Floodwaters entered the premises of the Rajpura Thermal Power Plant here, leading to the shutdown of one of its 700 MW units, they said


Punjab’s Patiala district was reeling under a flood-like situation following heavy monsoon rainfall, with authorities seeking the Army’s assistance to combat the escalating crisis, officials said on Monday.

Floodwaters entered the premises of the Rajpura Thermal Power Plant here, leading to the shutdown of one of its 700 MW units, they said.

Authorities have also deployed the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams for relief and rescue work as the district grapples with rising water levels.

The Army’s assistance was sought by the Patiala district administration after water overflowed from the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal in Rajpura town following a breach, the officials said.

Patiala Deputy Commissioner Sakshi Sawhney said floodwaters breached the premises of a private hospital in Rajpura on Sunday, necessitating the rescue and relocation of patients to other hospitals.

Also, as many as 800 students from a private university in the district were successfully rescued with the assistance of the Army, he said.

The water level in various rivers and water channels like Ghaggar, Markanda, Pachisdara, Narvana, Tangri and Patiala was flowing at dangerous levels. The discharge from these rivers has gone up significantly, raising concerns of a flood threat in nearby villages and areas, the officials said.

The authorities are on their toes to take necessary measures to prevent loss of life and property, offering timely relief to the affected people.

The impact of the floods was felt throughout the region as many roads were washed away, and the Badi Nadi river approached its danger mark, causing flooding in Gopal Colony and Arai Majari near Patiala city. Health Minister Balbir Singh visited the affected areas to oversee the ongoing rescue operations. Local MLA Ajit Pal Singh Kholi also lent a helping hand in the rescue efforts.

However, many criticised the state government for handling the situation. Patiala MP Preneet Kaur expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s response and called for more effective measures.

Former MP from Patiala Dharamvira Gandhi said urgent action should have been taken on a war-footing to protect the people from the devastating flood fury.

Till now, no loss of life has been reported from anywhere in the district, the officials said. However, there is an apprehension of paddy crop suffering damages in various parts of the district due to flooding.