Rain and Floods Claim 8 Lives in Punjab: Relief Efforts Underway

by Manjari Singh

In a tragic turn of events, heavy rainfall and flooding have resulted in the loss of eight lives, while three individuals are still missing in the state. The overflowing Ghaggar and Sutlej rivers have caused extensive damage, submerging thousands of acres of agricultural land. Responding swiftly to the situation, the government, led by Bhagwant Mann, is currently assessing the extent of the losses.

With plans underway for a special girdawari to evaluate the damages, the Revenue Department stands prepared to provide compensation to those affected by the flash floods. The compensation will cover the loss of life, damage to houses and buildings, as well as the loss of livestock. After personally surveying the ground situation, Mann has directed the civil and police administration to intensify relief and rescue operations.

To alleviate the suffering of the affected families, the government will provide a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the deceased. Among the eight fatalities, two individuals each hailed from Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar, and Mohali, while one death each was reported from Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr.

The impact of the floods is evident in the destruction of 22 houses, with six in Faridkot and Hoshiarpur, three in Fatehgarh Sahib, and two in Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, and Rajpura respectively. Additionally, one house in Pathankot district has also suffered damage, according to the Revenue Department’s report. Owners of solid structures will be eligible for compensation of Rs 1.20 lakh. Furthermore, compensation will be extended to owners who have lost cattle and goats in the floods.

The devastating consequences of the heavy rainfall have been felt across twelve districts, namely Ropar, Mohali, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Moga, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, and Pathankot. The state has received a total rainfall of 5,218 mm thus far.

Mohali is particularly hard-hit, with 268 villages severely affected, followed by Ropar with 140 villages, Moga with 30 villages, Hoshiarpur with 25 villages, Ludhiana with nine villages, and Patiala with seven villages. In Ropar, 52 percent of the population in flooded areas has suffered adverse effects.

In response to the crisis, the Chief Minister’s Office has mobilized 7,527 multi-purpose health workers to visit the affected areas and provide assistance to affected families. As of now, 9,500 individuals have been successfully evacuated, with nearly 4,000 of them relocated to relief camps.

While the water level of the Ghaggar River is receding in Patiala, a new concern has arisen regarding the standing water in fields and its impact on the recently transplanted paddy crops. Regrettably, the current disaster relief policy does not cover compensation for just-transplanted crops.

However, the overflowing Sutlej River poses the most immediate threat, as water levels remain high in Phillaur, Harike, and Hussainiwala. Authorities continue to monitor the situation closely and coordinate efforts to mitigate the risks posed by the river’s overflow.

Manjari Singh

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