Flood threat rises in Punjab, Haryana; authorities go into huddle

CHANDIGARH/ROPAR: Several places in Punjab and Haryana reported floods on Sunday after continuous rain battered the region. Three members of a family were killed when the roof of their house collapsed following heavy rain in Aol village near Khanna town.


Tribune News Service
Chandigarh/Ropar, August 18

Several places in Punjab and Haryana reported floods on Sunday after continuous rain battered the region.

The district authorities in Nawanshahr and Ropar have said all educational institutions in the districts will remain closed on Monday.

In Patiala, 32 schools in the district have been already closed down following the heavy rainfall. The schools -- falling in Bhunerheri, Rajpura, Bhadson and Patiala blocks -- have been shut down until further order. The district Education Officer informed that the said schools were closed down after the schools compounds were inundated with water.

Three members of a family were killed when the roof of their house collapsed following heavy rain in Aol village near Khanna town.

Surjit Singh (35), his wife Baljinder Kaur (32) and their son Gurpreet Singh (9) were killed in the incident on Saturday. However, their 10-year-old daughter escaped unhurt.

In Nurpur Bedi, fields were flooded at several places. A child reportedly drowned in the area. Residents of Bangala Basti blocked Nurpur Bedi-Ropar road after rain water flooded their locality.

A dam in Mohali’s Chotti Badi Naggal was reportedly damaged in the rain.  

In Anandpur Sanhib, National Disaster Response Force rescued people from Gharat Basti as Sutlej River flooded the area.   

Floods were reported in Pathankot, Ropar, Anandpur Sahib, Nawanshahr and Fatehgarh SahibNawanshahr has received 250 mm rainfall, while Fatehgarh Sahib has received 140 mm rainfall.

In Ropar, 12 trains were reportedly cancelled after rainwater flooded railway tracks. The gushing Sutlej forced several slum dwellers out of their houses on the outskirts of Ropar town. Authorities ordered nearly one dozen villages to be evacuated near Budhki and Sarsa rivers.

In Gurdaspur, 11 people, including four women, were rescued after they got stuck when the overflowing water of Beas river flooded their village in Gurdaspur district, an official said on Sunday.

Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal said he got information about some people from the Gujjar community and their herd of buffaloes getting stuck near Chachian Shorian village due to the sudden rise of the water level in the Beas after incessant rainfall.

They were rescued in a joint operation by the district administration and the Army, the official said.

As water levels rose dangerously, a disaster management group that Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh heads is currently holding a meeting to review measures to tackle the situation. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will review the state’s flood preparedness, if required, on Monday.

Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Aggarwal said situation was under control in the district, but villagers in Khera Bet and Mattewara said threat of flood loomed large after Ropar authorities releases some 2.40 lakh cusecs of Sutlej waters.

Aggarwal said district administration had made arrangements to prevent flood at nine vulnerable points in the dsitrict.

“We have made all the arrangements with sand bags and huge stones etc in case of emergency. The Sutlej enters here from Samrala side and the last point is near Jagraon from where it will move towards Ferozpur”, said the DC.

The administration has not yet ordered evacuation of villages.

However, Kartar Singh, a villager from Khera Bet, said he feared that the arrangements would do nothing to prevent a flood in the area once the water flow went up. 

A special ‘girdawari’ is expected to be ordered in areas that reported crops damage.

Water levels of Yamuna rose dangerously to 3.25 lakh cusecs at Hathnikund barrage in Yamunanagar district, forcing authorities to release some of the water. Authorities also warned residents against going towards the river. — With PTI inputs


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