2.50 lakh cusecs, leaves a trail of destruction by washing away protective spurs near the lion safari at the Chhat Bir Zoo and damaging crops downstream on Tuesday. 
— Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 3
Torrential rains lashed Punjab, Haryana and the Shivalik range of Himachal Pradesh, killing eight persons and disrupting road, rail and air traffic in the region in the past 24 hours.

The Army has been deployed along the overflowing Ghaggar river to evacuate the affected people from the inundated villages near here in Patiala district.

The heavy rainfall claimed three lives in the surrounding areas of the city. Sonu (19) was washed away in Bapu Dham colony following the outflow of Sukhna lake. His body was later found in the city industrial area.

In another incident, two children — Kamal (7) and Naina (4) — died in a roof collapse, caused due to the heavy rainfall, in Kumhar Colony in Sector 25.

In Panchkula, three persons, including two children, were feared to have been washed away as a seasonal rivulet passing through Rajiv Colony near Sector 17, flooded the slum colony this morning.

Another rain-related death was reported from Ambala city where an aged man died, said an agency report.

According to a Tribune report from Nahan, Rattan Singh of Badag village, was washed away in flash floods in Badag Khud. His body is yet to be recovered.

While Tangri river, Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal and Narwana branch of Bhakra Mainline Canal (BMC) had breached at four places, Ghaggar was overflowing at Bhankharpur near Dera Bassi, flooding villages in its immediate vicinity by up to two feet water.

A heavy downpour continued in the city and its surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana for the second consecutive day today, disrupting traffic in the city and the countryside due to water-logging.

The city and its surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana and the Ambala region received the highest rainfall in the north-west plains. Ambala recorded a total rainfall up to as high as 464.2 mm, while the city received 375.6 mm rainfall since last night.

Patiala recorded a total of 202.9 mm and Ludhiana 20.1 mm rainfall till 5.30 pm.

Besides Ambala, the other parts of Haryana which received heavy rainfall include Karnal (35.4 mm) and Hisar (28.6 mm).

The capital town of Shimla had 50 mm, Sundernagar 47 mm and Bhunter 33 mm rainfall.

The weather forecast said the showers would continue for the next 24 hours at many places in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and at a few places in Haryana.

A report from Mandi in Himachal said the Pandoh Dam there has been filled to the brim and the Bhakra Beas Management Board opened three of the five flood gates to bring down the dam’s water level to normal.

The Mandi administration has also issued a warning to sound the people in that region about the possibility of flash floods.

Meanwhile, the Patiala district administration today called in the Army’s First Armoured Brigade to assist it at two flash points in Rajpura subdivision. A chopper has also been called in to rescue a marooned family near Chhatbir village in the district.

Two columns of the First Armoured Division posted in Patiala have already moved to rescue people who have been marooned in factories at the Shambhu checkpoint near Rajpura and also to the site of two breaches on the SYL canal near Alampur village, also near Rajpura town.

Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh called in the Army on orders of the state Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. The Deputy Commissioner said the Army may also reach Mehdoondan village on the Nirwana branch where a breach has occured.

Meanwhile, reports reaching here said that water had also entered nearly a dozen villages in Ghanour and Rajpura subdivisions of the district. Water has also flooded the 66 KV Naushehran grid near Shambhu resulting in a power shut down to nearly five dozen villages being served by it.

Meanwhile, sources said two breaches had occurred in the Ghaggar in the SYL Canal. The breaches occurred near Alampur village. The sources said following the breaches the water had started flowing into the Dhakansu nala and the Pachisdara forcing the district administration to strengthen both the rivulets at strategic points.

The Ghaggar river crossed all previous marks in the district, flowing at 14.4 feet today against an earlier high of 13.5 feet. The river breached today at Karali, Jhajhon and Rampur Kalan. These villages have been surrounded by water. Flood waters have also surrounded other villages including Tiwana, Dehar, Handesra, Khalanmalan, Tepla, Karali, Basma, and Sanauli. The Tangri river has also breached at Hasanpur, Bohra and Bohri villages.

This has resulted in water entering these villages. The situation in factories close to Shambu checkpoint near Rajpura is also grim. The Rajpura Sub Divisonal Magistrate had to depute trucks to evacuate around three dozen workers from a brick kiln.

The sources said water had entered villages of Mardanpur, Pipal Mangholi and Sandharsi in Ghanour subdivsion. In Loh Simbli in the same subdivision, one house caved in due to the excess rain.

Meanwhile the Army has diverted traffic on the Chandigarh-Patiala highway from Banur where a sheet of water was flowing over the road. The diversion was through the Pipla link road to Shambhu where it would join the main highway.

The road traffic was badly affected on the Ambala-Chandigarh national highway as portion of the road was washed away near the Punjab-Haryana border. Chandigarh-bound vehicles were diverted via Punjab side.

