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11 dead with no let up in Haryana, Punjab floods

Chandigarh, July 8 (Calcutta Tube) The flood situation in three districts of Haryana and two districts of Punjab continued to be grim Thursday with 11 people having died, thousands of people being hit and hundreds of acres of agricultural land remaining under water for the third day.

At least 11 people have been killed by drowning or electrocution in flood-affected areas of both states. Two other people washed away in floods Tuesday are yet to be traced. Six deaths have taken place in Punjab and five in Haryana.

Three youngsters drowned in flood waters near Mullanpur village in Punjab’s Mohali district, 15 km from here.

People in the flood-affected areas continued to suffer without proper arrangements of food, water and due to complete power failure.

‘No one from the civil administration has come to help us. Some areas have 3-5 feet water. We sit on rooftops at night with our children. There is no water and no power. The government has failed completely to provide any help,’ villager Krishan Lal of Haryana’s Kurukshetra district told IANS.

Fresh breaches in rivers, which are flowing in spate, and irrigation canals worsened the situation with new areas being flooded.

The army was Thursday called for rescue and relief work in Haryana’s Kaithal district as fresh breaches in the Ghaggar river and Hansi-Butana canal flooded new areas.

After a break of over 30 hours, moderate to heavy rainfall started in some areas of Haryana’s flooded Kurukshetra and Ambala districts Thursday afternoon.

The army is engaged in rescue and relief operations in the two districts.

A fresh breach took place in the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal near Darsi village in Kurukshetra, inundating several villages and hundreds of acres of standing paddy and other crops.

Another breach occurred in the Ghaggar river, which is in spate in Punjab and Haryana, in Kaithal district. Kaithal became the third district in Haryana to be flooded.

The army was called to help the Kaithal administration in rescue and relief work as seven villages — Tatiana, Khushal Majra, Baupur, Hemu Majra, Lalpur, Seo-Majra and Bhatian — have come under water due to a breach on both sides of the Ghaggar river.

Kaithal Deputy Commissioner Amneet P. Kumar said: ‘The flooding has affected 5,000 residents of these villages.’

‘The Hansi-Bhutana Link Canal suffered breach due to excessive flow of water in the Ghaggar river near Tatiana and Kharal villages of Kaithal district today,’ he said.

‘The Ghaggar river is flowing above the danger mark at Guhla in the district. A public announcement has been made and the population has been moved to safer places. NGOs have been asked to prepare dry ration for the flood-affected people,’ he said.

‘Eatables have been provided to the people. Ropes and candles are being made available. A mini truck has been made available for every two villages to carry eatables and other materials to the flood-hit people,’ the deputy commissioner added.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who visited and conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas Wednesday, is expected to come to these areas again Friday even as complaints of lack of adequate response from the administration in Kurukshetra and Ambala districts continue to pile up.

In neighbouring Punjab, a fresh breach was reported in the Ghaggar river in Sangrur district, leading to flooding of vast stretches of agricultural land. A red alert has been declared in Sunam town, 180 km from here, following a breach in the Ghaggar river.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon blamed the central government for not sanctioning flood protection projects in time which had led to flooding in the state.

Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, was also lashed by rain Thursday afternoon.

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