Punjab: Ghaggar river breach yet to be plugged, over 60,000 acres under rain, river water
THE BREACH in Ghaggar river and incessant rain have collectively affected more than 60,000 acres of land under crops in Punjab. The maximum loss has been reported from Sangrur and Muktsar districts — 21,775 acres and 24,000 acres respectively.
In Sangrur’s Moonak area, crops and tubewell motors in Moonak, Makror Sahib, Phoolad, Salemgarh, Surjan Bhaini and Sunder Bhaini villages are all underwater due to the Ghaggar breach. The area under flood water is 15,569 acres (till July 19), and 6,206 acres of Sangrur district is underwater due to rain, stated a report of the agriculture department. Confirming this report, Dr Swantanter Kumar, director, agriculture, said, “The exact damage to crops will be judged after water recedes. Our teams are on the field to assess the damage.”
While the administration has stated that the breach in the Ghaggar is 80 ft wide, sources from the department said it is of over 175 feet and water level was at danger mark. The Army and NDRF continued to work on plugging the breach Sunday.
Water has also reached link roads, low-lying parts of Surjan Bhaini, Salemgarh and Moonak villages, as well as the Patran-Moonak highway. Water reached the colonies in Surjan Bhaini and Salemgarh on Sunday as well. A few residents complained that their houses had been damaged. However the administration has not officially confirmed any damage.
On Sunday morning, Water Resources Minister Sukhbinder Sarkaria visited the affected area. On Saturday, he was in Muktsar where according to the agriculture department, over 24,000 acres of crop are underwater due to rain. In Muktsar, farmers staged dharnas protesting against slow draining of water from fields.
Even in Patiala’s Samana and Patran areas, damage to crops was huge to the Ghaggar breach.
In Bathinda and Mansa, damage was reported due to incessant rain.