Ahead of monsoon, Jalandhar villagers want Sutlej banks to be fortified; seek bolstering Phillaur-Darewal stretch

Works costing Rs 4.96 crore being carried out under 16 flood control projects: DC Ghanshyam Thori

Ahead of monsoon, Jalandhar villagers want Sutlej banks to be fortified; seek bolstering Phillaur-Darewal stretch

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 27

With the rain lashing most districts of the state, including Jalandhar, recently, the district administration has started reviewing flood preparedness weeks ahead of the onset of the rains. However, when one takes a look at preparedness at the village ward level, it seems that no lessons have been learnt from the 2019 floods by the administration.

When the bundh (embankment) in Jania village in the district developed a breach in August 2019, it not only cut off the connectivity of the village with the rest of the world but also inundated fields and destroyed crops and flooded homes. Even work on strengthening the bundh was also started. However, three years later, villagers are yet to see a “pucca” bundh as per their demand.

A number of villages still face the same woes. Residents of these villages rue that the government has failed to strengthen bundhs and stop sand mining in their villages.

Some of the villages residents of which express apprehensions of a flood include Pipli Miyani, Mandhala Channa (also hit by the 2019 floods), Gatta Mundi Kaso, Rajewal Rame, Chak Bahmaniyan, etc. The villagers say at some sites, numerous trucks collect sand every day.

Embattling the Sutlej banks — from Phillaur to Darewal — has been a long-pending demand of farmers. As we know, mining, in turn, renders the banks weak and susceptible to floods. Recently, the district administration handed over a cheque for Rs 1 lakh to environmentalist Seechewal for getting the area cleaned under the bridge.

The Gidderpindi bridge was another one that faced a breach, causing the water to enter numerous villages in 2019. Tarsem Singh, a farmer from Jania village, said, “Off an on, at some stretches, Good Samaritans and at times villagers themselves worked together to strengthen the bundhs. At some stretches, trolleys full of sand have been dumped along bundhs to strengthen them. But it is still prone to a breach and the resultant flooding. Unless these are not fortified, the safety of the bundh cannot be guaranteed. It needs to be very strong to fend off water.”

Ajaib Singh of Pipli village said, “There is one single bundh which goes down Phillaur all across to Darewal in Jalandhar, any anti-social activity on any part of this bundh renders the village susceptible to breaches during floods. A single breach in the bundh is enough to lead to flooding in many countless villages wherever the bundh is weak. The only feasible plan to protect these villages is to make sure that the bundh is strong enough to withstand the force of water.”

Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori on Wednesday said works, costing Rs 4.96 crore, were being carried out under the 16 flood control projects.

Tribune Shorts


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