Sangrur, August 1
The rise in water level in the Ghaggar is giving sleepless nights to farmers of many villages in the district, as they apprehend damage to their crop like previous years.
The Moonak SDM never attends the calls of farmers. The government has changed, but the attitude of officers has not. — Rinku Moonak, BKU (Ugrahan) Leader
If I am unable to attend the calls, farmers should call on the flood control room helpline. — Navreet Sekhon, Moonak SDM
The water level reached the 739.3 m mark today, while it was 738.1 m yesterday. The danger mark is 748 m.
Farmers fear that if the water level continues to rise, it would cause devastation as embankments of the Ghaggar are weak at many places.
They claim the authorities have neither strengthened the embankments nor cleaned the river. The worst part, the farmers say, is that Moonak Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM) Navreet Sekhon remains “inaccessible”.
The river is 588 ft wide from Khanauri to Makraud Sahib, but it narrows down to 190 ft from Makraud Sahib to Kadail. The decrease in width causes blockade, resulting into floods in many villages and crop loss.
Rinku Moonak, BKU (Ugrahan) leader, said: “All claims of the authorities remain on paper. Like previous years, funds earmarked for the Ghaggar were not utilised properly this year as well. Whenever farmers are in a problem, the Moonak SDM never attends their calls. The government has changed, but the attitude of officers has not. The Chief Minister should look into the matter.”
When contacted, Moonak SDM Navreet Sekhon said: “If I am unable to attend the calls, farmers should call on the flood control room helpline.”
Senior officers said the proposal to widen the river from Makraud Sahib to Kadail had been pending with the Ghaggar standing panel of the Centre.
Gagandeep Gill, Executive Engineer of the Drainage Department, claimed the government has spent a lot on strengthening the embankments. “About Rs 1.72 crore was spent on cleaning the river and strengthening its embankments this year. Necessary steps have been taken to help villagers,” he said.
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