With water level in the Yamuna continuing to hover over the danger mark since late last night, the spectre of flood is looming over the city.
On Wednesday evening the level of the Yamuna at Old Railway Bridge was recorded at 205.4m — which is 1.4m above the warning level. “The water level is expected to increase further at night,” said MCT Pareva, chief engineer, Irrigation &Flood Control (I&FS).
Irrigation and Flood Control officials, however, said the situation is fully under control and the government is implementing various flood protection measures to check any eventuality. “We are monitoring the situation very carefully. If the water level increases any further, we will close the gates of drains outfalling into the river to prevent water from inundating the city. This will prevent the backflow,” he said.
The flood like situation in low-lying areas of the city has been caused on account of persistent rain in upper catchment areas of the Yamuna. “There has been heavy rainfall in northern Indian states like Uttaranchal, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. There is constant release of water from Hathni Kund barrage since Friday. A discharge of 4,09,876 cusecs has been released from the Tajewala barrage on Saturday. This has resulted in the water level increasing in the river,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Pareva said the government has already put in place elaborate measures to protect the embankments on all sides of the river. “Pumps have been installed in different low lying areas and we have arranged flood materials like life jackets, boats and trucks to evacuate people,” he said. He added, “The engineers of the flood control department are patrolling the Yamuna bund on both sides so as to check and report any breach of bund at any location. No such breach has been reported so far.”
So far, government officials said over three-dozen people have been evacuated from various low-lying areas like Garhi, Usmanpur village, Badarpur, Burari, Gopalpur, Kanjhawala harijan basti to safe place. “We have put up several tents in areas located on high ground. The problem is that many villagers are not willing to relocate, as they do not want to leave their house. They want to stay there till its completely unsafe,” said a government official.