Sutlej breaches banks in Ludhiana village, flood threat looms
Due to incessant rains for the last two days, the water breached the banks early Tuesday morning and inundated fields along the banks, which sparked panic among residents.Updated: Sep 26, 2018 12:21 IST
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
The swollen Sutlej river breached its banks in Gari Fazil village, approximately 45 km from Ludhiana, on Tuesday after the release of 48,000 cusecs water from Ropar headworks in Sarsa, Siswan and Savaan rivulets, which caused massive erosion.
Due to incessant rains for the last two days, the water breached the banks early Tuesday morning and inundated fields along the banks, which sparked panic among residents.
“The incident took place early in the morning (Tuesday) when the rising water level eroded the embankment (fencing containing of stones and iron net),” said irrigation department sub-divisional officer (SDO) Gurtej Singh Garcha.
The rising water level which was followed by massive erosion, caused panic waves among residents of 10 villages, including Mattewara, Gari Sheru and Buta, located along the banks of the river.
Announcements were made at village gurdwaras and residents were asked to remain alert.
Soon, irrigation, forest department and block development and panchayat office swung into action and a team of 12 workers from the irrigation department was pressed into service to plug the breach.
“We are cutting branches of tress and placing them in the area where the erosion has occurred. It is an emergency situation and the most effective arrangement is to protect river banks now,” said Garcha. He added that the topography of the place was such that the river would hit straight at the bank, but due to heavy rains, it changed its course in Gari Fazil.
Deputy commissioner (DC) Pardeep Ahgrawal and divisional forest of officer (DFO) Charanjit Singh had inspected the spot on Monday. “They were briefed about the vulnerable points where the rising water level could erode the banks,” said Garcha.
Forest guard Mohd Mustfa, who was inspecting the area with a BDP official, said they were placing stumps and trees branches along the banks to plug the erosion.
What caused sudden flooding?
The irrigation department official said rain for the last two days at higher reaches led to flash flood in Sirsa, Swan and Bhudi seasonal rivulets due to which there was a rise in water level in Ropar head works.
The SDO said water was flowing 4ft below the danger mark and added that the scale to measure the highest flood level (HFL) 779.40 ft is installed at Phillaur. At 2pm on Tuesday, the HFL was 775.20 ft, the SDO said.
‘Illegal sand mining a threat’
The residents of vulnerable villages set up a gurdwara on the banks of the river at Gari Fazil to prevent any mishap. They said erosion had taken place at the same place in the past which had led to large-scale crop damage and devastated several nearby villages.
Surinder of Gari Sheru said illegal sand mining in the area was a serious threat to the river banks. “A visit at night and one could see huge tippers carrying sand from the river banks. The movement of tractors has eroded the river bank from many places,” he added.
First Published: Sep 26, 2018 12:19 IST