A breach in the Sirhind canal near Bir Talab village of the district created panic among the people of the area on Saturday as the fields got flooded due to the breach.
The breach occurred at RD 431500/L of the Bathinda branch canal at about 4 pm. The width of the breach was about 70 feet. Though, officials reached the spot, yet the work to control the water flowing into the fields could not be started.
The breach occurred about 100 metre from the deer safari. Last year also, a similar incident had taken place and the water had entered the zoo.
Principal secretary (irrigation) Sarvesh Kaushal told HT that there was no immediate threat to the people of the nearby areas.
He said, "The reduction of 1,000 cusec water from the source has been ordered, while to further reduce the supply of water in the branch, 100 cusecs water has been diverted to the second Patiala feeder and 100 cusecs to the Kotla branch. Another 100 cusecs more shall be diverted to the Ghaggar link as soon as XEN BML diverts the water from the Ghaggar link to the channels and makes way for additional intake."
Kaushal said that the irrigation department officers are supervising the closing of the breach and the deputy commissioner of Batinda has been informed of the situation and coordination has been fully established.
"He has been asked to inquire into the cause of the breach. Chief engineer (canals) has been ordered to supervise the plugging operations personally on a war footing. Engineers from surrounding districts, heavy machines and manpower are being rushed to the site. Plugging operations will be in the full swing by tomorrow and the breach is likely to be plugged in three days," said Kaushal.
Deputy commissioner K K Yadav said, "Water has entered an of 150 acres at a low level. We have reduced water of the canal and working to clear it as soon as possible."