Tribune News Service
Mattewara (Ludhiana), August 21
After a major portion of dhussi bundh of the Sutlej was damaged at Garhi Fazal near Mattewara, a number of people from the nearby villages blamed the government and district administration for not taking required measures to strengthen the bundh in the past. If required measures have been taken on time, damage to bundh could have been avoided, they claimed.
A group of villagers said it was one of the sensitive points of the river but no arrangements were made earlier to secure the bundh from various parts. The water hits directly the river banks here due to which chances of soil erosion remain high, said the villagers.
The bundh area near Mattewara is one of the sensitive points but it is yet to be strengthened from various points. The villagers said the bundh was damaged at Garhi Fazal several times in the past too.
“When the river bundh at Garhi Fazal is a sensitive point, why the government did not take action to ensure the strengthening of the river banks here? The water was flowing in circular form damaging the berm of the river.
Thus, the government should make required measures to strengthen the bundh. The flood got averted today but the chances still loom large here,” said Amar Singh, a villager.
Kuldeep Kumar of Garhi Sheru village said: “An announcement was made in our village gurdwara around 4 am. I, along with other villagers, immediately rushed to the bundh site. A large portion of the bundh was already damaged. Only a little portion of it was remaining at the site due to which flood got averted. We want from the government to ensure the strengthening of the bundh to prevent floods.”
When a Congress leader and Zila Parishad member, Gurdev Singh Lapran, visited the site, a group of villagers met him and demanded to raise their demand of strengthening the banks of the Sutlej.
Lapran said: “I had received call from Ghari Fazal sarpanch Gurnam Singh in the wee hours today. The sarpanch saw the damaged portion of the bundh and raised an alarm. After that, the District Administration and local people made efforts to avert the breach. I also visited the site today.”
“There is a need to make an inner ring for strengthening the river banks. A drain opposite the Garhi Fazal banks is not functioning for a long time. If the drain is made functional, chances of damage to the river banks will get reduced there,” he said.
After damage to a portion of the bundh today, the district administration has started relief work with the help of the local people. The work to repair the bundh was underway till night.
Punjab Minister visits flood-hit villages
Punjab Water Resources Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria visited the flood-affected villages, including Bholewal Qadim village, on Wednesday. He reviewed the ongoing relief works at the village where a 70-feet breach was witnessed in the Sutlej bundh on Monday. The minister reviewed the flood-control arrangements and issued necessary instructions to the administration regarding relief work. He directed to take all required measures to prevent the loss of life and crops.
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