Flood situation in Haryana worsens

Special Correspondent
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Army called in to assist in rescue and relief operations in flooded Kaithal villages

Not only in Haryana: An elderly villager is carried by two men on their shoulders to safety through flood waters near Patiala in Punjab. PHOTO: AFP
Not only in Haryana: An elderly villager is carried by two men on their shoulders to safety through flood waters near Patiala in Punjab. PHOTO: AFP

The flood situation in Haryana worsened on Thursday as the Kaithal district authorities called in the Army to assist in the rescue and relief operations after seven villages-Tatiana, Khushal Majra, Baupur, Hemu Majra, Lalpur, Seo-Majra and Bhatian- got flooded due to a breach on both sides of the Ghaggar river in Tatiana village.

Kaithal Deputy Commissioner Amneet P. Kumar said that the flooding had affected over 5,000 people. The breach had been noticed in the Bhakra Main Line (BML) Ghaggar canal.

In another development, Hansi-Butana Link Canal suffered breach due to excessive flow of water in the Ghaggar near Tatiana and Kharal villages.

She said that the third pillar of the canal was damaged due to rapid flow of water in the Ghaggar which was flowing above the danger mark at Guhla. She added that the voluntary organisations were helping the district authorities in dealing with the grim situation.

Eatables were being provided to the flood victims with the assistance of NGOs. Teams of doctors had also been sent and the Animal Husbandry and Dairying Department had been directed to provide medicines in the villages to protect the livestock against water- borne diseases.

Meanwhile, fresh rain caused three breaches in the Bibipur Jheel in the Kurukshetra district which is already inundated with flood waters.

Railway officials said that the traffic was disrupted on the Ambala-Delhi section for the third consecutive day as a part of the railway track caved in near Shahbad in Kurukshetra district.

The Kurukshetra district authorities called three more columns of the Army to deal with the situation and to intensify the efforts top to plug in the breach in the SYL Canal near village Jogna Khera. Kurukshetra Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Aggarwal said that the overall situation was improving in the district.

An official spokesman said here that Thanesar, Pehowa, Shahabad tehsils and Ismailabad and Babain sub- tehsils were affected by the floods in Kurukshetra district.

He further said that about one lakh acres of agriculture land of about 247 villages in the district had been affected by flood water. Mainly paddy and maize crops had been affected due to standing flood water. The floods had also caused damages in residential areas of 67 villages.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will again visit the flood- affected areas of Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Ambala districts on Friday to review the situation. An official spokesman said that the Chief Minister was continuously monitoring the situation.

The spokesman further confirmed that the flood fury had so far claimed five lives, three in Ambala and two in Kurukshetra. Also, six cattle heads had reportedly perished in Kurukshetra district. More boats have been sent from Chandigarh to the flood-affected areas to evacuate the victims to safer areas.

Mr.Hooda said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had talked to him telephonically and assured assistance of the Centre to effectively deal with the flood situation and further intensify rescue and relief operations in the State.

Meanwhile, the situation in Ambala district, which witnessed flood fury for almost three days, was improving as the water had started receding, claimed Deputy Commissioner S.P.Srow.

An official spokesman said that no fresh breach had taken place but the water level in the Satluj Yamuna Link Canal was still at an alarming level and the situation was being continuously monitored.

Interestingly , local residents of Ambala City and Ambala Cantonment and other areas criticised the Haryana Government for not restoring the power and water supply. A senior citizen said on the point of anonymity that they were virtually “powerless and waterless'' for the past more than 48 hours.

And in Shahbad, people, agitated over the power and water blackout, blocked the National Highway-One (G.T.Road). This created virtual traffic chaos and the senior officers had a tough time in asking them to disperse as efforts were on to restore the power and water supply.

An official spokesman of the Ambala district said that Nodal Officers had been appointed to ensure food, water and other facilities to the flood- affected people of Ambala City and Ambala Cantt.



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