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Punjab floods: 4 villages by the Sutlej flooded in Dharamkot, 24 on edge

Two other villages lying close to the river bank — Bhaini and Serewala — also had floodwaters enter people’s homes and damage crops.

By: Express News Service | Ludhiana |
Updated: August 20, 2019 11:00:32 pm
Punjab floods, Sutlej flooded Locals move out of their flooded homes with their belongings in Sanghera village near Moga’s Dharamkot, Monday. (Gurmeet Singh)

A day after the release of more than 2.40 lakh cusecs water from Ropar Headworks in the Sutlej, the rising waters entered several villages in Dharamkot division of Moga district in Punjab’s Malwa belt. At least four villages situated next to the banks were flooded, while people in 24 other villages remained on alert throughout Monday, closely watching the water levels.

Narinder Singh Dhaliwal, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Dharamkot, said that Sutlej waters in Dharamkot continued to flow at the danger mark of 724 feet HFL (Highest Flood Level) but were expected to recede by Monday night. “Currently, water is still flowing at the danger mark but of 28 villages that were on high alert, severe flooding has happened in two villages — Sanghera and Kambo Khurd — as they are situated right in the middle of the river bed,” he said.

“National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in the most vulnerable villages and are evacuating people in boats,” he added.

Two other villages lying close to the river bank — Bhaini and Serewala — also had floodwaters enter people’s homes and damaging crops.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Balwinder Singh, a member of Sanghera village’s panchayat, said that the water level started rising Sunday midnight and continued till 1 pm Monday. “After 1 pm, the situation became better and water level stabilised. But our village has been inundated and crops are completely damaged. People are reluctant to move to relief camps leaving behind their cattle and hence they have shifted to the terrace of their homes. Administration has provided some boats to take people to relief centres but they are reluctant.”

Gurpreet Kaur, sarpanch of Rehedwa village, said, “If the water level now rises by even one more foot, there will be a breach and our village will be entirely flooded. Administration has provided a JCB machine, some sand bags and life-saving jackets for emergency, but it is not enough. We were awake all night seeing the waters rising but now it is stable.”

As per official figures from the Moga district administration, 680 acres of land, 470 people and 228 animals have been affected by floods in Sanghera village. Similarly, 121 acres of land, 112 people and 42 animals were affected in Kambo Khurd.

People were seen sitting on link roads with their belongings like cots, cupboards and other essentials as water entered their homes.

Moga Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Hans and Dharamkot MLA Sukhjeet Kaka Lohgarh visited Sanghera village and said that the NDRF is on standby to handle any emergency.

A man and a woman who were found floating in the flood waters with their goats were rescued in Sanghera. Water spilled over the escape channel in Serewala village, where the Dhussi Bandh was plugged to avoid a breach.

However, with the water flowing at danger mark in Dharamkot, the danger of breach still remains in 28 villages which are on high alert.

Sutlej water at Phillaur receding

The Sutlej water levels at Ladhowal bridge near Phillaur crossed the danger mark of 237.58 meters Sunday midnight and touched 238 meters. However, it was back to 237.37 meters — a little below than danger mark — at 3 pm on Monday, as per data provided by HS Walia, executive engineer (XEN), drainage department, Ludhiana, which he said was a ‘good sign’.

The Sutlej water flow at Phillaur also registered a continuous decline and readings for Monday were:

11 AM- 2,61,400 cusecs
12 Noon- 2,59,000 cusecs
1 PM- 2,54,400 cusecs
3 PM- 2,23,400 cusecs
6 PM- 1,33,000 cusecs

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