Chandigarh, July 12
About 10,000 people have been shifted to safer places from their water-logged localities in Punjab over the past three days, authorities said on Wednesday as they focused on relief work.
According to government data, the death toll due to rain-related incidents in Punjab and Haryana is 18. Seven of the deaths took place in Haryana.
In Punjab, nearly 10,000 people have so far been evacuated in Patiala, Rupnagar, Moga, Ludhiana, Mohali, SBS Nagar and Fatehgarh Sahib districts, they said.
Several places in neighbouring Haryana too remained flooded and Chief Minister Manohal Lal Khattar was expected to visit worst-hit Ambala district to take stock of the situation.
The weather remained clear at most places in the region for the second day on Wednesday after three days of incessant rains.
In a tweet, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said he is taking regular updates on the rain situation.
“All the dams are safe and well below the danger mark. Our priority is to provide all kinds of assistance to the most affected areas,” he said in Punjabi.
“Hopefully, the situation in Punjab will improve by this evening,” Mann said, adding that his government stands with the people and will compensate for any kind of loss.
According to government data, the death toll due to rain-related incidents in Punjab rose to 11 on Wednesday, with three latest fatalities reported from Faridkot district.
Although Haryana’s death toll stands at seven, officials said the numbers may go up as more deaths were reported in the state on Wednesday.
“Three bodies were found in Haryana’s Ambala, while one more person died of electrocution in the district while wading through the flood waters,” an official said.
The heavy rainfall has left behind a trail of destruction with properties worth crores obliterated and farmlands flooded.
Relief measures are going on a war footing in the affected areas of the two states. Permanent medical camps have also been set up at affected regions.
Drones, boats and other equipment were deployed by the Sangrur administration to support the army and NDRF for proper evaluation of breach in the Ghagger river.
Haryana’s Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala also took stock of the situation in Ambala district on Wednesday. Driving a tractor, he met the affected people who apprised him of huge loss to property and crops caused by the floods.
Chautala assured them of extending all possible help in this hour of crisis. He also held a meeting with the officials concerned and gave them appropriate directions to tide over the situation. Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is also expected to visit some of the flood-affected areas in Haryana on Wednesday.
The incessant downpour has inundated houses and caused extensive damage to crops and vegetables in many districts. Prices of many vegetables has gone up.
Ambala, Yamunangar, Kurukshetra, Patiala, Rupnagar, Jalandhar, SBS Nagar, Mohali are some of the affected districts in the two states.
The overflowing Yamuna river on Tuesday inundated vast tracts of farm land in Karnal district.
However, on Wednesday, the water level in Haryana’s Hathnikund barrage came down since morning. While at 9 am on Tuesday, around 3.21 lakh cusecs of water was discharged from the barrage, but at 1 pm on Wednesday, it was 1.36 lakh cusecs, officials said.
The government has set up relief shelters in several districts in the two states.
State disaster management teams, NDRF and various government departments with help of the army have been engaged in relief and rescue operation.
Meanwhile, according to the Railway officials in Ambala, the World Heritage Kalka-Shimla rail section has been affected due to recent incessant rains with trees and debris having fallen on the railway route and no train will run on this route till July 16.
On the other hand, near Ghasitpur on the Ambala-Saharanpur route, the soil has slipped from under the railway line causing some damage. Due to floods, more than 30 trains were canceled on Tuesday, and the routes of six trains were diverted, officials said.
In Punjab’s worst-hit Patiala district, senior officials of the district and police administration are coordinating relief efforts in flood-hit Patiala district.
Patiala Deputy Commissioner Sakshi Sawhney and Senior Superintendent of Police Varun Sharma were coordinating relief efforts with the army and teams of NDRF and State Disaster Response Force to ensure the safety of affected residents.
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