The level may go up in the next 3-4 days with the Yamuna rising alarmingly

After marching rapidly toward the danger mark of 84.73 metres over the past week, the water levels at the Sangam here have begun to recede. However, according to flood control officials, with the Yamuna rising dangerously high in Delhi, the water level here is expected to rise again in the next 3-4 days.

The Ganga, whose level is measured from two points, recorded 80.37 metres at its Phaphamau bank while its Chatnag bank recorded 79.20 metres on Tuesday, a flood control official said. This was an overnight fall of 24.10 cm and 32 cm. The Yamuna also receded by 30 cm, recording 79.78 metres at its Naini bank. The danger level for the Yamuna in nearby areas is 78.9 metres.

Panic among residents

The alarming rise in the two rivers had created panic among the residents of outlying areas, who after warnings by the Flood Control Department, began evacuating to safer places. Those living on the banks of the Yamuna have already been moved to safer spots, according to officials. With heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand, the Ganga here was also on the up, washing away makeshift huts and tents constructed at the Sangam ghats.

The total flooding of the Sangam ghats could force all the rituals to be conducted at a safer location, meaning a loss of livelihood for at least a week for a few hundred people at the ghats. While the floods disrupt normal life in the nearby villages, it also increases the fertility of soil by the deposition of rich alluvium.

Symbolic significance

The flooding of the Sangam is symbolically significant for the dwellers of Allahabad and Hindus alike. Near the Sangam, under the massive Fort of Akbar, is located the Bade Hanuman Temple — the only one to have Lord Hanuman in a reclining position. The unique supine idol, measuring 20 feet by 8 feet, has a portion of it buried underground.

When the Ganga floods the ghats, this temple gets submerged. According to popular sentiments, the level of the Ganga rises so that its waters can touch the feet of Lord Hanuman. Thousands of devotees flock to the temple each year to catch a glimpse of the supine edifice. The tourists are already in numbers awaiting the spectacle. Photography of the idol, however, is strictly prohibited.