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Two drown in swollen Yamuna river at Delhi, rescued 11-year-old boy critical

An 11-year-old girl drowned while playing in the inundated floodplains of the river opposite Raj Ghat power plant. Later, in Usmanpur, which is around nine kilometres from upstream from Rajghat, a 23-year-old man drowned in the flooded Yamuna.

delhi Updated: Aug 01, 2018 10:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindusan Times, New Delhi
Yamuna,Flood in Delhi,Delhi
Relatives of Asha, who drowned while playing in the inundated floodplains of the Yamuna in Delhi on Tuesday, mourn her death.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

The flood in the Yamuna river claimed its first casualties on Tuesday, with two people drowning and one other being admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.

An 11-year-old girl drowned while playing in the inundated floodplains of the river opposite Raj Ghat power plant. Later, in Usmanpur, which is around nine kilometres from upstream from Rajghat, a 23-year-old man drowned in the flooded Yamuna.

Police identified the 11-year-old girl who drowned as Asha. Her friend Raja, 7, was rescued by locals and rushed to the Lok Nayak hospital where his condition was stated to be critical. The 23-year-old man who died in Usmanpur was identified as Suresh.

“While one child has died, another is still admitted in the hospital’s ICU. Locals said that the area was being developed by the DDA but we are yet to verify that. As the area is submerged under water, we could not ascertain whether it was a submerged water body where the child drowned,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, deputy commissioner of police (central).

The incident occurred around 11:30am when a group of children were playing in the flood plains, large portions of which have been flooded with knee-deep to waist-deep water. There was a water body nearby, which was dug up by the DDA as a part of its beautification drive, said locals.

“The two children couldn’t identify the water body as large areas of the floodplains were inundated and walked straight into it. A young boy saw the children drowning and raised an alarm. Locals rushed to the spot and both the victims were fished out. The girl however died in the hospital,” said Mohammad Mansur, a neighbour.

Police said that the parents of both Asha and Raja hailed from Bihar and worked as daily labourers and have been living in this part of the flood plains, popularly known among locals as Bela Gaon, for more than 17 years. Earlier they used to live further north of the river.

“I have lost my child. The DDA should have posted a guard or set up a boundary to demarcate the water body,” said Sumitra Devi, mother of Asha.

“Though the DDA developed the area in Yamuna floodplain on the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), but the local administration is responsible for its maintenance and supervision. Several people have built their jhuggis on the site. On Monday, after the land flooded, we had issued directions to people living in the low-lying area to be stay away from the site,” said an official of DDA.

Neighbours said that the incident took place when residents were busy in packing their belongings and shifting to tents set up by the government on the opposite side of the road. No one noticed that the children were playing in the inundated portions of the flood plains.

In the Usmanpur incident, locals spotted the victim, Suresh, drowning in the inundated floodplains and imemdiately raised an alarm. “He was then fished out and rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead,” said Atul Kumar Thakur, DCP (northeast).

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 10:02 IST