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Worried villagers keep vigil on Sutlej level
A resident shows the swollen Sutlej at Kasabad village in Ludhiana district on Saturday. Tribune Photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Worried villagers keep vigil on Sutlej level

Opening of Bhakra floodgates, heavy rain warning cause panic18 Aug 2019 | 7:31 AM

LUDHIANA: Following the heavy rain alert, residents of villages alongside the Sutlej are keeping a strict vigil on the water level in the river.

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Harshraj Singh
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, August 17

Following the heavy rain alert, residents of villages alongside the Sutlej are keeping a strict vigil on the water level in the river. Panicky residents were seen visiting the banks of the river after they got to know about the opening of Bhakra Dam floodgates.

A group of villagers at Kasabad in Ludhiana district said they noticed the rising level of water in the Sutlej around 11:30 am. The Panchayats have alerted residents in their respective villages about the heavy rain alert.

The authorities concerned have advised the villagers not to create panic.

Surinder Kumar, husband of Kasabad village Sarpanch Charanjit Kaur, said: “The local police had informed us about the alert last night. I visited the river banks around 12:45 am. However, the water level was normal that time. The villagers have also been alerted about heavy rain.”

Parkash Peter, who is chairman of a committee of Government Senior Secondary School, Kasabad, said: “I witnessed the water level rising around 11:30 am. The villagers have been keeping a close watch on the river since last night so that they can take steps in case of any emergency.”

Some villagers were seen discussing 1988 floods that had hit a number of villages alongside the Sutlej. Charan Singh (57) said: “As I learned about the opening of the Bhakra Dam floodgates, I started keeping a check on the water level. When I was 26 year old in 1988, floods had drowned many nearby villages. I remembered how we had suffered that time.”

Ravinder Singh (27) said: “We are worried as the banks are weak at several points. My farm is located alongside the river. That’s why I have been repeatedly visiting here to gauge the situation.”

The residents of nearby villages of Ladhowal, Mattewara, Khaira Bet, Bholewal Jadid and others are also visiting the river banks to check the water level. Some residents were still there while the rain lashed the area today.

Situation under control: Drainage Dept

  • Executive Engineer of Drainage Department Harjot Singh Walia has stated that there is no danger of floods as the situation is completely under control in the district. Water flow in the river was 38,724 cusecs (cubic feet per second) at 12 pm and it was recorded 37,994 cusecs at 3 pm. Thus, the water level had started receding and there is no danger of floods in the district, he said. 
  • Khanna/Machhiwara: The administration has sounded alert in the area but the situation was under control, says Samrala SDM Gitika Singh. She said there was no need to panic as there was no danger of floods. The Sutlej has a capacity to bear water up to 58,000 cusecs. She said the administration was closely monitoring the situation and had taken all necessary steps. There could be danger if the rains continued tomorrow in upper areas, she added. OC

Buddha Nullah flows at danger mark

There are reports that the water level in Buddha Nullah is flowing at the danger point. But the officials claimed there was no report about the nullah overflowing. There are high chances that Buddha Nullah may overflow, sources said. Following the alert, the MC had deployed staff to strengthen the nullah banks. Some sandbags were placed on the nullah bank near New Kundan Puri Bridge. 

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