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Pb minister holds meeting to take stock of situation resulting from waterlogging

Pb minister holds meeting to take stock of situation resulting from waterlogging

Chandigarh, Jul 19 (PTI) Punjab Minister Brahm Mohindra Friday held a high-level meeting with senior officials of his department to take stock of the waterlogging situation in some areas caused due to a recent spell of heavy rains which lashed the state.The Local Government minister instructed the officials to pump out the stagnant water immediately and restore the supply of potable water to residents."Punjab has been severely hit by torrential rains in the last few days with the result that some of the places have been inundated. Some of the cities of the state have a saucer-shaped topography, which resulted in flooding due to excessive rainfall," he said.Mohindra said before the rainy season, he had instructed the officials of the Department of Local Government and all the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the state to clear the sewerage system by using super sucker machine and other equipment, clean all the manholes and road galleys.The minister stated that in view of some areas facing waterlogging problem he has also instructed the ULBs to ensure that potable supply of water to the residents is maintained so that there is no health hazard due to water-borne diseases."The department is keeping a close watch on the ground situation in different cities and accordingly the field staff is being guided regularly," he said in a statement.Heavy rains have lashed many parts of Punjab during the past few days. Although the weather has remained largely dry since Wednesday, there is a flood-like situation in some parts. After a heavy spell of rains earlier, Bathinda had remained water-logged for two days.The minister said Bathinda has been severely affected as it received 178 mm rainfall on July 16, which created flood-like situation in the city. "Due to heavy rains, a breach occurred in sullage carrier carrying the sewerage water necessitating shut down of the pumping station. The pumping could only be started after 10 hours," he said.He said the whole situation was personally monitored by him and the senior officials of the department. All the accumulated water was drained out on July 18 and the situation is under control.Mohindra said a high-powered technical team has been constituted by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, consisting of a technical advisor to the Punjab government, who would visit Bathinda soon and submit a report to suggest further remedial measures after a detailed assessment of the site.The ruling Congress and the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had indulged in a blame game over Bathinda remaining inundated with waist-deep water for two days.Meanwhile, efforts were on for the second day Friday to plug the 50-feet breach in the embankment of the Ghaggar river in Punjab's Sangrur district, officials said.The Indian Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were called in Thursday after the breach, which has left over 3,000 acres of agricultural field in the region inundated, Sangrur Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said.Thori said the Ghaggar river was Friday flowing slightly above the danger mark of 750 feet in the district, but there was no immediate threat to the inhabitants.He said Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar visited Sangrur Friday and ordered a revenue survey to assess the crop loss.On Wednesday, the chief minister had asked deputy commissioners of the districts affected by the recent spell of heavy rains to remain alert and be prepared to deal with emergencies.Singh directed them to make adequate arrangements for the security and safety of the people as well as their property and livestock.There were reports that the swollen Ghaggar river had also left vast chunks of land inundated in Haryana's Sirsa district. PTI SUN VSD KJ