Widespread rain over last 24 hours brought several parts of Punjab to a standstill with several low lying areas reporting waterlogging even as locals in Bathinda, protesting against the municipal authorities, moved around on the waterlogged streets in boats.
Muktsar recorded 150 mm rain, the maximum in Punjab, followed by Bathinda which recorded 138 mm.
In Mansa, a part of boundary wall of the Deputy Commissioner’s residence, located on Mansa-Ludhiana-Sirsa highway, collapsed. Rain water entered the rooms of DC residence after which DC shifted to the Forest guesthouse. Though water had been drained out by evening, they were yet to be cleaned and sanitised. Rain water also entered the office of the public works department (PWD) and the house of its superintending engineer.
Several markets in the district could not be opened due to waterlogging markets. DC Mohinder Pal said,”Few low lying areas got waterlogged due to heavy rainfall.”
Baghel Singh, a farmer from Bhanibagha village of Mansa said, “The wall of my cattle farm got damaged. Cotton fields are waterlogged.”
Several residents commuted on boats on the main road in Bathinda. The district has recorded 143.8 mm in the last three days, as per Bathinda DC’s office. Last year on July 16, the district had recorded 178 mm rain during which 37 milch cattle had died while even flood-like situation prevailed for 4-5 days. This time, yet again water logging could be seen in posh Civil Lines area where residences of DC and SSP are located. Though it stopped raining at 9am, water was still being drained out from many colonies of Bathinda.
DC B Srinivasan said, “Two new ponds with capacity to collect 1.50 lakh cubic metre drainage water has been created while rainwater has been released in a pond near DAV College that has the capacity of 1.25 lakh cubic metres of water.”
Over two dozen goats of farmer Balwinder Singh were killed in village Tungwali of Bathinda as roof of his farm house collapsed. The farmer and his helper too sustained injuries.
The drainage of water from urban areas remained a a poll issue in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha, and 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls. Bathinda urban is represented by Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal while Parliamentary constituency is represented by Union Minister Harsimrat Badal.
Most areas in Muktsar were water logged till the time of filing this report. Deputy Commissioner Kumar Aravinda, while talking with The Indian Express, said, “It is a perennial problem in Muktsar. The district has poor drainage system and has no slope. There is haphazard growth in the city as well. Drainage problem is an issue in rural areas as well. Our teams are on the job to get water drained out. We have submitted a project worth Rs 2 crore with the government, which can ease out drainage of rain water from the city area at a faster pace”.Rain water had entered civil surgeon’s office and many other government offices
Low lying areas of Abohar remained submerged after first heavy rainfall of the season In street Number 21 of Nai Abadi area, one person’s house got damaged due to rainfall.
In Chhathha Nanhera village of Sunam in Sangrur district, water from a pond flooded the houses of 15-16 labourers. Bahal Singh, a villager said, ”This is an annual feature. The houses of farm labourers get damaged every year in rain, but panchayat does not provide any fund to repair them. Administration too has turned a blind eye”.
Meanwhile Sutantar Kumar, Director agriculture, Punjab said, “As of now, this rain was good for paddy, cotton and maize as well. I have not got any field reports where farmers suffered any loss. If it rains more, it may cause damage to cotton and maize. “
When contacted, Local bodies Minister Brahm Mohindra, said, “Most of the cities, which faced water logging have old drainage system. We have plans to overhaul the sewerage system. Our teams are on job and water was drained out from most of the parts. We are very much alert on this issue”.
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