2 youth rescued from Betar river, 2 houses damaged in Bani cloudburst

A youth being rescued from flooded river by Army jawans near Poonch on Sunday. -Excelsior/Romesh Bali
A youth being rescued from flooded river by Army jawans near Poonch on Sunday. -Excelsior/Romesh Bali

*Heavy rain in Kathua, Poonch; roads washed away
Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, July 17: Two youth were rescued from flooded river near Poonch while two houses were damaged in cloudburst in remote Bani area of district Kathua, while heavy rain has caused extensive damage to the public property, roads, culverts and standing crops in Kathua and Poonch areas today.
Reports from Poonch said that due to heavy rain since last night and during morning hours today, the rivers and Nallahs were over flooded in Poonch district. During morning hours, two youth hailing from Ajot village were trapped in Betar river near Poonch city.
The Army soldiers from a nearby unit noticed youth trapped and crying for help. The river water started rising and they were washed away at some distance and then mounted a rock. The Army soldiers from Durga battalion with the help of ropes and tyre tubes rescued them by risking their own lives. The police party from Poonch also reached the spot to assist jawans.
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The youth sustained some injuries during rescue operation and were shifted to nearby Army hospital. They were identified as Aftab Hussain and Javed Iqbal, residents of Ajot village near the Line of Control.
Meanwhile, heavy rain in Mendhar area during night caused extensive damage to the shopkeepers as the flood water entered many shops in the town. It further exposed the Rural Development Department as the roads took the form of Nallahs due to blockade of drains. The waterlogging in the main market affected the movement of people while flood and rain water entered many shops damaging goods of the traders.
The local traders alleged that local RDD authorities failed to clear the drains before rainy reason. The roads are flooded with water, including the Higher Secondary School market, Main Market, Bus Stand. This is all due to neglect on the part of RDD and local administration, they alleged.
Local shopkeepers, including Sanjay Sharma, Manu Malik, Abhi Sharma and Rakesh Kumar accused the Rural Development Department of the problem and said that for the last several months, they were constantly facing this problem. ” Whenever it rains, water enters our shops. We are made to bear loss. The local administration should take cognizance of the matter, ” they added.
Meanwhile, with the heavy rain and flood, several roads and culverts were damaged last night. Even a culvert on Chhataral- Kalaban road was badly damaged snapping road link for many hours today. Similar reports have been received from Mankote and Balakote areas of Poonch,
Another report from Kathua said that heavy rain and flash flood were reported in rivers and Nallahs in Kathua, Jakhwad, Nagri, Parole, Ghati and Jasrota areas. The massive land erosion also took place. A culvert and a portion of road was also washed away near Jakhwad in Kathua disrupting movement of traffic for several hours. With the flash flood in local nallahs and drains in the town the water entered many houses.
Due to cloudburst at Kodal Nagali village in Bani Sub Division during morning hours today, two houses were damaged. However, no loss of human life was reported. Locals said the intensity of cloudburst was not much higher moreover, no much population was there along the water channel.
The local administration sent police party to the area to assess the loss of property. It was reported that one house was completely damaged while another one was damaged partially. The inmates, however, escaped to safety. The affected families were accommodated in the nearby houses.
Reports from Lahai-Malhar and Katli area of Billawar said that due to heavy rain and velocity winds , the standing maize crop of the farmers was extensively damaged. The rain and flash floods also caused much damage to the several link roads in the area.