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Pak releases water in Sutlej, Punjab villages flooded

August 23, 2019 00:11 IST

At least 19 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Uttar Pradesh where major rivers are in spate, while in Punjab several villages were inundated on Thursday after Pakistan opened gates of headworks on the Sutlej river.

In Delhi, water of the Yamuna river receded below the danger mark of 205.33 metres on Thursday. The level was breached on Monday following which rail traffic over the old Yamuna bridge, was suspended between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon.

Only traces of rainfall were recorded in a few areas of the national capital on Thursday which continued to experience sultry weather.

 

As many as 17 villages of Punjab's border district Ferozepur were flooded after Pakistan opened gates of headworks on the Sutlej river. Several villages of Ferozepur are already inundated because of the recent rains and breaches in embankments of the river.

"With the opening of gates of headworks (used for regulating water flow) in Kasur area by Pakistan, 17 villages on our side (located near India-Pak border) have been affected," Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepur Chander Gaind said.

"Polluted water of tanneries in Pakistan got mixed with the river water," he said, adding Army and National Disaster Response Force teams are carrying out rescue and rehabilitation works in the affected areas.

Following recent heavy rains and the release of excess water from the Bhakra dam, the swollen Sutlej river and its tributaries had inundated villages in several areas in Punjab, causing extensive damage to crops, especially paddy, and homes in low-lying areas.

According to a Punjab Agriculture department official, floods in the state have already damaged about 4,000 hectares of crops, with the maximum damage witnessed in Rupnagar on the downstream of the Sutlej river.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the Punjab government will take the technical support of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to canalise all rivers in the state.

After an aerial survey to assess the damage caused by flooding in Sultanpur Lodhi of Kapurthala and Jalandhar areas, Singh announced a project to realign river streams and courses besides strengthening and widening river embankments.

In Uttar Pradesh, at least 19 people have lost their lives since Wednesday while raging waters of major rivers disrupted normal life.

Three deaths were reported in Amethi, two each in Raebareli, Sonbhadra and Mirzapur, and one each in Saharanpur, Hamirpur, Pratapgarh, Fathepur, Basti and, Ayodhya. Also, four persons died in Ballia and Bhadohi, according to an official report.

A Central Water Commission report said the Ganga was in spate at different places along its route in the state. It is flowing just below the danger mark at Garh Mukteshwar and Fatehgarh and is crossing the danger mark at Naraora in Bulandshahr, Kachchla Bridge in Badaun and Ballia.

Water of the Ganga river has entered some houses in urban areas of Ballia, forcing people to take shelter on rooftops.

The Yamuna river in Mathura, Sharda in Palia Kalan and Ghaghra in Barabanki were flowing above the danger mark, the report said.

Meanwhile, following respite from heavy rains in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district, restoration of damaged roads has been taken up on priority.

The network of roads in Mori block of the district was hit by cloudbursts and landslides, triggered by heavy rainfall on August 18, which left 16 dead and six missing.

With a private helicopter engaged in relief work in the district crashing on Wednesday, rescue operations by air have been temporarily suspended but the transportation of relief material to the affected people by available road routes continued on Thursday.

Parts of Himachal Pradesh received light to moderate rains since Wednesday. Supply of potable water is yet to restored in parts of the state after landslides and flash floods triggered by the recent heavy rains damaged the supply lines.

Heavy rainfall was observed in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and at isolated places in coastal Andhra Pradesh and coastal Karnataka.

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