Rain, floods cause damage to public property; 18 families rescued from Ravi, Ujh, Tarnah

Flooded Ravi water enters some huts near river bank at Lakhanpur in Kathua on Monday. —Excelsior/Pardeep
Flooded Ravi water enters some huts near river bank at Lakhanpur in Kathua on Monday. —Excelsior/Pardeep

Bridge in Rajouri, GMC approach road in Kathua washed away

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, July 19: Rain and flash flood in several rivers and Nallahs in Jammu region caused extensive damage to the public property since last night, a bridge was washed away in Rajouri area and approach road to GMC Kathua suffered extensive damage at a culvert just near District Hospital, Kathua while at least 18 persons were rescued from flooded Ravi, Ujh and Tarnah rivers today.
Basantar and Devak rivers in district Samba besides other seasonal Nallahs were also flooded while water level in river Chenab and Tawi during morning hours was also higher. Though in Jammu district the rain during past 24 hours remained normal, but in Kathua, Samba, Reasi and Rajouri areas, it was moderate to heavy.
Due to landslides near Siarh Baba, Reasi-Talwara -Salal Dam- Mahore road was closed during early hours today. The road was though cleared during afternoon but the felling of boulders continued at the spot causing threat to the lives of road users. For precautionary measures, the Administration closed this road till further orders. No loss of human life was reported on this road. However, main Reasi-Arnas-Mahore road was clear for vehicular movement.
Chopper service to holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji from base camp Katra remained affected for long today due to bad weather. However, the movement of pilgrims through Yatra route remained smooth despite moderate rain.
Reports from Rajouri said that a temporary bridge over Gambhir Nallah at Gambhir Brahamana in Manjakote was washed away due to flash flood in the nallah during last night. It stalled the movement of the people of the area for long due to heavy flood .
Reports from Kathua said that a culvert on approach road to GMC Kathua in Kalibari area was washed away due to flash flood in the Nallah. This is the second time that road at this culvert point has damaged this season. The R&B Department has laid only pipes and no concrete structure or base there. The flash flood washed away pipes and the road, snapping road link to Govt Medical College, Kathua.
The rain and flood water also entered several localities in Kathua town. Waterlogging was witnessed on the roads and lanes in the town, affecting the free movement of vehicles and general public. Water also entered some shops and houses, causing damage to the public property.
Meanwhile, massive flood in river Ravi today caused damage to the property of about a dozen non-local families residing in slum area, just closer to the river bank at Lakhanpur. These families were caught unaware when the flooded river water entered their `Jhuggis’. Some of the people there ran for their safety while others trapped in the flood, were later rescued by police and SDRF. The water level in the river had increased due to flood while the dam authorities at Thein had also opened a few gates as the reservoir level had also increased for the last few days. However, the water level later receded and these families were shifted to the safer location. They were also provided some immediate assistance by the local administration.
The police and SDRF men also rescued four persons from flooded river Ujh and three from Tarnah river today. They included Pawan Kumar, Naresh Kumar and Kapil Dev from Dayala Chak and Mareen area and Karun Anuragi, Ramesh, Sagar and Ramesh from Padyari area of Ujh bank.
Meanwhile, Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained operational almost throughout the day, despite the fact that there was light rain in Ramban sector. Due to rain during last night between Ramban and Banihal, minor landslides took place at two places but the road was cleared during morning hours.
Overnight rain in Jammu caused flash flood in nallahs and drains. The flood water entered some localities during night and caused damage to the public property. At Kalika Colony in Bahu Fort area where rain created havoc on July 12, it again caused some more damage to few structures. Water in Gangyal, Nanak Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Nai Basti and Chhani Rama areas caused damage to public property.
The MeT office has predicted moderate to heavy rain and thundershowers in Jammu and Kashmir for the next 48 hours. The MeT officials also predicted flash floods and mud / landslides in hilly areas. The people have been advised not to visit the river banks and mountainous landslide prone areas during next 2-3 days.
In Jammu, the people today felt some relief from the scorching hot and humid conditions, prevailing for the last two days, with the rain today. The temperature has witnessed sharp fall and it was pleasant in the winter capital city during evening hours due to thunder-showers.
The power infrastructure also suffered damage in Jammu and adjoining areas due to hot and humid conditions. The power supply in several Jammu localities including Indira Colony, Lakar Mandi, Janipur, Paloura and Rehari remained snapped for more than 9-12 hours. Many transformers were damaged and could not be replaced for long by the PDD authorities.