Relief work stepped up in flood-hit Haryana, Punjab

Chandigarh, July 10 (Calcutta Tube) With no rains in flood-affected areas of Haryana and Punjab in the last two days, authorities have stepped up efforts to provide relief to the marooned people in both states.

District authorities and voluntary organisations are reaching out to people after mounting criticism from residents of flood-affected villages and towns over the slow response from government agencies.

Several areas in both states continued to be water-logged Saturday.

The army, which was called out in Ambala, Kurukshetra and Kaithal districts of Haryana earlier this week, has plugged the breach in the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.

Of the 20 deaths so far, 15 have been in Punjab and five in Haryana.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who made his second trip in three days in flood-affected areas Friday evening, faced the ire of angry residents.

‘We have been spending days and nights on rooftops without food and water. Our children are hungry, our property has been destroyed and our animals have not got feed. Where is the government?’ asked a furious Krishan Pal of Narka Tari village in Kurukshetra.

Hooda, who visited Ratta Khera Kadma in Kaithal district, said all steps were being taken to supply of drinking water, food and medical aid in flooded areas.

The state government has pegged the loss due to the floods at over Rs.650 crore.

Over one lakh acres of agricultural land in Haryana is under water, with the freshly sown paddy crop destroyed.

Ambala deputy commissioner Samir Pal Srow said the flood water, which had entered several areas of Ambala city and cantonment, had been drained out at most places.

‘The water is receding gradually in rural areas also. We have sent volunteers and relief material to the affected areas,’ he said.

The Ambala-Hisar national highway (NH-65) was opened for small vehicles Saturday after a portion of the road, which had been washed away near Naggal village, was repaired.

Train traffic on the Ambala-Delhi section, which links Delhi with Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, was restored completely Friday.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has sanctioned Rs.28 crore to district authorities for flood relief work. Many areas of Patiala and Sangrur district continue to be under water.

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