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Evacuate people from low-lying areas: Punjab Chief Secretary

Punjab Chief Secretary Anurag Verma on Tuesday directed the respective district administrations to evacuate the people living in low-lying areas to safety.

He said that alternative arrangements for food, drink and accommodation should be made on a war footing.

Steps should be undertaken to provide information to the people about the arrangements being made for them so that they can take advantage of the facility as protecting people’s lives is the top priority of the government, he said.

Chairing a high-level meeting to keep a constant watch on the situation caused due to heavy rains across the state and in Himachal Pradesh and to conduct the relief operations, he said people should be made aware by immediately identifying the unsafe buildings so that any untoward incident can be avoided.

He also enquired about the necessary assistance from the Deputy Commissioners and said the NDRF will be provided to the districts as per requirement.

A report on the current situation was taken from the administrative secretaries of the departments concerned and the Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of all districts.

The meeting also reviewed the relief work being done by the administration on the instructions given by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to provide all kinds of help to the residents of the state in the affected places.

Special Chief Secretary to Chief Minister, A Venu Prasad, DGP Gaurav Yadav and representatives of the Army and the NDRF were also present at the meeting.

At present five NDRF teams are deployed in Ropar district, three in Mohali, two in Patiala and one each in Jalandhar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

Kapurthala, Tarn Taran wanted one NDRF team in their districts. Similarly, the boats, life jackets, water extraction machines and food packets were directed to be provided to the people in the water-affected areas.

The Chief Secretary asked the Health Department to make advance arrangements for the prevention of water-borne diseases and said there should be no shortage of medicines.

He directed the water supply department to provide adequate drinking water to the people.

Earlier, the presentation given by the Water Resources Department said the water level in Bhakra dam is 1,624.14 feet while the capacity is 1,680 feet.

The water level in Pong dam is 1,360.04 feet while the capacity is 1,390 feet and the water level in Ranjit Sagar dam is 1,712.64 feet while the capacity is 1,731.99 feet.

The current status of the water level in the Sutlej, Beas, Ravi and Ghaggar rivers was also briefed. It was also told that the two breaches found in the Dhusi Bund on the Sutlej have been plugged.

In the meeting, officials of the Meteorological Department informed that there will be light to moderate rain at scattered places in Punjab for the next 48 hours, while there will be light to moderate rain at some places for 48 to 72 hours.

Some districts of Himachal Pradesh are likely to receive moderate to heavy rains in the next 24 hours.

The Chief Secretary further said arrangements should be made given the possibility of overflowing rivers and canals in the affected districts as the water will increase in the coming days and the safety of life and property should be ensured by evacuating the people from the low-lying areas.

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