Chandigarh: Rescue operations were on at a war footing Wednesday in Haryana`s Ambala and Kurukshetra districts where major breaches in rivers and canals led to the flooding of vast areas, prompting authorities to warn against travelling on the busy National Highway 1 to New Delhi.
The army had to be requisitioned Tuesday evening after the heavy rains led to water overflowing in the Ghaggar river and the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, causing breaches. Traffic and electricity supply was disrupted.
Haryana Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal issued an appeal to the public to avoid travel on the Ambala-Delhi National Highway 1, connecting the national capital to various parts of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.
"We appeal to the public to avoid using National Highway 1 unless it is very important for some days as it has started cracking near Shahabad town in Haryana. However, rescue and repair work is on and everything will be in place at the earliest," said Dalal.
Ambala, which is around 45 km from the state capital Chandigarh, had received over 550 mm rainfall in the last three days. However, there was no rain in Ambala and Kurukshetra Wednesday morning.
"There was three-four feet of water at many places in Ambala district that led to the disruption in power supply at many places and paralysed normal life. It was due to the heavy rain during the last two-three days but now we have controlled the situation," said Ambala Deputy Commissioner SP Srow.
Due to the flood-like situation in Ambala and Shahabad towns, the evening Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Shatabdi was stopped midway leaving scores of passengers, including women and children, in the lurch.
"Due to heavy rains during the past few days, water has been flowing above the danger mark in the Tangri river in Ambala and there was water on the tracks. Therefore, we did not allow the evening Shatabdi to come this side and it was stopped at Panipat," Y.P. Singh, divisional regional manager, Northern Railways, said.
"We are closely monitoring the situation and we are in constant touch with the local administration. Depending upon the conditions, we will take further decisions."
Ambala residents were furious with the administration for failing to control the situation.
"The district administration`s tall claims about flood management have fallen flat as most parts of Ambala are submerged with the very first showers of the monsoon. Rain water had entered our shops and houses situated in the low-lying area and we are facing severe hardship," said Kamini Devi, an Ambala resident.