Those opposing the construction of the Commonwealth Games Village on the Yamuna riverbed have been warning all along for the past three years that when the water level in Yamuna rises to around 207 meters— as it almost has — any installation there would be prone to flood.
Environmentalists, however, say when it floods, neither the embankment nor the raised platform will be able to save these buildings, as they would be flooded from rising underground water.
But government agencies, including the developers, have been arguing the new buildings, the transport depot, the games village etc are coming up on a raised platform.
“Also, the embankment will prevent any flood from touching these installations,” said a senior Delhi government.
“The games village is in a low-lying area and the floodplain is made of sand. In case of flood, when the water level of the underground aquifer rises, it will come up and inundate the surface,” said environmentalist Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan.
“Water would then seep from beneath the embankment. That’s how Yamuna floods. It’s not like the overflowing of a tumbler as the government would have us believe,” he said.
This means all the installations, including the expensive flats called the Commonwealth Games Village, will always be vulnerable to flooding.
Meanwhile, the water level of the river stood at 205.67 metres on Monday and the Delhi government said it was “rising very slowly”.
The Irrigation and Flood Control department has closed many of the sluice gates to stop the backflow of water.
On the main drains, regulators are being managed to ensure there is no backflow in the upper areas. Pumpsets have been deployed to pump water into the Yamuna on points where sluices have been closed.