Yamuna Water Level in Delhi Recedes Below Danger Mark; Around 7,000 Evacuees Seek Shelter, Food

The water level in the Yamuna receded below the danger mark of 205.33 metres in Delhi on Sunday and is likely to dip further, officials said

The river had breached the danger mark of 205.33 metres around 4 pm on Friday following heavy rain in the upper catchment areas and was flowing over the danger mark for over a day, prompting authorities to evacuate around 7,000 people from low-lying areas.

The water level fell below the danger mark around 2 am on Saturday.

The flood control room said the water level dipped from 205.88 metres at 8 pm on Saturday to 204.83 metres at 8 am on Sunday. A forecast said the water level is likely to dip to 204.75 metres between 11 am and 1 pm on Sunday and will continue the downward trend thereafter.

Low-lying areas near Mayur Vihar Phase I and Akshardham Temple witnessed flooding due to the overflowing river. “The water came gushing in, and I immediately rushed to evacuate my family members and our goats. Some of my belongings got left behind in my house,” a woman told ANI.

Around 5,000 of the 13,000 people living in low-lying areas near the river have been moved to tents erected near Commonwealth Games Village, Hathi Ghat and on Link Road, while around 2,000 people had been shifted to safer places in the northeast district, East Delhi Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Amod Barthwal said. “The remaining people are safe and there seems to be no need to shift them to other places as the water level is likely to drop,” he said.

Karawal Nagar SDM Sanjay Sondhi said that 2000 people had been moved to higher ground in his district and drinking water, food and other essentials were being provided to them with the help of NGOs.

Meanwhile, some of the families evacuated on Friday night from near Shastri Park claimed on Saturday that they are yet to get basic facilities like tents and food. “We have no facility of food and shelter here. Last time when same situation happened, we got proper facilities. We have put up a tent as the kids were complaining about the heat. We demand from the authorities to give us basic shelter and food,” Rani, a mother of three, told PTI.

Several locals also grow vegetables and fruits on the bank and claimed to have suffered financial losses due to damage caused by the river’s rising waters. “This happens every year, but we are helpless and cannot do anything since we do not have enough money to rent a house anywhere else,” said Roop Kishor (45), who grows vegetables on the river bank.

A flood alert is declared in Delhi when the discharge rate from the Hathnikund Barrage in Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar crosses the one lakh-cusecs mark. People living near the floodplains and in flood-prone areas are evacuated then, an official said. “Around 37,000 people who live in Yamuna floodplains and low-lying areas in Delhi are considered vulnerable to flooding,” he said.

Last year as well, the Yamuna river had breached the danger mark in July and the water level at the Old Railway Bridge had risen to 205.59 metres. In 2019, the flow rate had peaked at 8.28 lakh cusec in August, and the water level had hit the 206.60-metre mark. The Delhi government had to launch evacuation and relief operations after the overflowing river submerged many low-lying areas.

(With PTI Inputs)

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