Kapurthala/Gurdaspur, August 17 (PTI) – Army and NDRF teams successfully rescued close to 300 individuals from inundated villages in Punjab’s Kapurthala district. The relentless efforts of relief and rescue operations persisted across various flood-affected districts within the state.
Karnail Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Kapurthala, confirmed that six teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Army were swiftly deployed with six boats to extricate people trapped by the floods. All those who were evacuated have been safely relocated to designated relief camps.
The flooding, stemming from the release of excessive water from the Bhakra Dam, has impacted a total of 22 villages along the Beas river. Karnail Singh expressed optimism that the situation is likely to ameliorate by the upcoming Friday.
In certain areas of Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Rupnagar, and Kapurthala districts, the excessive water discharge from the Pong and Bhakra dams has led to inundation.
Punjab’s Chief Minister, Bhagwant Mann, personally inspected the flood-affected regions of Hoshiarpur district, navigating through the waters in a boat. Mann assured the public that the entire government machinery, including state government helicopters, is fully accessible to aid the affected populace during this challenging time.
Mann underscored the state government’s commitment to provide compensation for losses incurred due to the floods, even for minor ones such as livestock. He reassured the affected citizens that comprehensive support is available.
The flood situation remains precarious in Rupnagar district, as the Sutlej river continues to receive additional water release from the Bhakra Dam. The Army and NDRF teams are steadfastly engaged in rescue operations, tirelessly working to avert breaches and rescue those stranded in marooned villages.
Harjot Singh Bains, Punjab’s minister, is on-site in Hoshiarpur, overseeing the coordination of rescue and relief endeavors. Similar efforts are being undertaken in Gurdaspur district, with the Army and NDRF units aiding rescue and relief work.
In Kapurthala, an unfortunate incident occurred where an individual was feared to have drowned in the floodwaters of the Beas river while attempting to rescue his cattle in the Mand areas of Talwandi Kuka village.
Chief Minister Mann elucidated that the recent flooding has been instigated by substantial rainfall in neighboring Himachal Pradesh, which subsequently prompted the controlled release of excess water from the Pong and Bhakra dams.
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), responsible for the management of the Bhakra and Pong dams, announced a controlled discharge of excess water over the next few days to ensure the reservoirs’ safety levels. The Bhakra and Pong dams, situated in Himachal Pradesh, have experienced significant inflows due to heavy rainfall in their respective catchment regions.
Mann reiterated that consistent communication with Himachal Pradesh’s government and the BBMB is ongoing, and he expressed optimism that water levels will recede.
In Hoshiarpur, the floodwaters along the banks of the Beas in Mukerian, Tanda, Dasuya, and Talwara areas have marginally subsided. Nevertheless, the flood’s aftermath has taken its toll on residents, damaging their belongings and adversely affecting crops, particularly paddy fields.
Approximately 5,000 acres of farmland have seen substantial harm, with roughly 90 per cent of the paddy crop bearing the brunt of the impact. Efforts from the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, and non-governmental organizations continue to evacuate residents and provide relief.
The Health Department and the Animal Husbandry Department are working diligently to prevent waterborne diseases among the flood-affected population.