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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Old Iron Bridge opened for vehicular traffic as Yamuna water recedes in Delhi

delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2019 08:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The old iron bridge on Yamuna  was thrown open to traffic on Wednesday after the water levels of the river started receding.
The old iron bridge on Yamuna was thrown open to traffic on Wednesday after the water levels of the river started receding. (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
         

The water level of the Yamuna river started receding on Wednesday after hitting the 206.60m mark. It is expected to recede further and drop below the danger level of 205.33 by Thursday early morning, officials of the irrigation and flood control department said.

Train and vehicular movement resumed over the over the Old Iron Bridge on Wednesday. Northern Railways was forced to suspend train services after the water level breached the 206.40m mark around 9 pm on Tuesday. Vehicular movement stood suspended since Monday.

“I have spoken to the Haryana government and I have been told that they are reducing the amount of water being sent towards Delhi. We are expecting the situation to improve by tomorrow,” said Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of Delhi, while interacting with reporters on Wednesday.

While the water level hit a peak of 206.60m by around 5 am on Wednesday, it remained so throughout the day. The water level started receding after 3 pm. By around 7 pm, it dropped to around 206.35m.

Residents of Kisan Basti take out belongings through an alley flooded with the Yamuna, at Kisan Basti, near Kashmere Gate ISBT, in New Delhi, on Wednesday, August 21, 2019.
Residents of Kisan Basti take out belongings through an alley flooded with the Yamuna, at Kisan Basti, near Kashmere Gate ISBT, in New Delhi, on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. ( Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO )

Haryana had been releasing huge amounts of water from the Hathnikund Barrage, which led to the Yamuna surging. On Sunday, more than 84 billion litres of water (eight lakh cusecs) was released between 6 pm and 7 pm, which reached Delhi on Wednesday afternoon. Haryana has now reduced the amount of water being released and on Wednesday only around 1 billion litres were released in one hour (10,000 cusecs).

Till Wednesday 4pm, more than 24,600 people were evacuated from the floodplains, out of which more than 20,100 were shifted to tents. More than 1,200 tents were pitched across 53 locations.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and revenue minister Kailash Gahlot inspected a relief camp at Usmanpur on the eastern banks and interacted with flood-affected.

The Delhi government had earlier said the water level in the Yamuna could breach the 207m mark, a situation last encountered in 2013 when the flood waters touched 207.32m. In 1978, Delhi witnessed the worst floods in recent times when the water level touched 207.49m.

 A view of the submerged temporary houses after Yamuna river water level rose, near Kashmere Gate ISBT, in New Delhi, on Wednesday, August 21, 2019.
A view of the submerged temporary houses after Yamuna river water level rose, near Kashmere Gate ISBT, in New Delhi, on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. ( Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO )

Traffic movement on the Old Iron Bridge resumed. “We resumed train services from 6:30 pm on Wednesday after it was suspended from Tuesday night. If the water level breaches the 206.4 mark again, we might have to again suspend train services,” said Deepak Kumar, chief PRO, Northern Railways.

Officials said the water level was unlikely to increase again as the Haryana government had reduced the water being released. The intensity of rainfall in the upper catchment areas had also reduced.

The Tibetan Monastery market near Civil Lines had to be closed down since Tuesday as the water level was rising every hour. “We will open the market once the water level recedes,” said a senior official.

First Published: Aug 21, 2019 21:03 IST