The vehicular traffic on Ambala-Rajpura road had to be made one-way following breach in the Ghaggar river. The diversion of the traffic was done to provide shelter to the people of Devi Nagar area of Ambala.

JHAJJAR: The monsoon rains lashing the region since two day has defaced the streets and roads of the town due to the garbage dumped in the open spaces floating on the roads. The civic body does not have proper arrangements to dispose off the trash. The sewerage system is almost non-existent and the drains to release the rainwater are chocked. The situation is worse in Sita Ram gate, Silani gate and Dilli Gate localities.

KAITHAL: Heavy rain during the past 24 hours in almost all parts of the district brought cheers to farmers and people. The rain also put normal life out of gear as a number of residential areas were flooded and the main road in the town remained under water.

The poor drainage system has added to the woes of the residents. However, Mr M.S. Goyat, DRO, who was monitoring the situation, said pumps were being being installed to drain out the accomulated water from the flooded residentail areas.

According to reports received here till this evening Kaithal, Pundri, Kalayat and Rajound and Guhia had heavy rains.

YAMUNANAGAR: Three days of rains have exposed the claims made by Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala that people of the district are left with no major demands as a large number of development works had been carried out. On the contrary, most internal roads in Jagadhri and Yamunanagar require repair or re-carpeting.

After the rains, most of the roads are water-logged and potholes dot the roads. There is no provision for pavements for pedestrians or for traffic lights.

SIRSA: Monsoon showers brought relief from duststorms and cheer among the resident of the town. Reports of heavy showers were reported from Mandi Dabwali, Kalanwali and other parts of the district in the past 24 hours.

Rain almost paralysed the movement of the residents reflecting the apathetic arrangements of the administration. Many areas on the Hisar Road at bus stand, railway crossing, Bal Bhawan and Civil Hospital were among the worst affected. Choked sewer further deteriorated the situation.

SONEPAT: Sonepat city and its adjoining areas received 43mm of rain during the past 24 hours improving the prospects of kharif crops including the paddy in the district.

All main roads and lowlying areas were flooded and the first spell of monsoon showers exposed the false claim of the municipal council. The residential colonies along the old DC road, Garhi Ghasita, West Ram Nagar and the Kakroi road areas were the worst-hit, as rain water entered most of the houses.

Traffic remained jammed around the Gita Bhawan area, Rohtak road, Hindu College railway crossing, Shanni Mandir bridge, Mamoon Bhanja Chowk, Subhash Chowk due to waterlogging. Defective drainage system was the main cause of the water-logging everywhere in the city.

BATALA: Heavy rains here today exposed the claims of the Municipal Council as well as the Sewerage Department. The affected areas were Samadh Road from R.R. Bawa DAV College for Girls to K.D. Sanan Eye Hospital.

BARNALA: As many as 83 heads of cattle died today morning when roof of a cowpen collapsed at Sanghera (Barnala) on the Barnala-Raikot road after heavy rains.
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Train services on Kalka-Ambala section hit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 3
Heavy rain and waterlogging at Ambala compelled the Northern Railways to cancel and divert some trains on the Kalka-Chandigarh-Ambala section.

According to a press note issued by the Northern Railways here, the 2057/2058 New Delhi-Chandigarh Jan Shatabdi Express, the IUC Chandigarh-Ambala Passenger, the 2 UK Kalka-Ambala Passenger, the 304 Kalka-Delhi Passenger, the 4674 Amritsar-Darbhanga Shaheed Express, the 2005 New Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express and the 2926 A Kalka-Ambala Paschim Link Express were cancelled on Tuesday.

Some trains will terminate at stations short of their destinations. The 2006 Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express will terminate at Chandi Mandir station, the 4888 Jodhpur-Kalka Chandigarh Express will terminate at Ghaggar station, the 2311 Howrah-Kalka Mail will terminate at Chandigarh station, the 2011 New Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express and the 4095 Nizamuddin-Kalka Himalayan Queen will terminate at Ambala Cantonment stations, respectively.

Seven trains have been diverted. These are the 5708 Amritsar-Kathiar Express, the 2926 Amritsar-Bandra Terminus Paschim Express, the 1058 Amritsar-Dadar Express, the 4522 Bathinda-New Delhi Intercity Express have been diverted to run via Kurukshetra, Narwana, Jind, Jakhal and Dhuri stations.

The 1057 Dadar-Amritsar Express and the 5707 Kathiar-Amritsar Express have been diverted to run via Kurukshetra, Narwana, Jind, Jakhal and Dhuri stations. The 2925 Bandra Terminus-Amritsar Paschim Express has been diverted to run via Ludhiana, Dhuri and Jakhal stations. The 4649 Darbhanga-Amritsar, Saryu Yamuna Express has been diverted to run via Panipat, Jind, Jakhal, Dhuri and Ludhiana stations.
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