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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Ghaggar river breaches banks in Sangrur; army, NDRF called in to plug gap

Paddy crop on 2,000-acre land submerged as river continues to flow above danger mark; teams requisitioned by administration on their toes to plug 70-foot-long breach

punjab Updated: Jul 19, 2019 12:04 IST
Avtar Singh
Avtar Singh
Hindustan Times, Sangrur
The breach, caused by rising level of water in Ghaggar due to heavy rain, developed at 6am and  went up to 70 feet by the evening as the teams of the army, NDRF and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) failed to plug it.
The breach, caused by rising level of water in Ghaggar due to heavy rain, developed at 6am and went up to 70 feet by the evening as the teams of the army, NDRF and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) failed to plug it.(Bharat Bhushan / HT Photo)
         

The Ghaggar river on Thursday crossed the danger mark in Sangrur district and caused a 70-foot-long breach on its banks at Phulad village of Moonak sub-division, forcing the administration to call in the army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to plug it.

Paddy crop on at least 2,000-acre land was submerged in water within hours of the river breaching its banks. The floodwater had not entered the residential areas till filing of the report.

The breach, caused by rising level of water in the river due to heavy rain, developed at 6am and was initially nearly 25 feet but it went up to 70 feet by the evening as the teams of the army, NDRF and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) failed to plug it.

The river continued to flow above danger mark till late Thursday. On Wednesday, the river was flowing at 747.8 feet, just 2 feet below the danger level.

Residents of Phulad and other villages alleged that the breach was a result of a negligent approach of the state drainage department and the district administration.

Sangrur deputy commissioner Ghanshyam Thori and senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sandeep Garg inspected the site and assured the residents that the breach will be plugged soon.

“The situation is being monitored by Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. To deal with any emergency, the district administration and police force along with the army personnel are keeping tabs on the emerging situation,” Thori said.

“As per initial reports, crop on nearly 2,000 acres has submerged in three villages. We have ordered to make adequate arrangements for the safety of people, their property and livestock,” he added.

The residents of the area said that the breach will affect villages of Surjan Bhaini, Salemgarh, Makorad Sahib, Bhundar Bhaini and Phulad besides Moonak town.

“The breach developed in the fields of Maghar Singh who owns 10 acres of land. The water will damage crops on around 10,000 acres. The leaders of political parties make tall claims every year but fail to make proper arrangements,” said Jagtar Singh, a Phulad resident.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU Dakaunda) general secretary Jagmohan Singh demanded per acre compensation of Rs 40, 000 for farmers.

“Though monsoon was late in Punjab, the administration did not do anything to make proper arrangements,” he said.

Leader of opposition in Punjab assembly Harpal Singh Cheema said cleanliness and repair work was not carried out on embankments of the river that were weak.

First Published: Jul 19, 2019 09:11 IST

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