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Red alert after heavy rain; schools, colleges shut today 

Chandigarh, September 24

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered closure of all schools and colleges on Tuesday while reviewing the flood-like situation triggered by incessant rain, even as the authorities have issued a red alert.

Disaster control rooms have been activated and all officials have been directed to remain on standby for the next 72 hours. 

Officials in the control room of the Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management Department said that towards 6 pm, the water inflow to the three dams had reduced compared with the inflow over the last 12 hours.

In the situation monitored earlier in the day (2 pm), the water level in Pong Dam was 1,385.12 ft (at 2 pm) against the maximum level of 1,390 feet, while the level in Bhakra was at 1,655.49 ft (1 pm) against the maximum capacity of 1,680 ft. And in Ranjit Sagar Dam, which feeds the Ravi river, the level was 526.65 m (2 pm) against the maximum level of 527.91 m.

Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) chief DK Sharma, who attended an emergency meeting called by the CM, said in the meeting that situation at the Bhakra reservoir was under control so far and the board was monitoring the water level in Pong Dam regularly.

The CMwas informed that the Army had been asked to remain on alert to help the state deal with any eventuality. The DCs have been asked to identify hotspots with clear evacuation and relief plans ready before hand. The equipment to drain out flood waters has been kept handy. Besides, districts in catchment areas of the Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers have already arranged enough boats to rescue affected people.

Capt Amarinder, meanwhile, announced a special girdawari for assessing crop damage. Financial Commissioner, Revenue, (FCR) MP Singh was asked to issue guidelines to the DCs for initiating the process of girdawari immediately after the water level receded.

The CM asked ministers and legislators to tour their areas to assess the ground situation. The officials concerned have been asked to appoint nodal officers for the distribution of food packets to affected people and dry fodder for animals. A contingency fund of Rs 7.4 crore has been placed at the disposal of DCs to get flood protection works executed, besides carrying out rescue operations.

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