The flood situation in Sardulgarh area of Punjab’s Mansa district worsened today with water entering two more villages, while situation in Haryana’s Fatehabad and Sirsa districts remained worrisome.
The twenty-two villages in Sardulgarh area were worst affected, even as continuous work of plugging breaches at weak points has been on for the past three days.
The overflowing of river Ghaggar from the bridge connecting Sardulgarh town to headquarters Mansa on both sides remained a point of concern since water-level has not receded over the last 24 hours, officials said.
Punjab has reported 22 deaths while 11 flood-related deaths have occurred in neighbouring Haryana.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who today made a visit to the flood-hit areas of Sirsa district, said that a Central team would visit the flood-affected districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Fatehabad and Sirsa within next one or two days to assess the loss.
The state government has sought a financial assistance of more than Rs 1,000 crore from the Centre to compensate for the damage suffered due to floods.
Earlier today, Hooda spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on phone and requested him to expedite the visit of a Central team to flood-affected areas for assessing the damage.
The Chief Minister also made an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas. While the situation in worst-affected districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra and Kaithal has improved, the situation in Sirsa and Fatehabad remained worrisome.
Meanwhile, Commissioner (Faridkot Division) and DIG (Bathinda Range) have been camping in Mansa for the past two days and reviewing the situation constantly.
An Army column from Bathinda sub-area is now stationed at Sardulgarh town and ready for any help that would be required, officials said, adding the jawans have 10 boats which can be used in rescue work.
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) unit is already stationed at Sardulgarh Base Camp and is assessing the situation on a day-to-day basis along with the administration.
The NDRF is equipped with six boats and other rescue machinery and would be deployed whenever the need arises.
The Punjab Government is keeping round-the-clock vigil on the situation so that water may not enter low-lying areas of Mansa town.
Over 1,049 villages — Rupnagar (58), Patiala (490), Sangrur (28), SAS Nagar (55), Ludhiana (200), Fatehgarh Sahib (190), Moga (6) and Mansa (22) — have been marooned in Punjab affecting a population of four lakh and damaging crops in an area of 2,71,784 acres, Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said.
Around 2868.75 kilometres of roads have also been damaged, the Deputy Chief Minister, who reviewed the flood situation with senior officials, added.
Badal asked Deputy Commissioners of the flood-hit districts to supply tarpaulin, chlorine tablets, medicines, dry ration and animal fodder to the affected.
Meanwhile, more than 15,000 acres of land has been affected in Haryana’s Sirsa district due to breaches at several places in Ghaggar River. Army has already been called to assist the rescue and relief operations.
The NGOs were also helping the district administration in flood relief measures.
While flood situation has improved in Ambala and Kurukshetra districts, it continued to remain worrisome in parts of Fatehabad and Sirsa districts.
A total of 2, 85,700 hectares of sown area, including 2, 59,100 hectares under paddy and 26,600 hectares under fodder, has been damaged in flood affected areas.
Haryana Irrigation Minister Ajay Singh Yadav today wrote a letter to his Punjab counterpart Janmeja Singh Sekhon and urged him to direct irrigation officials to take corrective measures, including plugging breaches in the SYL on Punjab side.
While the farmers would be compensated for damage to crops due to floods after conducting a ‘girdawari’ (loss assessment), compensation would also be provided to those who had taken land on contract for cultivation, Haryana’s Public Health Engineering Minister Randeep Singh said.
Rains in Patiala, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib were reported in the state as water in Ghaggar and Bhakra Main Line flowed above warning level near RD 460.
Joga-Mansa recorded a rainfall of 40 mm, Mallanwala (52 mm), Ferozepur City (38mm), Tibri, Sathiali and Bhimpur in Gurdaspur district (35mm), Madhopur (45 mm) and Rohti (44 mm) during the last 24 hours.
Water-level in Bhakra Dam was recorded at 1,556.40 feet, 19.80 feet above the last year’s level whereas inflow in the Dam was 39,148 cusecs against 38,577 cusecs in last year.
The level of Pong dam was 20.17 feet above last year level whereas inflow was recorded 11,551 cusecs against 7,627 cusecs in last year.
The outflow in BML RD was recorded at 13,750 cusecs, Tangri near Patiala-Pehowa road (11,000 cusecs) and Beas at Dhilwan (17,500 cusecs)