Punjab to take World Bank help for canalising of rivers

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh (PTI Photo)

The Punjab government will take the technical support of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to canalise all rivers in the state.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced this after taking stock of flood-hit area in Sultanpur Lodhi, a press release said.

After an aerial survey to assess the damage caused by flooding in Sultanpur Lodhi of Kapurthala and Jalandhar areas, the chief minister announced a project to realign river streams and courses besides strengthening and widening river embankments.

In Sarupwal of Sultanpur Lodhi, where the overflowing Sutlej led to a breach in the embankment, affecting 62 villages, the Chief Minister promised due compensation to the affected farmers as soon as the water receded and a special 'girdawri' (crop loss assessment) was completed.

Amarinder Singh also announced dedicated relief teams in the affected areas.

Each team will comprise officials from the health, civil supplies and animal husbandry departments and ensure a regular and timely supply of food, medicines and fodder.

The chief minister told media persons in Jalandhar district that even if the Union government failed to extend its support, the state government would ensure full assistance to the affected people.

The state government had sought a Rs 1,000-crore special package from the Centre.

The CM also inspected the breach in Gidderpindi of Jalandhar, resulting from the release of excess water from the Bhakra dam.

For the first time, the Bhakra, which normally filled to its permissible storage level of 1,680 feet by September, was overflowing in August, said the CM.

In response to a question, he said nothing would be allowed to hamper the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. 

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