The release of more water by Haryana from the Hathini Kund barrage led to the Yamuna flowing well above the danger mark. "Haryana is continuously releasing water for the past two days and is expected to release more. The army has been asked to be on alert to help the civil administration, if required," a Delhi government official said.
According to revenue department officials, the water level of Yamuna on Tuesday evening (10pm) had reached 205.72m and is expected to reach 207.75m by Wednesday evening.
The Old Yamuna Bridge, connecting east Delhi with the Walled City, was closed for rail and road traffic on Tuesday. The pontoon bridge in northeast Delhi has also been closed for traffic.
The officials said that they had evacuated nearly 2,000 people living in the low-lying areas of Usmanpur, Bhajanpura, Wazirabad and Shastri Park. Four hundred tents have been put up to accommodate evacuated families and 62 boats pressed into service to rescue those marooned in the river.
Raju, 45, took refuge with his family of five at one such camp near Shastri Park. "I have been a farmer for the past 30 years and we face such losses every time the river swells. But the government always takes care of us," he said.
As the rescued people began settling in the relief camps, murmurs of dissent and anger got louder. Mustafa Khan, a rickshaw-puller, felt the government did not care for them as they were migrants. "No food has been provided to us till now and no official has come to meet us," he said.
Irshad Shaheed, a farmer in the Wazirabad area, said he had lost all his crops to the premature monsoon shower followed by the increased water level of the river. He has suffered losses worth more than a lakh, he said. "This happens every year when it rains heavily. The government never helps us. I grow karela (bitter gourd) and all of it is ruined," he said.
Delhi chief secretary DM Spolia said sub-divisional magistrates of affected districts have been told to initiate joint patrolling with the police in vulnerable areas to ensure nobody is left behind in the flood-prone areas.