The incessant rains in north India are likely to affect the life in parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab along with national capital today as the 'excess' water released from Ponga dam and Hathinikund Barrage makes way for lower plains.
Two days of heavy rains have caused widespread damage in northern states, with at least 11 people killed and unassessed destruction of Kharif season crops.
According to the Meterological department, heavy to very heavy rain is expected at isolated places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, educational institutes have been ordered to remain closed today in Punjab. Schools have been closed in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir and in most places of Himachal Pradesh.
Heavy rains led to landslides which blocked the roads to Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri, affecting the Chardham Yatra, while traffic snarled in the national capital due to waterlogging following heavy rains.
The Punjab government has asked district authorities to maintain vigil to avert any untoward situation due to heavy rains.
'Excess' water release from dams
More than 49,000 cusecs of water will be released from the Pong Dam in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district on Tuesday afternoon as the water level in the dam is nearing the danger mark, an official said.
Bhakra Beas Management Board's (BBMB) Assistant Design Engineer (ADE) Arun Bhatia said more than 49,000 cusecs of water from the dam would be released at 3 pm Tuesday.
Bhatia told PTI that reservoir level or water level of Pong Dam, also known as Beas Dam, reached at 1386.84 feet-mark on Monday at 11 pm against the danger level of 1390 feet.
There is no need to panic, he said. "However, the residents of low-lying areas in HP and neighbouring Punjab should remain vigilant. The authorities have also been asked to make all kinds of preparations," he added.
Meanwhile, water released from Hathinikund barrage is also expected to reach Delhi today. As a precautionary measure, Delhi Government has warned people from going to the waterfront. The people rising in the low-lying areas have been ordered to evacuate to safer places.
Heavy rains kill 11, cause widespread damage
In Haryana's Ambala, a 45-year-old man died when the roof of his house collapsed due to heavy rains, police said.
Five people, including a minor girl, died and as many injured in separate incidents during heavy rains in Kullu, Kangra and Chamba districts of Himachal Pradesh on Monday, the officials said.
Several houses were also swept away in flash floods as the Beas is flowing at a dangerous level, HP Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur said, cautioning people against going near rivers and nullahs.
An Indian Air Force team had rescued, with the help of a chopper, 21 people stranded due to flash floods at Dobi in Kullu district in the last 48 hours.
In Jammu and Kashmir, five members of a family, including three minors, were killed Monday when their house was buried under debris after a landslide in the Doda district, while 29 people stranded in Kathua district after flash floods were rescued.
Kharif crops damaged in Punjab and Haryana
Incessant rains in Punjab and Haryana could cause damage to kharif crops and dip in their yield, farm experts said Monday.
As rains set to delay paddy harvesting for a few days, farm experts are also apprehending their would be a short window to manage the crop residue, before sowing wheat.
A few parts of northern region, including Punjab have been witnessing widespread rains for the last two days. Though Punjab and Haryana are in the process of assessing damage to kharif crops, farm experts anticipate dip in yield due to continuous rains.
"Paddy grown in low-lying areas is vulnerable to damage due to rains as it usually gets submerged in water," Director at Punjab Agriculture Department J S Bains said.
According to farmers, paddy, which is at maturing stage, has got flattened at several areas because of rains.
"We have asked district agriculture officers to assess the damage caused by rains," Bains said.
(With inputs from PTI)