With the continuous heavy rain in parts of North India, the Punjab government on Monday, September 24, issued a red alert in the state, besides requesting the Indian Army to be on stand by.
The state government has asked all the district authorities to remain on constant vigil, said a spokesperson. Disaster control rooms have been activated and all government officials have been asked to remain on stand by and identify hotspots with clear evacuation and relief plans ready. The state government has cancelled the leave of all irrigation and drainage staff.
The officials have been asked to keep equipment ready to drain out flood waters.
The deputy commissioners of districts in the catchment areas of three rivers have been asked to arrange adequate number of boats for the rescue of affected people.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh will hold an emergency meeting of senior government officials on today to review the arrangements made in context. The Indian Express reported that the Chief Minister issued an appeal to people to exercise restraint. “During the next 24 hours they should move out of their houses only if it is unavoidable,” Singh was quoted as saying.
“All officials will remain on standby. The Army has also been requested to be on standby. Hotspots to be identified with clear evacuation and relief plans,” said Singh. Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha has announced that all schools in the district would remain closed.
According to the information from the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), the water level in the Pong Dam is increasing. The current water level is 1,385 ft as against the capacity of 1,400 ft, so the water may have to be released from the dam soon. While, the water level in Bhakra dam was at 1,655 metres as against a capacity of 1,680 metres.
The danger areas are Mukerian, Dasuya and Tanda sub-divisions as the water will be released through Gate 52. Villagers in these areas have been sounded.
The water level at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake has reached its maximum capacity, a first in decades. The administration has decided to discharge the water into two nullahs.
With just one day of rain, Punjab has made up for the monsoon shortfall, but at the wrong time for farmers preparing for the harvest at month end. Punjab’s normal rainfall is 490 mm for the period from June to September end. Till September 22, Punjab had received only 391 mm rain but with Saturday’s rain, it has now gone up to 442 mm.