150 villages in Patiala district hit by floods

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Old 08-Jul-2010
150 villages in Patiala district hit by floods

Ghaggar water level comes down in many areas

Patiala, July 7
A 120-foot wide breach in the SYL Canal near Kapoori village side in Punjab and another breach from the Haryana side has left as many as 108 villages -- according to the administration -- of Ghanaur, Devigarh and Sanour areas of Patiala district submerged in water. Sources say as many as 150 villages in Patiala district are affected with the floods. All the villages have been cut off from the rest of the world, following which the state government has requisitioned the services of the National Calamity Force to rescue people from the affected villages. Since there have been no major rains in Patiala district during the past 12 hours, the water level of the Ghaggar has come down in many areas. In some of the flooded farms, electricity poles have fallen, following which a youth of Saran Kalan village died of electrocution. The Deputy CM gave a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to the family of the deceased.

In order to take stock of the situation, Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal visited the flood-hit area of Ghanour and Devigarh and also conducted an aerial survey of the region. “Floods in certain areas of Patiala district especially, situated alongside the Ghaggar and Narwana branch, were due to a two-year delay in sanctioning flood-protection measures by the Central Water Commission (CWC),” he said, adding that it was a matter of great regreat that people of this area had to become victims of floods every year due to bureaucratic and lethargic working of the CWC.

Sukhbir said the Punjab government erected a 22-km-long bandh from Ghaouri to Makroud at the cost of Rs 135 crore in the first phase but the CWC was dragging its feet for granting its approval for the second phase of a 35-km bandh from Makroud to Karail. “Resultantly, the water in Ghaggar being diverted from the Himachal and Haryana regions will explode after the Makroud area, as the CWC was not approving channelisation of Ghaggar. The situation in Patiala district has worsened because of the breach in the SYL canal in the Haryana area, which has flooded water into Ghaggar and Narwana canal,” he added. The Deputy CM further stated that closure of gates from the Ghaggar side in Hansi Butana had made the situation pitiable.

Sukhbir added that the Punjab government had already lowered the water level in Narwana Branch at the request of the Haryana Chief Secretary. He announced that he would soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention, so that directions could be issued to the CWC for early clearance of pending irrigation and canal projects of Punjab. Sukhbir also informed that a high-level team would be visiting Punjab on Thursday and would also see the damage done by the fury of Ghaggar and stoppage of water and closure of Hansi Butana gates. Badal announced the telephone number of Central Control Room 0175-2361118 and advised the people to contact the control room for any requirement.

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