Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced that his government would canalise all rivers of the state taking technical support from the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
He said so after visiting the flood-hit Gidderpindi village in Jalandhar and Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district.
Around 70 villages have been hit by floods here due to eight major breaches in the Dhussi Bandh in Jalandhar district alone.
Amarinder also said that water from Bhakra dam was released only after it crossed its maximum limit. “Heavy rain in Himachal in just one day led to heavy inflow of water into the dam. Families in flood-hit areas are safe and the water level is decreasing in some parts. But my only fear is that if there is more rain, there will be losses,” he added.
About the slow flow of water near Gidderpindi due to accumulation of eroded sand and wild vegetation, which is posing a risk to villages, the CM said he had come to know about it and would figure out a solution.
Earlier in the day, Amarinder visited Sarupwal in Sultanpur Lodhi sub-division, where the overflowing Sutlej affected 62 villages. He also had a brief meeting with farmers, and promised compensation to the affected ones as soon as water recedes and special girdawri (assessment) is completed.
Talking to media after an aerial survey to assess the damage in Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthala) and Jalandhar, he announced a project to realign river streams and courses, besides strengthening and widening of river embankments for a permanent solution to floods.
He also announced dedicated village-relief teams in affected areas. Each team would comprise officers of health, civil supply and animal husbandry departments, and would ensure regular supply of food, medicines and fodder.
The CM told mediapersons in Gidderpindi that even if the Centre fails to extend support, the state would ensure full support to every person affected by floods.
He further ordered the drainage department to immediately identify potential breach points and plug those on priority, engaging the Army, NDRF or SDRF, if required.
He also asked Jalandhar Division Commissioner B Purusartha to coordinate relief work in Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts.
Major breach plugged
In Shahkot area where four major breaches have taken place, no work of plugging could be started on Thursday.
Meanwhile, one of the major breaches which was around 165-ft in Phillaur was plugged in Mau Sahib village by the district administration on Thursday with the help from various departments, MGNREGA workers and around 200 volunteers each of Baba Kashmira Singh, Baba Tarvinder Singh Sangh Dhesia and Baba Nirmal Singh.
ADC Jasbir Singh said there were four major breaches in villages Mau Sahib and Mionwal due to floods and this was one of biggest breaches.
People still living on terraces
People however continued to grapple with floods on Thursday. Some people are still living on terraces of their homes under the scorching sun. Water was flowing into villages in full speed even after four days of floods.
Residents of Gidderpindi, Barajot Singh, BaTawali and Kutbewal expressed dissatisfaction with relief work and said that only social organisations and individual people helping them in their time of crisis.