The water level in the Yamuna river continued to rise and stayed over the danger mark for the third consecutive day today.
The water level in the Yamuna river continued to rise and stayed over the danger mark for the third consecutive day today, prompting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to direct officials to make arrangements for the affected people, even as around 10,000 people have been evacuated to safer places.
The river was flowing at 205.78 metres this evening with the danger mark being 204.83 metres, officials said.
Even as the officials said the peak water level is expected to reach 206.50 metres, a political blame game started over lack of proper rehabilitation of people who were left on streets after water entered their houses.
Around 10,000 people have been evacuated due to rising water levels and shifted to tents set up at safer places, a government official said.
A total of 1,149 tents have been set up to accommodate the evacuated people. So far, 8,635 people are living in these tents. Food and medical help is also being extended to them, he said.
After the chief minister’s order, Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot visited the affected areas and directed officials to ensure all proper arrangements were made.
Traffic movement on Old Yamuna Bridge in Delhi was closed yesterday after the water level in the river rose due to rains. Last evening, the river was flowing at 205.5 metres.
Commuters faced traffic woes today with the Delhi police diverting the vehicular movement to Geeta Colony flyover and ITO flyover.
Passengers are advised to plan their journey keeping in mind the extra time they would require to reach their destination, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar said.
“As the water level in the Yamuna river breached the danger mark, the Shahdara district magistrate issued orders for the closure of Old Yamuna Bridge. Accordingly, we have diverted the traffic towards Geeta Colony flyover and ITO,” he said.
Old Yamuna Bridge, colloquially known as ‘Lohe Ka Pul’, is a road-cum-rail bridge on the Delhi-Howrah line that was built over 150 years ago. It serves as a major connectivity link between Delhi and the neighbouring states. Commuters faced long delays as they were stuck in jams on Geeta Colony flyover this morning.
Meanwhile, discharge from the Hathani Kund Barrage between 6 am and 9 pm was 5,13,554 cusecs, with water level expected to rise further.
Amid the crisis, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan hit out at Kejriwal, alleging that there was no advance planning to rehabilitate people affected by rising water level in the river and they were at the “mercy of an insensitive” dispensation.
He also attacked the AAP for failing to keep its election promise to install CCTV cameras in the city, a day after Kejriwal tore apart a report of a panel set up by Lt Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on installation and monitoring of surveillance cameras.
“People along the #Yamuna in Delhi are at the mercy of an insensitive government. As the river is rising above danger mark due to incessant rains, no advance planning in place, not enough shelter for people caught up in flood waters. @BJP4Delhi, @BJP4India,” he said in a tweet.
The highest water level recorded at Old Yamuna Bridge was 207.49 metres in 1978. It was 207.11 metres in 2010 and 207.32 metres in 2013, according to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.