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Chandigarh engg dept warns government: ‘Sukhna’s floodgates could be reopened if it pours again’

Officials said that even on August 20, they had informed the Punjab government that the lake's water level was around 1,160 feet and could touch the danger mark anytime.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | August 25, 2020 2:02:42 am
Officials said the Mohali control room was alerted at around 3.10 am when two of the floodgates had to be opened.

The UT engineering wing on Monday wrote to the Punjab government that even though its floodgates have been closed, the Sukhna Lake’s water levels are still near the danger mark and preventive steps must be taken immediately as another downpour could make matters worse.

Officials said that even on August 20, they had informed the Punjab government that the lake’s water level was around 1,160 feet and could touch the danger mark anytime.

“We had already informed them on August 20 that preventive measures must be taken. We had not just sent emails but informed them on phone as well. The officials concerned were informed by the executive engineer,” a senior official of the engineering wing said.

The official added, “Even today the water level is 1162.5 feet and that is why the executive engineer has again flagged it to DC Mohali, DC Patiala and DC Chandigarh to ensure preventive measures now because another bout of heavy rain can lead to opening of floodgates again.”

Officials said the Mohali control room was alerted at around 3.10 am when two of the floodgates had to be opened.

Heavy rain on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday wreaked havoc. Houses were flooded in Khuda Lahora post 3 am after water was released from check dams of the flooded Patiala ki Rao, a seasonal rivulet, but even Sukhna Lake’s floodgates were opened as it crossed the danger mark of 1,163 feet.

The last time floodgates of the Sukhna had to be opened was in 2018, and before that in 2008. But the situation was not as grim.

Around a 100 houses in Khuda Lahora were under 3-ft of water. Engineering officials said there was a problem of backflow in the storm water drainage.

Upset residents said that there was no warning from the authorities that the check dams are being opened and water is being released. They also said that the drains were clogged.

HEAVY RAIN PREDICTED

According to the Chandigarh meteorological department, heavy rains are predicted on August 26, 27 and 28.

MET officials said light rain is predicted on August 25.

The rains have brought down the temperature by a few notches. Minimum temperature came down by 5 degrees and was recorded as 27.6 degrees celsius while maximum temperature was 33.5 degrees celsius.

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