Punjab to canalize its rivers: CM

India Post News Service

PHAGWARA: Reviewing the ground situation in the flood-hit villages for the second time, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced August 22 that his government would canalize all the rivers of the state, taking technical support from World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), an official press note said.

Going around Sarupwal in Sultanpur Lodhi sub-tehsil, where the overflowing river Sutlej led to a breach in Dhusi embankment affecting 62 villages, the Chief Minister also promised due compensation to the affected farmers as soon as the water recedes.

Talking to the media after an aerial survey to assess the damage caused by flooding in Sultanpur Lodhi and Jalandhar areas, the Chief Minister announced a project to realign river streams and courses, besides strengthening and widening of the river embankments for a permanent solution to the problem of floods.

He also announced dedicated village-relief teams in the affected areas.

Each team would comprise officers of health, civil supply and animal husbandry departments, and would ensure regular and timely supply of food, medicines and fodder for all affected families.

In response to a question, the Chief Minister further said nothing would be allowed to hamper the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, and his government was geared up to celebrate the historic occasion in a befitting manner.

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh visiting flood-hit areas of Sultanpur Lodhi. Khadoor Sahib MP Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Kapurthala DC D.P.S. Kharbanda and Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema and others are with him.
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh visiting flood-hit areas of Sultanpur Lodhi. Khadoor Sahib MP Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Kapurthala DC D.P.S. Kharbanda and Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema and others are with him.

The Chief Minister, who earlier on his way to Kapurthala conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of Nawanshar and Ludhiana, told media persons in Gidderpindi in Jalandhar district that even if the central government fails to extend support, the state would ensure full support to every person affected by the flooding.

The Chief Minister has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a special flood relief package for the state.

Singh inspected the breach site in Gidderpindi, resulting from the release of excess water from Bhakra dam.

The Bhakra Dam, which normally gets filled to its permissible storage level of 1680 feet by September, was overflowing in August for the first-ever time, said the Chief Minister.

He further ordered the drainage department to immediately identify potential breach points and plug these on priority, engaging the Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) if required.

Singh, who had Monday visited villages of Ropar district, also directed the deputy commissioners to keep a tight vigil over the situation and maintain close liaison with the Army authorities and immediately apprise them of the nature and quantum of assistance required.

He also asked Commissioner, Jalandhar Division, B. Purusartha to coordinate the relief works in Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts.

Singh was briefed about the current situation arising out of the Sutlej breach by the Deputy Commissioners of Jalandhar and Kapurthala.

They apprised the Chief Minister about the various measures undertaken by the administration to provide succour to the needy in this crisis.

More than 18,000 packets of dry ration besides water bottles were airdropped in all the affected villages with the help of Army and NDRF, the Chief Minister was informed by DC Kapurthala, who added that 5,000 more packets of food and water would be distributed.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Water Resources Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Khadoor Sahib MP Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh, Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh, Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema, Shahkot MLA Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia, besides Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Commissioner Jalandhar Division B. Purshartha, IG Jalandhar Range Naunihal Singh, DC Jalandhar Varinder Kumar, DC Kapurthala D.P.S. Kharbanda, SSP Kapurthala Satinder Singh and SSP Jalandhar Navjot Singh Mahal.

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