Yamuna crosses danger level yet again, agencies stay on alert - Hindustan Times
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Yamuna crosses danger level yet again, agencies stay on alert

Jul 27, 2023 12:02 AM IST

The water level of the Yamuna river in Delhi has once again risen above the danger level due to localised showers and rain in the upper catchment areas. The river has been fluctuating around the danger level for several days but has not reached the unprecedented level it reached in July. Officials have warned flood-affected people not to return to their homes and have set up relief camps for over 15,000 displaced individuals. The government is maintaining vigilance and has created sandbag embankments to prevent future floods. A survey is also being conducted to identify those eligible for compensation.

In line with the fluctuating trend, the water level of the Yamuna once again rose and crossed the danger level (205.33 metres) on Wednesday amid localised showers and rain in Yamuna upper catchment areas, officials said.

A view of the Yamuna river at Old Yamuna Bridge in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
A view of the Yamuna river at Old Yamuna Bridge in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

At 10pm on Wednesday, the river was flowing at 205.47m, according to the Central Water Commission . A day ago, the river’s level had dropped to 205.24m at the same time.

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Officials, however, maintained that the river did not pose a threat, even at low-lying areas. But, they will continue to remain on alert even as they warned the displaced, flood-affected people not to return to their houses. At present, over 15,000 such people continue to live in flood relief camps set up across the city, according to Delhi government officials.

The Yamuna has been hovering around the danger level for the past several days, but has remained far from the unprecedented level it touched at 208.66 metres on July 13, partially inundating the city and displacing thousands. Since then, the river’s nature has been moonish — while it has dropped below the danger mark on multiple occasions, as recently as Monday, the water breached the evacuation mark (206m) as it touched 206.57m at 4am on that day.

Delhi government officials said they continue to make flood announcements on the Yamuna floodplains across six of the 11 districts, so that people do not go close to the flooded riverbanks. “After hitting the highest recorded level (July 13), the Yamuna came below the danger level for the first time on July 18. Since then, the water levels have fluctuated, but the Yamuna continues to flow within its embankments and currently there is no threat to even low-lying colonies, but the government is alert,” said an official.

A revenue department official said, “People have been living in the flood relief centres for a long time and want to return to their homes. But, they have been told not to return to their homes till the water completely recedes and there is no imminent threat of flood.”

Meanwhile, the hourly water discharge from the Hathnikund barrage at Yamunanagar district in Haryana once again went up to 65,000 cusecs on Wednesday, the second official said. It had dropped below 40,000 cusecs on Tuesday. However, this did not contribute to the increased water levels on Wednesday, as officials said that it takes at least 36 hours for the discharged water to reach Delhi.

Another government official said that all districts have been asked to maintain vigil, as the weather department has forecast rainfall in the Capital. The authorities have already created sandbag embankments at vulnerable and low-lying sites along the Yamuna to prevent any future floods.

Meanwhile, the government was carrying out a survey to identify this eligible for the 10,000 compensation it has announced for flood-hit families.

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