Mansa, July 23
Leaving behind a trail of destruction, the recent floods have once again brought to light the uncertainty of life for those residing near riverbanks during the monsoon season.
The Ghaggar, a seasonal river originating in the Shivalik Hills of Himachal Pradesh, continues to wreak havoc in Mansa district like every year. Villagers in the district claim many governments have come and gone, but none has made any effort to find a solution to the problem of flooding caused by the Ghaggar.
Come monsoon and those living in the villages along the Ghaggar start having sleepless nights for the fear of floods that intermittently ravage the region.
Before the onset of the monsoon every year, the villagers ensure that they have enough stock of ration and drinking water in case of an emergency.
The river has been dubbed as the “River of Sorrow” due to the occasional floods it caused in the past three decades or so.
Gurnam Singh of Sardulgarh said the Ghaggar was first flooded in 1962 due to which many nearby villages were destroyed. At that time, most of the houses were kutcha and were completely damaged. The river led to floods again in 1988, 1993, 1994 and 1995. The next deluge was caused by the river in 2010, he added.
Simranjit Singh of Kulariya village said: “The floods have badly affected Sardulgarh and Budhlada areas in the past, but we have risen like a phoenix from its ashes time and again by making joint efforts. When floods were witnessed in 2010, it was due to the efforts of the people here that a massive breach was prevented.”
The villages that are most affected by the floods every year are Sardulgarh, Sadhuwala, Phus Mandi, Lohgarh, Bhagwanpur Hingia, Mirpur Kalan, Ranjitgarh Wander, Mirpur Khurd, Kahanwala and Sardulewala.
Originating in Himachal Pradesh, the Ghaggar takes a serpentine route from east to southwest though several districts of Punjab and Haryana to enter Rajasthan and then into Pakistan.
We shift our belongings and kitchen items on the first floor of our house every year like a ritual during the monsoon. — A resident of Kulariya village
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