Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday visited the flood-affected areas in Ajnala sector and Tarn Taran district to inspect the restoration work along the banks of the Ravi and Sutlej rivers.
On his tour of Ajnala, he had the company of parliamentarian Rattan Singh Ajnala, legislator Amarpal Singh Boni, principal secretary SK Sandhu, financial commissioner (revenue) NS Kang, principal secretary (irrigation) Sarvesh Kaushal, inspector general (border range) Ishwar Chander and deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal.
Badal reviewed the restoration of an earthen check dam and was happy that timely action by the administration and the help of local people and Border Security Force (BSF) had prevented it from breaking and causing a major tragedy. He said throughout the operation, the administration had updated him every hour.
"With the construction of Ranjit Sagar Dam, the probability of flood in Ajnala sector is reduced to quite an extent and it is one of the rarest occasions when the inflow swelled to 5-lakh cusecs in short time against an average of 24,000 cusecs. "Yet, in the nick of time, the administration rose to the occasion and plugged the breach, saving many lives," said Badal.
On a query about flood-control measures, the CM said the drainage department had project a worth Rs 161 crore for strengthening the embankments in the region and he was on a three-day assessment tour to the flood-affected areas of Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur, Fazilka and Muktsar.
He accepted the locals' demand for a Pontoon bridge on the Ravi in Ajnala sector.
Later, with irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon and senior Akali leader Ranjit Singh Brahampura, he visited the flood-hit areas of Tarn Taran district and also inspected the situation at Harike, Patti and Khadoor Sahib.
He said the government would lay a concrete road along the earthen dam from Harike towards Muthianwali. On farmers' demand, he also agreed ask banks to accept repayment of farm loans in monthly slabs instead of lump sum by September 30.