40 villagers trapped in Ujh, Tawi rescued

40 villagers trapped in Ujh, Tawi rescued

4 August 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Gopal Sharma

Jammu: At least 40 persons trapped in flash floods in Tawi, Ujh and Basantar rivers were safely rescued by Army and civil administration while over 1200 vehicles have been stranded on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and some other routes after land slides at several places due to heavy rain across the region since last night while an alert was sounded in many down stream villages of tehsil Akhnoor as mighty river Chenab was flowing above the danger mark today. The incessant rain created havoc in many areas and caused damage to several houses and public property while traffic on Jammu-Pathankot National Highway and several other routes was disrupted due to flash flood in several nallahs. Due to land slides near Panthal, Seri and Shan Palace near Ramban, the movement of traffic on Jammu- Srinagar National Highway came to halt at around 4 am today. Hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on the highway at several places. The Highway could be cleared at round 3.30 pm but after some time, again boulders from the mountains started rolling down, disrupting movement of traffic again on the road. Over 1000 vehicles including 900 trucks- load carriers were stranded at various routes on the route, a Traffic Police officer said. The District Administration Jammu sounded alert in several villages falling in Jourian, Khour, Pargwal and Hamirpur-Sidhar area on both banks of river Chenab as the river was flowing one foot above the danger mark. The Flood Control authorities were continuously monitoring the flood situation in Chenab and Tawi rivers since morning. It said that Tawi water has started receding while Chenab was still touching danger mark in the evening as heavy rain was continuing in the higher reaches including Ramban, Reasi and Doda. The villages in Akhnoor and Khour blocks where alert has been sounded are Datyal, Indripattan, Lehrian, Deipur, Sangrampur,Bakore, Gujral, Hamirpur, Gurha Manhasan, Dhanpur, Dalpat, Chhitrayala, Muthi Mera, Pargwal, Sajjowal and Sikandra. The people of four villages have been asked to stay away from the river. While in district Jammu the Administration sought help of Indian Air Force to rescue three persons, eight others were rescued by police and Army by using ropes and boats from Gho Manhasan and Bhagatpur area. In Kathua, a total 26 persons were rescued safely from river Ujh while three others from Basantar river in district Samba. Reports from Kathua said that a total of 26 persons were trapped in river Ujh since last night due to flash flood in the river. The water level crossed danger mark during the day and also damaged crop on both sides of the river. The flood water caused erosion to many paddy fields in the entire belt. Deputy Commissioner Kathua Zahida Khan said that 26 people, mostly from Gujjar families had been trapped at several places in flood-hit river Ujh. With the help of Police, Army and Civil Defence volunteers they were rescued. The Army used boats at some places where much risk was involved near Kot Punnu and Khagial. While two persons had been trapped near village Muthi Khurd, two at Mai Chak, three at Chhabe Chak, one at Pandori while 15 others at Khagial and Bamyal area near Kot Punnu, bordering Punjab. At Kot Punnu, the Army personnel had to use boats to rescue the trapped villagers. Many of them remained trapped for more than six to eight hours. However, no incident of any casualty was reported. Those rescued were identified as Liaqat Ali, Qasim Din, Mohd Hanief, Baru Khan, Ali Hussain, Rashid, Mouj Din, Rahim, son of Altaf, Affi, Taju, Sadiq, Shaika, Mohd Sharief, Bagh Hussain, Gullah, Mashur, Rahul, Qayoom, Mohd Shafi and Mohd Hanief. Another report said that due to land slides over night, Basohli-Bani, Bani-Loang, Basohli -Hut Mashkan, Basohli-Dhar Mahanpur road and Billawar- Katli roads were closed. Several vehicles have been stranded at many places due to blockade. The roads could not be cleared due to continuous rain, an official spokesman said. River Basantar in Samba was also over-flooded due to rain over night. Three persons including a Tipper driver and two labourers got trapped during the day. DC Samba Mubarak Singh, SSP Israr Khan and ADC Mr Jamwal along with Civil Defence men and police personnel reached there. Two persons including CD volunteer Raj Hussain and SPO Raj Singh showing extra ordinary courage managed to reach up to the Tipper trapped in flood water and rescued all the three persons with the help of rope. The driver Subash Chander and two labourers Banmber and Tinku were rescued. SSP and DC lauded the courage of both the members of rescue team. The tipper however, remained trapped there till late this evening. The traffic on several link roads in Samba district also got affected due to flash flood. Deputy Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma said that with the timely intervention of administration, the police and Army teams with the help of locals managed to rescue total 11 persons from river Tawi. He said three persons including a woman were rescued by IAF helicopter from the river near Bhagatpur. Eight members of Gujjar families were rescued by using ropes and boats near Gho Manhasan. He said no casualty was reported from any part of the district since last night. Reports from Reasi said that a bridge near Pouni suffered damage due to massive flood in a nallah. At least six houses collapsed in Mahore and Reasi area while Katra -Reasi, Reasi-Mahore and Reasi- Pouni -Taryath roads have been closed due to landslides. Two houses were collapsed in Bharak, two in Mahore and two near Chobu Nallah as flood water entered inside. Due to rains Rajouri-Budhal and Rajouri-Thanna Mandi roads also remained closed for several hours however, the traffic was restored in the afternoon. Reports from Udhampur said that Ramnagar-Majouri-Dudu Basantgarh, Chenani- Lati road, Udhampur Panchari-Landhar roads were also closed due to land slides. The traffic on Jammu-Srinagar Highway near Ramban was partially restored late this evening. However, the further movement of traffic from Udhampur onwards and from Qazigund side to Jammu had been stopped. Meanwhile, the incessant rains lashed wide-spread parts of Kashmir valley, ending nearly two weeks of dry spell, during which the mercury shot up. Intermittent rains continued to lash Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir since last night. Srinagar which had a rainfall of 5.2 mm recorded minimum 19.2 degree Celsius against yesterday’s 21.2 degree Celsius.