Over 10,000-acre crop in the Mand area of Tarn Taran district has been submerged with the rise in the water level of the Beas and Sutlej rivers.
With heavy rain predicted in the coming days, high flood risk is looming large over another 20,000 acres of agricultural land and houses in 62 villages in the area.
The Sutlej and Beas supply water to tributaries spanning over 86km in Tarn Taran. There is around 30,000 acre farmland along the banks of these rivers in Mand area from Goindwal Sahib in Khadoor Sahib sub-division to Kot Budha village in Patti sub-division.
After rise in the water level of two rivers, though the administration has geared up its efforts to save the farmland from flood water by erecting temporary bunds on the critical points of the rivers, the farmers term this as merely an eyewash.
The farmers in the area complain they have been suffering due to floods since 1988, but the successive governments paid no heed to the situation, despite their repeated representations.
“Every year, crop on thousands of acres gets damaged in flood, but no one cares. The government gives only Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per acre as compensation, which is not enough to make the ends meet,” said Mundapind sarpanch Paramjit Singh.
Deputy commissioner (DC) Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal said, “We are preparing a proposal for constructing a concrete bund from Dhunda to Gharka village. After construction of the bund on Beas river, over 5,000-acre farmland in Mand area will be saved every year from the flood water.”
“To provide immediate relief to people in flood-like situation, 11 relief camps are being installed in the entire district. All vulnerable points are continuously being checked by the officials concerned,” he added.
Bhail Dhai Wala, Johal Dhai Wala, Munda Pind, Gujjarpura, Gharka, Karmuwala, Goindwal Sahib, Kambo Dhai Wala, Dhunda, Chamba, Johal, Sabhran, Mutheyawali, Kot Budha, Bhauwal, Jalloke, Bandala, Seeto, Jhugian are among the 62 vulnerable villages along the banks of the Beas and Sutlej.
“Owing to the government’s apathy toward constructing strong bunds to strengthen the river banks, thousands of families are forced to live in fear of flood every year,” said farmer Baldev Singh of Dhunda village.
As per information received from the ground-level, the farmland inundated by flood water includes 1,922 acres in Dhunda village, 1,500 acres in Chamba, 1,200 acres in Dhun, 1,000 acres in Kambo, 780 acres in Jalalabad, 760 acres in Vaironwal, 650 acres in Gagrewal, 370 acres in Darapur, 360 acres in Kirishahi, 310 acres in Bodalkiri, 280 acres in Balojala, 190 acres in Bhail, 170 acres in Goindwal Sahib, 165 acres in Khakh and 130 acres in Manakdeke.
“The government should give ₹20,000 per acre as compensation to the affected farmers as they earn ₹40,000 from paddy crop per acre,” said Pargat Singh Chamba, Kisan Sangharsh Committee member.
The flood water has damaged various crops, including paddy, basmati, vegetables and fodder in the area.