Fifteen people perished in floods triggered by heavy rains in Punjab and Haryana even as a fresh breach occurred in Satluj Yamuna Link at Udhar Singh village in Kuruskhetra submerging several adjoining areas.
About 15 people, including two children, have lost their lives in flood-hit Kurukshetra, Ambala, Patiala and Ludhiana in the past two days.
Among the dead are six each from Patiala and Ambala, two from Kurukshetra and one belong to Ludhiana.
Meanwhile, about 20-feet fresh breach had occurred in SYL at Udhar Singh village in Kuruskhetra, worst hit due to torrential rains, inundating several villages in deep waters.
A heavy downpour has also started in the district, which will worsen the situation further, officials said. Meanwhile, normal life, including movement of rail and road traffic, has been restored in parts of Punjab and Haryana with relief and rescue operations going on war footing in flood ravaged parts of Kurukshetra, Ambala, Patiala, Ludhiana and Sangrur.
As part of relief and rescue operations, services of helicopters is being used by the army, besides personnel of National Disaster Rescue Force are working overtime to bring things under control in flood-hit villages in districts of Haryana and Punjab, officials said.
Army and National Disaster Response Force personnel are working to plug the breach at Sutlej Yamuna Link canal in Kurukshetra district. The Kurukshetra-Pehowa road has been closed for the movement of traffic in view of water logging, officials said, adding that a fresh breach had occurred at Bibipur Lake close to Jyotisar in Kurukshetra district.
Even as several seasonal rivers, including Markanda and Tangri, are flowing much below the danger mark, over dozen villages were marooned as water spilled over from overflowing of SYL near Naggal in Ambala district where army personnel had been summoned for rescue and relief operations, reports said.
Due to breaches in Ghaggar river at two places in Sangrur and Patiala, nearly 50 villages were cut off in Dakala area and had been marooned under knee deep waters, they said. NDRF personnel are also using services of motor boats and swimmers to rescue people trapped in houses and other places in the flood-hit areas of the two states.
With no rainfall in most parts of the region today, water levels have receded considerably at several places in the flood-hit areas, providing respite to the affected people.
Officials said that rail and road traffic has been restored in most places of the region. However, railway track was partially damaged close to Shahbad in Kurukshetra district, reports said.
Railway sources said that the mainline Delhi-Ambala-Kalka section is still disrupted and majority of long distance trains are being diverted through Jakhal-Dhuri-Ludhiana section.
Over dozen trains bound towards Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir remained cancelled. However, the Met office had predicted some rains in parts of Punjab and Haryana in the next few days.
While, Ludhiana received 32.3 mm of rainfall, Rohtak got 19.3 mm of rainfall. Among other places, Chandigarh got 16.4 mm of rainfall, Bhiwani 13.6 mm and Hisar 7.2 mm of rainfall.
Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Wednesday and appraised him about the situation in the state.
"The prime minister has given assurance that the Central government would provide all possible help to the state to overcome the crisis because of the flash floods. He asked me about the flood situation in the state and the measures being taken to provide relief to the affected people," Hooda said in a statment released by his public relations department in New Delhi.
The link road between Ambala and Chandigarh has become operational now, latest reports stated. Punjab, which was cut off from rest of the country due to heavy rains in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, is now accessible by road, railways and by air.
State administration in Himachal Pradesh heaved a sigh of relief as the link between Chandigarh and Ambala was restored as thousands of tourists in the state were stuck due to flooding of the national highway. Reports from the state indicate that water in the Beas has also started receding, but just fractionally. Tourists stuck in Manali and Kullu would now be in a position to get back home.
A senior government official from Chadigarh told rediff.com that the National Disaster Management Authority has sent a team comprising of over one hundred officials, which was rushed to help the authorities still in the process of assessing the total damage suffered by the Haryana and Punjab."
"By Thursday evening we would have a fair idea of the total damage suffered by the state," the official added.
Chief minister of Haryana had earlier told mediapersons in Chandigarh that while the water of Tangri river had overflowed in Ambala district, flooding the city as well as villages, the SYL canal had about 40 feet wide breach near Jyotisar in Kurukshetra district, which flooded the rural areas of the district. The excess water was later diverted to the Narwana cannal.
Haryana also released 50,000 cusecs of water into the Yamuna. Delhi administration has issued a red alert to the low lying areas of the National Capital Region.
With inputs from PTI