Thousands flee after Punjab floods

Chandigarh, Aug 25 (Calcutta Tube) Thousands fled their homes as the rain-swollen Satluj river flooded 15 villages in Anandpur Sahib in Punjab’s Ropar district, inundating vast acres of farmland.

A nearly 100-feet breach in the river bank turned the villages of Laudipur, Gajjpur, Burj, Nangli, Dasdgrain, Hariwal, Nikkuwal, Mehandli Kalan and Saini Majra into a sea of water.

Authorities quickly set up relief centres to house the flood victims. ‘We will plug the breach,’ Ropar Deputy Commissioner Arunjit Singh Miglani told IANS.

Flooding was also reported in the villages of Ferozepur and Nawanshahar districts.

Trains were diverted in Ferozepur after rising water flooded tracks.

To maintain the water level in the 225-metre Bhakra Dam, the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has been releasing excess water into the Satluj since Aug 21. The inflow in Bhakra Dam Tuesday was over 68,000 cusecs.

This is threatening the low-lying areas of Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Nawanshahar and Ropar districts and the Sikh holy towns of Anandpur Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib.

Water level can reach the maximum height of 1,680 feet in Bhakra Dam. By

Tuesday evening, it had touched 1,673.55 feet. It is increasing about a foot a day.

In Haryana, water level in the Yamuna receded marginally but Yamunanagar, Karnal, Sonepat, Panipat, Faridabad and Palwal districts remained on high alert.

‘There was a discharge of over 90,000 cusecs from the Hathni Kund Barrage into the Yamuna. Water from the river has entered the villages of Kalesar, Bibipur, Bhogpur, Odri, Bagwali, Jathlana, Gumthala and Kamalpur Tapu (of Yamunanagar district),’ Haryana engineer-in-chief Harmail Singh said.

‘We are trying to plug the breaches,’ Singh said.

Last month, nearly a dozen villages of Punjab and Haryana were severely affected by floods. Over 50 people were killed.

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