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Harrowing time for residents, passengers in Haryana

Ambala/Kurukshetra (Haryana), July 7 (Calcutta Tube) Thousands of train passengers and residents of Haryana’s Ambala and Kurukshetra districts had a terrible time as incessant rains breached riverbanks triggering distressing floods.

People in the affected areas complained that civil and railway authorities had failed to provide them drinking water and food over the past 24 hours.

Nearly a dozen trains, including the Shatabdi, had been cancelled and others were delayed by over 10 hours, stranding hundreds of passengers at railway stations in Ambala Cantonment, Kurukshetra and other places.

Railway authorities, particularly officials at the Ambala division, were not particularly considerate towards the passengers.

Ambala divisional railway manager Y.P. Singh and others misbehaved with journalists when information was sought about the movement of trains.

‘I don’t have the time,’ Singh shouted back and asked the media persons to get out of his office.

Outside, hundreds of stranded passengers were a dismayed lot due to lack of information about the cancelled and delayed trains.

Distressed residents of Kurukshetra and Ambala hit out at the local administrations.

‘They have completely failed. Our children have not eaten since yesterday (Tuesday). No food or biscuits have been made available even for them,’ Avtar Singh, a resident of Kurukshetra’s Shanti Nagar area, told IANS.

The army had to be requisitioned Tuesday evening in Kurukshetra and Ambala after heavy rains caused water to overflow in the Ghaggar and Tangri rivers and the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, causing breaches.

Traffic and electricity supply was disrupted in several areas, especially on National Highway 1 — India’s main highway — and National Highway 22.

Volunteers from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescued marooned residents from the villages of Kurukshetra district.

Ambala, around 45 km from Chandigarh, has received over 550 mm rainfall in the last three days. However, there was no rain in Ambala and Kurukshetra Wednesday morning.

‘There was three to four feet of water at many places in Ambala, disrupting power supply and paralyzing normal life. Now the situation is under control,’ Ambala Deputy Commissioner S.P. Srow said.

Meanwhile, several areas of Ambala, which is also a major army and air force base, remained under one to two feet of water.

‘No one from the administration is helping us. We don’t even have drinking water. All our household things have been damaged by water,’ said Savitri Devi, a resident of Ambala.

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