Swollen Yamuna hits over 2,000 people in Delhi, iron bridge closed | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Swollen Yamuna hits over 2,000 people in Delhi, iron bridge closed

delhi Updated: Sep 11, 2010 21:12 IST

IANS
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The Yamuna flowed nearly two metres above the danger mark on Saturday evening as over 2,000 people from flooded areas in east and north Delhi were evacuated and an iron bridge over the river was closed as a precaution, an official said.

The swollen Yamuna's water level touched a high of 206.78 metres on Saturday and officials hoped the level would come down to 206.35 metres by 4 pm on Sunday.

"The Yamuna is likely to start receding tonight (Saturday) and is expected to touch the 206.35-metre mark at 4 pm on Sunday evening," Irrigation and Flood Control department's Chief Engineer V.P.S. Tomar told IANS.

Tomar said for nearly three hours the water level remained constant at 206.78 metres. Altogether 1,897 people living in low-lying areas were moved to safer places, including nearly 400 government camps.

According to an official, the Yamuna water threatened to enter parts of the otherwise busy Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), the capital's oldest bus station in Kashmere Gate.

As part of precautionary measure, the irrigation and flood control department decided to close the vintage rail-cum-road double-decker iron bridge that links the Walled City to Shahdara neighbourhood across the river.

The railways also cancelled or diverted 53 trains, including several short-distance services, as several low-lying areas in and around the national capital were flooded.

Fields close to Mayur Vihar Phase-I area in east Delhi were flooded and hundreds of labourers living there had pitched tents along a main road, an official said.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit visited low-lying areas in the capital affected due to rise in water level of Yamuna and assured that the government was fully geared to meet any challenge.

Accompanied by Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, Dikshit visited low-lying areas such as Sonia Vihar, ISBT and Yamuna Pushta and also met people living in relief camps.

According to an official, over 30,000 cusecs of water is being released into Yamuna on an hourly basis and it was normal for the river's level to rise.

Low-lying areas like Garhi Mandu, Usmanpur Pushta, Jagatpur village and Shastri Nagar were some of the places inundated, officials said.

Around 100 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have been deployed to assist the authorities to tackle the situation, which is similar to the situation in 1978.

In 1978, more than 250,000 people were affected when the Yamuna flooded large areas in the capital's northern and eastern districts through which the river flows.