Lucknow, Aug 9 (IANS) Several villages in Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh have been flooded and dozens more are threatened following the breaching of Elgin-Charsari embankment by the swollen Ghaghra river, officials said on Tuesday.
About 38 villages with a population of 65,000 people are at the risk of flooding by the collapse on Monday of the 52-km long embankment, which starts from Elgin Bridge in Barabanki district to Charsari village in Gonda district, they said.
People have been asked to leave their houses and go to safer places or flood relief camps set up by the district administration, the officials said.
“The breach took place between the 9th and the 14th kilometre. The work of engineers and technical experts is over as the embankment has already been washed away. So, now we have pressed the staff into rescue mode,” Gonda’s District Magistrate Ashutosh Niranjan told IANS.
He said a team of army personnel from the Dogra Regiment stationed in Faizabad has surveyed the area and are on a stand by.
A team of 35 people from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) with their equipment is camping in the region to ensure that there is no loss of lives.
A platoon of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) flood division is also in Gonda and another is on way from Chitrakoot, Niranjan said.
Senior officials of the state irrigation department led by the principal secretary have visited the area and are monitoring the situation.
“We have 10 boats, and eight motor boats of the NDRF and PAC are also here. We will use them as and when required,” Niranjan said.
Interestingly, the administration had spent Rs 5 crore on repairs and maintenance of the embankment earlier this year.
The Ghaghra river had also breached the Elgin-Charsari embankment in 2010 at kilometer 15, affecting 150 villages and 2.5 lakh people in Barabanki and Gonda districts.