Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Posted at: Aug 22, 2019, 6:45 AM; last updated: Aug 22, 2019, 5:39 PM (IST)

Water continues to rise, so do fears

Jalandhar villagers spend sleepless nights on rooftops; No fodder or medicines

Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service
Janian Chahal (Jalandhar), August 21

Marooned in their houses by the swollen Sutlej, affected families at Janian Chahal, Chak Wadala and Gatti Peer Baksh villages in the district today spent their fourth sleepless night stranded on rooftops, waiting for the water levels to recede. However, there was no respite in sight as water remained 8 to 10-ft deep at most places.

Villagers use tractor tyre tubes and huge cauldrons from flooded kitchens as boats to move around and collect relief material from nearby locations.

As The Tribune team reached out to some of them, Harpal Singh of Chak Wadala village said from the rooftop: “Water is still rising, it seems we will get submerged and die soon. We are not getting any information as there is no access to television, mobile phone or newspapers. Is it true that more 1 lakh cusecs of water is being discharged (from Bhakra) by the BBMB today?”

With food and water being supplied to the flood-hit areas through boats and helicopters, Gurdial Singh at Janian Chahal village rued: “We don’t need food for ourselves. The cattle, our livelihood, are starving. 

There is no fodder for them. Please tell the administration to provide us fodder. They are neck-deep in water and can barely breathe.”

Parveen Kumari, also stranded on the rooftop of her house along with daughter Muskan, said: “I’ve been having a severe headache since morning and urgently need medicine. I have not been able to sleep for four days. Our men have been busy helping out in the reconstruction of the ‘dhussi bundh’.”

Green activist Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, who was seen distributing food through boats, said: “Villagers were asking for fodder for animals, besides medicines for themselves. We had to tell them to be content with food and water for the time being.”

Two weeks to plug bundh breach: Army

Col Bharat Bhalla from the Vajra Corpa Engineers, supervising work on the reconstruction of a bundh at Janian Chahal village which has a 200x45 ft deep breach, said it would take 15 days to plug it. “It is a long, laborious process that may take two weeks. Our main job is to arrest further breach,” he said.


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