Excess Bhakra water released to Pakistan in Ferozepur; 52 border villages evacuated
Seven of 30 gates of Hussainiwala Headworks in the district were opened to release excess water into Pakistan, to handle the flood-like situation here following the release of 3.4 lakh cubic feet per second (cusec) water from Harike Headworks, on Sunday. A cusec of water flow translates into around 30litre per second.
Over 2.4 lakh cusec water was released from Ropar Headworks in Punjab; 70,000 cusec was released from Harikee Headworks, 61km away from Ferozepur. The water in such huge quantity will reach Ferozepur late night and might affect low-lying area adjoining the Sutlej. At the time of the filing of the report, Harike had 70,000 cusec water and overnight, it is expected to reach up to 1.5 lakh cusec due to the discharge of more water from the Bhakra Dam.
“We have opened gates at Hussainiwala. Excess water is being released to Pakistan, but if they stop the water flow through a bank and it comes back, areas of Jalalabad and Fazilka will be hit,” an irrigation official, posted at the Hussianiwala Headworks, told HT on Sunday.
Following the rise in water level, the district administration had instructed natives of 52 villages in the catchment area of the Sutlej river to evacuate the area till Sunday evening. Some of the affected villagers were Ghatti Rajjo Ke, Bhanewala, Jallo Kee, Tendiwala, Chandiwala, Rahimee Kee and Chughe Hazara Singh Wala.
BSF intensifies patrolling; uses motorboats
With the release of the water and the rain that lashed the dsitrict, fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border was also sumbmerged, besides one or two watch towers of the Border Security Force (BSF). The force intensified patrolling along the border through motor boats. Ferozepur DC Chander Gaind along with Vivek Sheel Soni, SSP Ferozepur and a battery of local officials inspected the Dhusi bank along the Sutlej river and took stock of the situation.
“About 3.4 lakh cusec water was released from the Harike headworks and it might reach Ferozepur on Sunday night late. We are trying to handle the situation, while rehabilitation camps having major facilities for life have been set up,” added Gaind. “Of 52 senstive villages, 38 falls under the Ferozepur sub division, while the rest are in the Zira sub-division of Ferozepur,” added Fazilka deputy commissioner Manpreet Singh Chatwal and other officials inspected villages along the Sutlej.
“The administration must prepare in adavance to tackle the situation and take steps like the strengthening of river banks and cleaning of drains in time. With no preparation, the common man always faces the heat,” said Satpal Singh, 56, of Chughe Hazara Singh, a border village along the Sutlej. “Be it tension across the fencing or excess of water in the Sutlej river, ultimately only we suffer,” said Kulwant Kaur, another border resident