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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Yamuna flooding: Govt and BJP spar over relief camps

Over the past three days, more than 15,000 people were evacuated from the floodplains as the Yamuna was flowing beyond its danger mark of 205.33. The CM said once the water level is well below the danger mark, the city administration will help the people in shifting back to their homes.

delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2019 00:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Member of Parliament Manoj Tiwari talks to flood-affected victims, near Kashmere Gate ISBT, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Several low-lying areas along the Yamuna were today flooded as the water level in the river was flowing two metre above the danger mark and inching towards touching the highest level.
Member of Parliament Manoj Tiwari talks to flood-affected victims, near Kashmere Gate ISBT, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Several low-lying areas along the Yamuna were today flooded as the water level in the river was flowing two metre above the danger mark and inching towards touching the highest level. (Photo by Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
         

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and revenue minister Kailash Gahlot on Wednesday met flood-affected people living in temporary shelters to take stock of the relief arrangements made by the city administration.

Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also visited camps in and around the same area and said people were not satisfied with the arrangements, a claim the government dismissed.

Over the past three days, more than 15,000 people were evacuated from the floodplains as the Yamuna was flowing beyond its danger mark of 205.33.

On Wednesday morning, Kejriwal went to Usmanpur in East Delhi and met those living in tents set up by the Delhi government. The CM said he directed officials to provide fans and lights in the tents at night.

“Met the flood-affected people at Yamuna bank. Most people have left their belongings in their houses but its a good thing there is no loss of life. Tents, food, water and medicine have been arranged. Let us know if there is any shortage, we will immediately do the needful,” Kejriwal said after the visit.

The Yamuna continued to flow well above the danger mark on Wednesday but by evening Kejriwal announced that the water level had begun to recede. “I have spoken to the Haryana government and I’ve been told that they are reducing the amount of water being released towards Delhi. We are expecting the situation to improve by tomorrow (Thursday),” Kejriwal told reporters.

The CM said once the water level is well below the danger mark, the city administration will help the people in shifting back to their homes.

BJP leaders, including the party’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari and former union minister Vijay Goel, met the flood-affected people and offered them help. Both Tiwari and Goel, during their separate visits, alleged that people complained about unavailability of tents, toilets and food.

Venturing into the flooded area, Tiwari took a loudspeaker and appealed to locals in Kisan Basti, Gaon Purana Usmanpur and Garhi Mandu to shift to safer places. “The flood-affected people complained about scarcity of food, tents and other basic amenities. I assured to resolve their issues immediately,” Tiwari said.

Goel said that in the same area near the Pushta, the Delhi government had erected four tents on the road “only for show”. “In the roads beyond and close to the river, I found people lying in the scorching sun. I asked the DM to erect tents and to provide basic facilities of toilet and food to these people in two hours. If these people are not provided with tents, food and toilets, I will sit on a strike,” Goel said after his visit.

However, Delhi’s revenue minister Kailash Gahlot said people in relief camps were rather appreciating the efforts of the government. “Food, water and other necessary relief materials are being provided. Officers of the revenue department in coordination with other agencies are working round the clock,” Gahlot said.

First Published: Aug 21, 2019 20:18 IST

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