Ghaggar breach widens, crop on 8,000 acres submerged
The Ghaggar river continued to flow above danger mark in Sangrur on Friday, a day after it breached an embankment at Phulad village of Moonak sub-division of the district, with teams of the army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) struggling to plug the breach that widened to more than 150 feet.
The floodwater inundated paddy crop on 5,000-acre land at Surjan Bhaini, Salemgarh, Makorad Sahib, Bhundar Bhaini and Phulad villages besides Moonak town. The roads to Surjan Bhaini and Makorad Sahib were blocked. The water level in the fields was from 2 to 4 feet.
In the neighbouring Patiala district, crop on nearly 3,000-acre land got submerged in water on Friday after the Ghaggar overflowed into fields located along its banks near Badshahpur village in Patran sub-division. Floodwater entered Harchandpura, Arnetu, Uurja, Bhagomajra, Seouna Kath, Uralana and Kartarpur villages.
Sangrur administration officials said the teams will not be able to plug the breach till Friday night as progress of work was slow as it was being done manually. Deputy commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said, “The teams are trying to plug the breach. The river flow is likely to decrease in the next 48 hours. The the floodwater will not affect paddy till next four days,” said Thori.
The administration claimed that 3,000 acres land was submerged in water.
The residents of the affected villages alleged that the administration failed to make proper arrangements to handle a flood-like situation.
“The breach could be plugged on Thursday but the administration had no means to handle the situation when the breach was just 5 feet. Now, the water has inundated 2,000 acres of land in our village and the roads have been blocked,” said Mangat Ram, 35, a resident of Surjan Bhaini village.
The residents claimed that crop over 10,000-acre land has submerged so far. Farmers and farm labourers are facing a tough time bringing fodder for cattle.
Patiala deputy commissioner Kumar Amit said the river overflowed when wild weed clogged near the Khanauri bridge.
“The situation is under control as the works on removing weed from water has been started. People have been asked to cooperate the administration in handling the situation,” he said.
Fearing floods, many villagers started shifting their belongings and livestock to safer places. “The water has been overflowing for 24 hours as the work on removing wild weed is being carried at the snail’s pace,” said Balwinder Singh of Badshahpur.