Monday, August 23, 2010

WATER LEVEL RISING IN SUTLEJ - Residents reluctant to shift despite warning

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Mohar Jamsher (Fazilka), August 22
The authorities concerned have been urging the residents of the village to shift to safer places following flood threat as the water in the Sutlej has been rising.On the one hand, a section of residents of this village have shifted to the neighbouring village Mauzam along with their belongings, where they also have their houses and on the other, a number of residents are reluctant to shift. They said they cannot move to a safer place leaving their cattle behind.

"How can we leave our cattle to die in case of floods as they are the only source of livelihood for us," pointed out Kala Singh.He added that they would not be able to arrange fodder and other things for their cattle, if they go to their kin living in the nearby villages, which were out of the reach of floods.

Gurmeet Singh, another resident, said how long could they stay with their kin as every year, the water rises in the Sutlej and they have no other option but to move out of this village. The authorities concerned must take necessary steps to save them from the floods without asking them to leave their village, he demanded.

However, Malkit Singh has left the village along with his family fearing flood. Lal Singh, whose piece of agricultural land has come under the water, has also left the village.Interestingly, only one boat is available to transport people from this village to safer places in case of floods.

On the other hand, the district administration has asked the residents to leave this village at the earliest as the water level in Sutlej could rise anytime and hence, this area could be flooded.

As per the information, this situation would snap all the links of this village with the rest of the country. SDM Fazilka Ajay Sood said, "We have opened a relief centre in a school at Fazilka where the arrangements for the stay of the people, fodder for cattle and medical care for both men and animals has been arranged. So far, no one from this village has come to the relief centre."

However, Parminder Singh, media in-charge, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), alleged that the flood protection measures being taken by the Punjab government at a time when the floods had become imminent, would not serve any purpose.He added that the people of the border areas had been made to suffer on account of the 'inhuman' attitude of the SAD-BJP combine government towards their plight.

Meanwhile, braving the threat of floods in the Sutlej, two women, namely, Soma Rani and Preeto Bai, visited this village today by crossing the river in a boat to tie rakhi on the wrists of their brothers, residing here in this village.

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