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4 more meet watery grave
Army airdrops food; CM orders special girdawari
Tribune Reporters and PTI

Patiala, August 4
Four persons lost their lives in flash floods in this district today even as the district administration took the help of the Army authorities to airdrop supplies to around 25 villages which have been submerged. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, meanwhile ordered a special girdawari in the flood-affected areas after an aerial survey as well as a visit to the breach sites on the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal near Rajpura.

Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh disclosed that Gurdev Singh, alias Janga, an ex-serviceman, was swept away by the flood waters of the Narwana branch near Kapoori village in Ghanaur sub-division.

Another person, Roopinder Singh, was swept away by the Meeranpur choe near Gagrola village in the same subdivision after he slipped into it while trying to take out weeds from the choe.

A 70-year-old man, Ram Lal Pandit, fell into a pond at Khalspur village near Devigarh as he could not detect it because the entire area was submerged. Patiala Subdivisional Magistrate T.P.S. Phoolka disclosed that a youth, Mandeep Singh, was missing after slipping into a tributary near Rasulpur Johran village on the outskirts of Patiala.

The district administration is banking on the Army authorities to conduct flood-relief exercises on an emergency basis. An Mi-11 helicopter has been requisitioned from Jammu to drop around 10,000 dry food packets in around 25 worst- affected villages. The relief material includes biscuits, water, candles, matchsticks and bread. Non-governmental Organisation volunteers, the Arhtiya Association and the Patiala Social Welfare Society, besides various gurdwaras, have chipped in to make this possible. The Dukhniwaran gurdwara and other voluntary organisations have committed another 5,000 food packets, which are being delivered to affected villages through motor boats by Army personnel.

The 13th Armoured Regiment today evacuated marooned villagers in Majri Fakiran and Lachhru Kalan villages by motor boats. Emergency ration is expected to be rushed to Mehdoondan, Loh Simbli, Kamikalan, Sanualian, Manjoli, Jhalheri, Haripur, Katlahar, Rathian, Balhari, Jogimajra, Rampur, Kamalpur, Marian, Harpalan and Jamitgarh villages which are surrounded by 4 to 7 ft of water.

Meanwhile, the flood waters have moved towards Devigarh in the Dakala Assembly constituency. Many villages close to Devigarh, including Rohar Jagir and Budhmor, are surrounded by a sheet of water. The Patiala-Pehowa road has been stopped for vehicular traffic, with the Meeranpur choe and the Tangri rivulet flowing over the road.

The Ghaggar waters have reached Khanauri village on the border with Sangrur district. The river has crossed the danger mark at 751 ft. A meeting of senior staff of both districts, including Sangrur Deputy Commissioner Hussan Lal, was held at Khanauri this evening. The 13th Armoured Regiment has been asked to reach Khanauri and be on stand-by in case of any emergency.

Meanwhile, the irrigation authorities have closed down the Nirwana branch of the Bhakra canal after a breach in the Pachisdara rivulet resulted in the Pachisdara water flowing into the Nirwana branch. Irrigation Executive Engineer A.S. Dullat said flood-protection measures would be undertaken only after the water receded.

Capt Amarinder Singh first conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected villages in the morning. Later, he visited the site of the two breaches in the SYL canal at Alampur village near Rajpura. He said besides the special girdawari, the state would also try to provide relief to the people through the central Calamity Relief Fund. Patiala MP Preneet Kaur and Cooperation Minister Lal Singh also visited flood affected areas in Khanauri and Dakala areas, respectively.

CHANDIGARH: Life in parts of Punjab and Haryana, badly affected following the downpour for the past three days, was on Wednesday slowly returning to normal.

Rescue and relief operations in the worst-affected areas of Ambala and Patiala districts were in full swing.

The Army was lending a helping hand in many areas of Ambala which were submerged under 2 to 3 ft of water.

The bus stand in Ambala was still submerged and people in several colonies were standing on roof-tops waiting for the water to clear out.

Situation in several villages of Panchkula district of Haryana, where the Army had to evacuate marooned people, was also becoming normal, the police said. Life in Chandigarh also returned to normal.

KARNAL: Haryana is facing floods in Ambala and Kaithal districts as a result of numerous openings created in the Narwana branch of the Bhakra canal and the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal in the Punjab territory allegedly by the Punjab authorities to drain out flood waters, said the Haryana Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Ram Pal Majra.

AMRITSAR: The SGPC is sending langar as relief for those affected due to floods in Patiala and adjoining areas. This was stated in a press note issued here on Wednesday.

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