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A river ran through it

Every time it pours in the national Capital, several stretches on the Ring Road between ISBT Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan are inundated., Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 26, 2012 00:05 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Every time it pours in the national Capital, several stretches on the Ring Road between ISBT Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan are inundated.

Every time Yamuna crosses the danger mark, the Ring Road stretch near Yamuna Bazar is flooded.

Before one can jump to blaming the usual suspect — the PWD for shoddy road engineering — here's a point to ponder.

Till about 100 years ago or a little more, Yamuna flowed at the stretch that lies embedded between the Salimgarh and the Red Fort, now a World Heritage Site.

No wonder that the stream finds natural affinity to the stretch where it's spill channel once flew.

When the British took over the Red Fort after the 1857 uprising, several markets and ghats that lined the Yamuna to the north of the fort were destroyed.

Then the railway bridge that connects eastern India to Delhi came up. By the turn of the century, a kutcha road took people towards Qudsia Bagh, now located north of ISBT, Kashmere Gate.

"I remember my younger days, when we used to walk below the Mangi bridge to reach Yamuna Bazar ghat or the old Loha Pul for swimming lessons," said Sultan Singh Backliwal, an octogenarian art collector, scholar jeweller-businessman from one of the oldest Jain traders community in the city.

It was much later that this road was carpeted and later designated as the Ring Road.