Tuesday, 20 Aug, 1.40 pm National Herald

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Over 55 killed in rain related incidents in North India, Yamuna breaches danger level

The continuous heavy rain for the past three days created a flood-like situation in parts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. All the rivers are in spate and endangering human life besides cattle and crops. Over 55 people have died in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh over the weekend as rain continued to wreak havoc in the region.

Delhi, too, has been put on flood alert with the Yamuna breaching the danger level. The level of water in Yamuna river has risen to 205.94 metres, above the danger mark of 205.3 metres.

Over 10,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in the national capital. A Delhi government official said the water level is expected to rise further as Haryana has released a large amount of water from a barrage on Monday.

More than 22 people were killed and a number of others injured in rain-related incidents in Himachal Pradesh alone in the past 24 hours. The Met Department said the state received the highest-ever rainfall for a 24-hour period, since records began almost 70 years ago.

The rain caused heavy losses to road and telephone network in the state thus causing an estimated loss of over ₹450 crores. Over 500 people were stranded in several parts of the state by landslides and flash floods. The raging Ravi has washed away the Chamba-Bharmour road thus disconnecting the Bharmour and the Holi tribal valleys of Chamba district.

The swirling water of Beas has flooded the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway at several places and disrupted the heavy vehicular traffic. A large number of tourists were trapped in different locations as over 185 roads are blocked in Mandi and Kullu districts. Rain also caused damage in parts of Hamirpur and Bilaspur districts.

A major breach was reported in the Dhussi bundh in Punjab at four places in Bholewal, Meowal and two other places near Phillaur in Jalandhar district. The death of a 3-year-old has been reported from Ropar due to drowning. Over 35 villages, which have been flooded after excess water from Bhakra Dam was released a day ago, have been asked to shift to safer places. In Punjab, the worst affected districts include Pathankot, Ropar and Ludhiana.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh announced ₹100 Crore for emergency relief and rehabilitation measures in the flood-hit regions of the state and declared it a natural calamity. He also said a special Girdawari will be conducted as soon as the water level recedes to ensure adequate compensation for the affected farmers.

The CM toured the flood-affected areas of Rupnagar, where he evaluated the damage caused by the torrential rains of the past 72 hours and met the people who had suffered damage as a result of the flooding. He expressed grief over the death of three persons due to roof collapse in Ludhiana district.

The CM also reviewed the overall flood situation in the state with senior officials. He was informed by the Chief Engineer Drainage that the overall situation in the rivers Beas and Ravi was under control though danger continued to lurk in areas adjacent to the Sutlej river and further downstream, at Harike Headworks in Ferozepur.

The Punjab chief minister assured of all possible assistance from his government to the locals. Amarinder Singh was also briefed by the local officials on the damage caused to the standing crops, houses, public installations and livestock due to heavy discharge of water from the catchment area of Bhakra dam.

In Haryana, the roaring Yamuna has not only brought misery to people in village along its banks but also has risen to alarming levels.

With the discharge of excess water from Hathni Kund barrage in Yamuna Nagar, flood like situation emerged in Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, Faridabad and Palwal districts.

Haryana's Department of Revenue and Disaster Management issued a high flood warning on Sunday alerting deputy commissioners of Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, Faridabad and Palwal. Several villages in Sonipat district have been asked to vacate as water is expected to enter the villages on Monday night. With the assistance of Police, the Indian Air Force rescued nine persons including women and children who had got stuck in Karnal.

The rescue operation was carried out by the IAF in the early hours of Monday despite adverse weather, said Navdeep Singh Virk, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Haryana.

BBMB stops power generation

An official spokespersons of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) informed that the water level in reservoir of Bhakra Dam was 1681 feet on Monday morning against the permissible storage level of 1680 feet. Considering the available forecast from the India Meteorological Department in the entire catchment area of the river Sutlej from Tibet up to the dam site on Friday, the Board took the decision to release about 19000 cusec through spillway of the dam in addition to the releases from turbines from Friday, in order to minimise synchronisation of water flow generated in the rivulets downstream of the dam.

Though every effort was made to restrict the releases from Bhakra, however, considering the present level of 1681 feet and the heavy inflows to the tune of more than 1,00,000 lakh cusecs coming into the reservoir, it has been decided to increase the release through spillway of Bhakra dam from 19,000 cusec to 41,000 cusec, in addition to the releases from turbines.

The BBMB has stopped generation of power from Pong Dam. Thus, water release of 10,000 cusec for generation in Pong dam has also been stopped to minimize the flooding at Harike barrage.

The position of water in Bhakra dam is being monitored continuously and is under control. All necessary steps are being taken for the safety of the Dam and for the release of minimum possible water through spillway, downstream of the dam.

with inputs from NH Web Desk

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: National Herald India
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