The threat of floods looms large over parts of the Capital as the water level in the Yamuna is expected to touch a new high of 207.75 metres by Wednesday. The highest level was previously recorded in 1978 at 207.49 metres and recently in 2010 at 207.11 metres. The rising water level may lead to closing down of the Old Railway Bridge for traffic as well.
The rain-fed river has been swelling over the past two days ever since 8.06 lakh cusecs of water was released upstream at the Hathnikund barrage on Monday. The danger level (204.83 metres) is monitored keeping the water level at the Old Railway Bridge as reference. The danger mark was crossed by Tuesday noon and touched 205.18 metres, said officials of the Irrigation & Flood Control Department.
“By 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the water level had reached 205.40 metres. It is expected to peak to about 207. 75 metres on Wednesday,” said Irrigation & Flood Control Department chief engineer V.P.S. Tomar.
People from the low-lying areas along the Yamuna continue to be evacuated. “The administration of the respective districts were directed to complete the evacuation process at the earliest. It is expected that the water level would touch 207.05 metre around Wednesday noon,” said a statement from the Delhi Chief Minister’s office.
Over 400 tents have been set up in the four districts – 240 in District East, 100 in District South East, 50 in District Central and 30 in North East – to accommodate the affected people and arrangements for food have been made. In all, 62 boats have been stationed at the Boat Club and other key locations to reach out to the marooned people, if required.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who is keeping a close watch on the situation has directed the District Magistrates to identify more low-lying areas in view of unprecedented rise in the water level. “The Army has been requested to be on alert to help the civil administration if required. The Public Works Department, IF&C and corporation officials have been directed to press into service pumps for dewatering operations. The SDMs have also been asked to ensure police patrolling and presence of civil defence volunteers in the vulnerable areas,” said the statement.
Meanwhile, the Disaster Control Room in the office of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has actively started monitoring the situation and disseminating information regarding the water level in the Yamuna through SMS alerts to all key functionaries.