Several acres of crops, including paddy, maize and green fodder, were damaged either due to overflowing of the Beas river or due to the heavy downpour in Khadoor Sahib tehsil of the district on Tuesday.
The affected farmers claimed that the flooding was caused after the water level in the
river rose due to heavy rain in the catchment areas of the river in Himachal Pradesh. The administration, however, maintained that the flooding was not caused due to the overflowing of the Beas.
Officials said due to heavy rain in the district, those crops got submerged which were in low-lying areas close to the river and this occurred almost every year during monsoon.
The administration said though there was a rise in the level of the Beas, the water had not crossed its embankment.
Some of the worst affected villages where crops were destroyed include Mundapind, Kharka, Chamba, Johal, Dhunda, Kamoj Dhayewala and Karmoowal.
Harjinder Singh of Chamba claimed that several acres of his standing crop were washed away after the Beas water flowed across its embankment and entered the fields.
Similarly, Ajit Singh and Gurchetan Singh claimed that due to sudden rise in the water of the Beas, their crops got submerged.
The affected farmers have now joined hands and are demanding a "special girdawari" to assess the losses and accordingly pay them compensation.
The farmers claimed that their villages were flood-prone but the administration had not taken any preventive steps to raise and strengthen the embankment.
Khadoor Sahib SDM Bakhtawar Singh said it was usual for the fields adjoining the banks of the river to get submerged after heavy rain. He, however, dismissed the claims of compensation and "special girdawari" on the grounds that "there was no substantial loss of crops".
The SDM said flooding was not an extraordinary emergency and the administration was keeping a vigil along the Beas. He added that Khadoor Sahib and Chohla Sahib tehsildars had visited the affected areas and would send their reports on the damage to the crops.
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