Delhi on high Flood Alert :As Yamuna Water Levels Tear Past Danger Mark

NEW DELHI : The Yamuna River is expected to reach its peak flow at the Delhi Railway Bridge site at 9am on Thursday, resulting in a water level of approximately 208.30m, which is 2.97m above the danger mark. Following this, the water level is anticipated to remain stable for a few hours before gradually receding from around 2pm, according to the latest forecast by the Central Water Commission (CWC).
As the Yamuna River in Delhi swelled to a record-breaking level on Wednesday, surpassing a 45-year-old record, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has urged residents in low-lying areas near the Yamuna River to evacuate.”We have to protect lives, properties. People in low-lying areas near the Yamuna River need to be evacuated,” Mr Kejriwal warned in a press conference on Wednesday. The Delhi government has alerted the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of the escalating situation, he said. Mr Kejriwal also instructed district magistrates to convert schools into relief camps if necessary due to the increasing water levels in the Yamuna.
The Yamuna in Delhi swelled to 207.71 meters on Wednesday, surpassing its previous record of 207.49 meters set in 1978. Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has called a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority tomorrow to discuss the flood situation. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will also take part in this meeting. District Magistrates of concerned districts (North, North-East, Shahdara, Central, East, and South-East), along with their district Sector Committees, Irrigation & Flood Control Department, Delhi Disaster Management, Delhi Police, and other stakeholders are on high alert to effectively handle the flood situation. Efforts are being made to coordinate and collaborate among all the parties involved.

The surge in water level prompted an emergency meeting chaired by Mr Kejriwal.In the wake of the crisis, Delhi Police banned gatherings in vulnerable parts of the city. Thousands of people have already been relocated to safer areas as water invaded homes and markets near the river. Projections from the Central Water Commission suggest that water levels are likely to rise further. The India Meteorological Department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall to continue in Uttarakhand in the next two days, exacerbating the flooding risk. In a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Mr Kejriwal requested for a limited release of water from the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana, to help manage water levels in the Yamuna.
“The news of flood in the capital of the country will not send a good message to the world. Together we will have to save the people of Delhi from this situation,” Mr Kejriwal said, pointing out that Delhi is preparing to host the G-20 Summit meeting in the coming weeks. Frustration is mounting among the displaced residents in Delhi. Some have expressed disappointment with the government’s perceived lack of adequate response to the crisis.

Revenue Minister Atishi affirmed that the Delhi government is taking measures to reinforce river embankments and evacuate people from the floodplains. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has issued advisories for residents to relocate to safer areas and avoid low-lying regions.Flooding is not new to Delhi, with major floods recorded in 1924, 1977, 1978, 1995, 2010, and 2013. Analysis shows an increasing trend for floods in September, while a decreasing trend is observed in July.Experts have attributed the record water levels to riverbed elevation caused by significant silt accumulation. Insufficient dredging and a plethora of bridges and barrages obstructing the river flow have led to the build-up of silt in the riverbed.
Over 300 cattle, including calves, living in two separate cowsheds were evacuated to safety as water from the Yamuna overflowed into land along the river in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida, adjoining Delhi, on Wednesday, officials said. While the water has not yet entered into any village or human settlement, the Gautam Buddh Nagar district administration has issued an advisory, cautioning people in low-lying areas against venturing near the swollen Yamuna, which was flowing above the danger mark in Delhi, they said. According to Irrigation Department officials, the Yamuna was flowing at the 200-metre mark — a little shy of hitting the danger level of 200.60metres — at the Okhla barrage in Noida.
District magistrate Manish Kumar Verma said water from the Yamuna overflowed into lands near the Gulawali area and people in low-lying areas have been advised to be prepared to move to safer locations in case it is required in coming days. (PTI)
Meanwhile, the finance ministry on Wednesday released Rs 7,532 crore to 22 state governments under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) amid rain causing havoc in the northern parts of the country. The amount to states, including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and Maharashtra, has been released as per the recommendations of the ministry of home affairs, the finance ministry said in a statement.
In the wake of heavy rains across the country, the guidelines have been relaxed and the amount has been released as immediate assistance to states without waiting for the utilisation certificate of the amount provided to the states in the last financial year, it said. Heavy rains in the last few days have caused havoc in the northern part of the country, including Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand.
People residing in low-lying areas who needed to be evacuated have been relocated to safer places at higher elevations, the statement said. Accordingly around 16,564 people have been shifted to safer places. 45 boats have been put on duty for awareness, evacuation & rescue work. A total of 12 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have also been deployed for rescue work at the most vulnerable points.
(Bureau Report with Agencies Inputs).

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