After a breach in a canal in Moga on Sunday, a 25-30 feet-wide breach occurred in the Sirhind canal at Gobindpura village here on Monday morning at about 4 am. As a result, water flooded houses, streets and nearby farms in the village.
Water flooded about 30 acres of fields. As the announcement about the breach in the canal was made through a loudspeaker, people started gathering on the spot. The irrigation department was informed at 5 am and the officials reached the site at 5.30 am.
People joined hands to plug the breach and the situation was brought under control in 6-7 hours. The breach was plugged with sand-filled bags and by using a JCB machine and tractors.
Sub-divisional magistrate of Bathinda Damanjeet Singh Mann reached the spot and assessed the situation. MLA of Bathinda (rural) Darshan Singh Kotfatta also visited the village in the afternoon.
It is not the first time that a breach has occurred in canal. It is the fourth case since May 2011.
The HT team found that banks of the canal are badly damaged at many points. There has also been a thick growth of weeds along the banks of the canal which interrupts water flow of the canal. The sides of the canal have not been bricklined.
Only a stretch of one kilometre has been brick-lined near the Thermal power plant and the Janta Nagar area of the city. Now the banks are damaged at many places. The government obviously had done nothing for the safety of villages and localities around it.
In November 2013, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon laid the foundation stone of the `40-crore renovation and bricklining project of the Sirhind canal at Bathinda, but so far no further action has been taken on the project.
Superintending engineer of the canal lining circle, Bathinda, Adarsh Kumar Bansal, said that he did not know about the brick-lining project and denied to say anything about its completion.
The people, living in the localities near the canal, said that the banks had become so weak that a bigger breach could take place again any time.
“The government had not done anything on the ground; they just make announcements and lay foundation stones,” says a resident of National Colony about the brick-lining project.