August 22, 2019 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: More than 300 villages, mainly in Punjab’s Ropar, Jalandhar and Ferozepur districts, were badly affected in floods by the Satluj river, damaging crops in thousands of acres and forcing thousands of villagers to spend nights on rooftops.
Authorities on Wednesday (August 22) deployed helicopters to airdrop food and water supplies to the villagers.
⊕ READ THIS NEWS in GURMUKHI/PUNJABI – ਹੜਾਂ ਦੀ ਮਾਰ: ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ 300 ਪਿੰਡਾਂ ਦੀ ਹਾਲਤ ਹਾਲੀ ਵੀ ਨਾਜੁਕ; ਰੁ: 1700 ਕਰੋੜ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਦਾ ਨੁਕਸਾਨ
In Ropar, the district administration declared a holiday in all educational institutes till Thursday.
The government has declared the current flood situation in the state as a “natural calamity” where as former chairman of Punjab State Electricity Board Harinder Singh Brar accused Bhakhra Beas Management Board for the floods in Punjab. He said that the BBMB stores river water in the month of May, June and July to ensure the outflow of river waters to non-riparian states, namely Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana. He said that Punjab was being sacrificed to ensure water for non-riparian states.
An official with the state Drainage Department said the overall situation in the Beas and Ravi rivers was under control though danger continued to lurk in areas adjacent to the Satluj river and further downstream at Harike headworks in Ferozepur.
Initial Loss Estimate Rs. 1,700 crores:
The Punjab government has estimated initial cumulative loss by the floods in state at Rs 1,700 crore, including an estimated crop loss worth Rs 750 crore, as per a senior government official.
According to a quick estimate prepared by Financial Commissioner (Revenue) KBS Sidhu, the farmers have been the worst hit followed by the rural infrastructure with damage to schools, dispensaries, veterinary dispensaries, streets and drains being pegged at Rs 200 crore.