Panic at 3 am as floodwaters enter homes in Chandigarh’s Khuda Lahora, Mohali areas hit
There was panic at 3 am on Sunday as water released from check dams after heavy rainfall in the area flooded the Patiala Ki Rao seasonal rivulet or choe, inundating a 100 houses because of clogged drains in Chandigarh’s Khuda Lahora Colony near the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, reports say.
Opening up of the Sukhna Lake floodgates to drain out the water too led to flooding of other areas in Mohali’s Baltana.
The worst affected areas in Baltana were the police station, cremation ground and two marriage palaces. Senior officials of administration, including the sub divisional magistrate (SDM), have reached the spot.
Khuda Lahora residents alleged no warning had been issued by the administration about water being released from the check dams.
Rohit Thakur, a local resident, said, “Water entered the houses at around 3 am when we were sleeping. Of the 450 houses here, around a 100 were under three feet of water. There was panic. We didn’t know that the water had been intentionally discharged by the government.There was no alert from the UT administration.”
MC officials visited the area more than an hour after the flooding and started working on the cleaning up the storm drains in the choe, and by 6 am water levels had started to recede, Thakur added.
“Sewage was mixed with the water overflowing from the choe and flooded the houses and street. The main sewage pipe and storm water drainage of the colony opens up in the choe, the level of which at some places is elevated because of heavy siltation,” said PC Rana, a local whose home was inundated.
While the sewage lines are maintained by the MC, the UT engineering department handles the desiltation work. “We have been requesting to both for the last 10 years to clean up the area but no action has been taken,” Rana added.
When contacted Raj Bala Malik, Chandigarh mayor and also councillor of the ward, said, “When the flooding reports came from Khuda Lahora Colony, immediately MC teams were sent. All the 22 drainage pipes were clogged with sand and other floodwater debris. We have now cleaned up three of these, and work on cleaning up the rest of the pipes is going on.”
Malik said the villagers or MC had not received any warning that water would be released upstream for the rivulet, adding that the civic body had been regularly requesting the administration to clear up the stream, but “this problem persists.”
Till the filing of the report, water had receded from houses, but the streets remained waterlogged.
Engineers of the UT administration also had to open the floodgates of the Sukhna Lake early on Sunday after water levels touched the danger mark of 1,163 feet.