After 3,000 evacuated over Yamuna flood alert, a Kejriwal tweet
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday transport minister Kailash Gehlot will visit people evacuated from low-lying areas of the city after the water level in the Yamuna river breached the danger amid criticism that his government was not doing enough for the displaced.
“Directed Kailash Gehlotji, Minister-in-charge, to visit the area alongwith all officers and ensure proper arrangements (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted and attached a report about people complaining of “no arrangements from the Delhi government”.
Officials said about 3,000 people were moved to makeshift camps and traffic was suspended on the Old Yamuna Bridge as the water level in the river continued to rise on Sunday, reaching its highest level in the last five years a day after breaching the danger mark.
“Will visit this area around 9.30 a.m. along with Divisional Commissioner and other officers to ensure that all arrangements are in place,” Gehlot tweeted.
The authorities are evacuating more affected people to safer places.
The river’s water level rose to 205.66 metres on Monday morning due to water discharge from Haryana’s Hathnikund Barrage amid continuous rain in the catchment areas. Haryana had released 6,00,000 cusecs of water at 6pm on Saturday.
Indian Railways officials said traffic on old Yamuna bridge has been restored after the water level of Yamuna was found to be safe enough for train traffic.
News agency ANI cited the spokesperson of Northern Railway as saying that engineers are “continuously monitoring the site and bridge health”.
Twenty-seven trains were cancelled and seven others diverted late on Sunday night after the railways temporary closed the Yamuna bridge, also called Loha Pul, as the water level in the river reached 205.53 metres.
The water level in the Yamuna is likely to rise to 206.6 metres in the next 48 hours, a flood department official said, as it takes at least two days for the water to reach Delhi after being released from Hathnikund Barrage, around 200km north of Delhi. The barrage provides drinking water to New Delhi.
The national capital suffered its worst flood in 1978 when the water level in the Yamuna had touched a record 207.49 metres.
Around 15,000-20,000 families living on the river floodplains have been affected by the rising water, according to irrigation and flood control department officials.
The affected areas include Old Railway Bridge, Akshardham, Geeta Colony, Okhla, Garhi Mandu, Madanpur Khadar, and Usmanpur, among others.
Though rain has abated in the national capital, heavy spells in the upper catchment areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have led to a sharp rise in the level of the Yamuna in Delhi.
Evacuation of people, mostly farmers and cattle grazers in the low-lying areas of the floodplain, began on Saturday after the Delhi government issued a flood alert.
The India Metrological Department (IMD) said on Sunday the intensity of rainfall in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand is likely to decrease in the next three-four days, which could improve the situation in Delhi.