April 15, 2024

In an unlucky convergence of artificial encroachments and the unrestrained pressure of nature, Punjab finds itself grappling with essentially the most extreme flooding witnessed in many years. Because the state commemorated Independence Day on August 15, one other battle unfolded on the riverbanks—rescue efforts have been underway to avoid wasting these trapped by their very own defiance of pure boundaries.

The Division of Water Assets solemnly studies that the relentless advance of human encroachments has wreaked havoc alongside the banks of the Ghaggar river. A staggering 108 places in Punjab bore witness to its breach, forsaking a path of destruction and misery.

Punjab’s Rupnagar administration, led by Deputy Commissioner Preeti Yadav and supported by an NDRF workforce, confronted a race in opposition to time. Their mission: rescuing 30 villagers who had taken refuge on the mattress of the Sutlej river. But, because the Bhakra Beas Administration Board initiated managed water launch from the near-full Bhakra dam reservoir, the Sutlej surged forth, ensnaring residents in its watery grasp. An supposed aerial rescue was shelved because of logistical constraints, necessitating a plea to the BBMB to stem the water’s circulation for a later rescue try.

Even earlier than the deluge, Deputy Commissioner Yadav had issued evacuation advisories, imploring the encroachers to retreat. Regrettably, these pleas fell on deaf ears, leaving a tragic story of unheeded knowledge.

Human-Made Havoc

A obvious occasion of this man-made disaster occurred when the engorged Sutlej tore a gaping 1200-foot breach within the dhussi bandh, inundating villages in Jalandhar. This rupture was triggered by the collision with Dhakka Basti, a bootleg settlement defiantly established inside the riverbed.

City Planning or Mismanagement?

The query arises whether or not this grim state of affairs is a results of poor city planning. Consultants like Amarjit Singh Dullet, retired Punjab chief engineer, contend that whereas encroachments on river lands ought to by no means have been sanctioned, political pressures typically blur these boundaries. This human-made catastrophe underscores the necessity to strike a stability between improvement and respecting the unyielding forces of nature.

The Ripple Impact of Encroachments

A disheartening revelation involves mild as data present quite a few places alongside the Sutlej riverbanks the place human-induced breaches occurred. These breaches exacted a heavy toll on each lives and property, serving as stark reminders of the results of encroachments.

Tragedy Alongside the Ghaggar

The Ghaggar river’s tragic breach at 108 factors in Punjab, as documented by the Division of Water Assets, bears witness to the dire influence of encroachments. The Ghaggar, flowing broad in Panchkula, tapers right down to 150-200 toes at Sardulgarh. Regardless of earlier plans for widening its width, the mission stays unrealized, and the results are actually laid naked.


The aftermath reveals stark numbers—11,927 villages affected throughout 20 districts, accompanied by a tragic toll of 65 lives misplaced. Encroachments undoubtedly emerged as a main catalyst on this catastrophe, a stark reminder of humanity’s potential to reshape nature’s course.

Because the floodwaters subside, they depart of their wake a poignant lesson. Punjab’s Chief Minister, Bhagwant Mann, rightly observes that these floods bear testimony to nature’s disdain for obstructions in its path. The current calamity should function a compass for our future selections. It’s a name for attuning our actions to the rhythms of nature, for forging a path the place progress and preservation stroll hand in hand. On this confluence of encroachments and elemental forces, allow us to discover the knowledge to navigate a extra harmonious coexistence.