Himachal flood fallout: NDRF rescues 85 villagers in neighbouring Punjab - Hindustan Times
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Himachal flood fallout: NDRF rescues 85 villagers in neighbouring Punjab

Aug 16, 2023 03:40 PM IST

The Punjab government has sounded a red alert in districts downstream of the Pong and Bhakra dams, including Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Tarn Taran and Ropar, as Beas and Sutlej levels rise due to heavy rain in catchment Himachal Pradesh

Due to the heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, the Pong Dam on the Beas river and Bhakra-Nangal dam on the Sutlej continued to receive heavy inflow on Wednesday, posing a threat to districts downstream in Punjab.

An aerial view of a flooded village in Ropar district on Wednesday after floodgates at Bhakra Dam were opened two days ago. (ANI Photo)
An aerial view of a flooded village in Ropar district on Wednesday after floodgates at Bhakra Dam were opened two days ago. (ANI Photo)

According to officials, Bhakra Dam received inflow of 45,509 cusecs and 68,844 cusecs of water was being released on Wednesday as the water level in the reservoir is rising fast and touched 1,677 feet, three feet short of the maximum capacity of 1,680 feet.

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Also read: Himachal flood: IAF, army evacuate stranded villagers in Kangra district

In Pong Dam, the water level touched 1,399 feet, which is nine feet more than the capacity, as the reservoir continued to receive inflow of 65,300 cusecs. At both dams, floodgates were opened two days ago, as 1.25 lakh cusecs of water was flowing from Pong Dam and about 30,000 cusecs from Bhakra Dam.

According to Satish Singla, the secretary at Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), which operates and maintains the two dams, the situation is being monitored constantly.

The Punjab government has already sounded a red alert in districts downstream, including Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, and Tarn Taran.

More than 80 people stranded at Harsabella and Dulchi villages in Ropar district were rescued by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Wednesday after water was released from the Bhakra Dam. Thirty residents of Harsabella and 55 of Dulchi had been stranded since Tuesday morning.

The water from the dam has cut off several villages in Nangal, Nurpur Bedi and Anandpur Sahib and the army and air force are on stand by in the flood-affected areas.

On Tuesday, two helipads were made operational in Anandpur Sahib to rescue people. However, the water level receded on Wednesday and 85 residents of the two villages were evacuated by NDRF teams, Ropar deputy commissioner Preeti Yadav said.

State education minister and local MLA Harjot Bains supervised rescue operations and said there was no need for panic.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Gurpreet Singh Nibber is an Assistant Editor with the Punjab bureau. He covers politics, agriculture, power sector, environment, Sikh religious affairs and the Punjabi diaspora.

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