Yamuna still above danger mark, 1 drowns

The Delhi stretch of the Yamuna continued to flow above the danger mark and may swell further with some 80,000 cusecs of water being released from Hathnikund barrage on Wednesday. The swollen Yamuna also claimed one life on Wednesday as a man drowned while bathing near its bank.

According to officials, the new discharge will reach Delhi in 36 hours (by Thursday) and will further take the river above its present mark of 207.20 metres, already two metres above the danger mark of 204.83 metres.

Compared to Tuesday, the rise in water level was seen in several low-lying areas in central and east Delhi, where huts and fields were submerged. The city administration also evacuated people living in these areas.

An officer of the flood and irrigation department said over 5,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas, and have been accommodated in some 500 tents. The affected areas include Usmanpur, Yamuna Bazaar, Bhajanpura, Shastri Park and Wazirabad, among others. The entire Yamuna flood plain between Akshardham and Noida has also submerged.

“Water level in the Yamuna on Wednesday has been recored at 207.20 metres, and we are prepared if it goes up further. Precautions are being taken and people living in tents are being given medicines and food,” said the officer.

The government has set up some 500 tents in four districts — east (240), south-east (150), central (50) and north-east (30) to accommodate the affected people. The officer said that since it is also mosquito breeding season, fogging is being carried out twice a day. Additionally, an army officer has been deployed to coordinate efforts of the civil administration and the army, added the officer.

As a precautionary measure, power distribution companies have suspended electricity supply to residents of low-lying areas along the riverbed. These localities include Vishkarma Colony, Jaitpur, Dhobi Ghat, near Masjid Khallilullah, Batla House, Garhi Mandu, Usmanpur, Gurudwara Nanakpur and Bela Farm.

Dikshit visits camps

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit visited relief camps near Mayur Vihar Phase-I, DND Flyover and Nursery Khader. She assured all possible help to the affected residents. She later told reporters that people should not panic, and that all precautions have been taken and arrangements made to tackle any emergency.
“There is no need to panic. We are keeping an eye on the situation and things are under control,” said Dikshit.

Train services affected

The Northern Railway stopped train services on the 150-year-old ‘loha pul’ (iron bridge) connecting Shahdara and Old Delhi railway station on Wednesday. The traffic police had closed entry of vehicles to the bridge on Tuesday itself. The railways’ move has affected movement of some 150 east-bound trains operating via Old Delhi railway station. While four express trains were cancelled on Wednesday, several others were either diverted through New Delhi and Nizamuddin railway stations. Others were short terminated at different stations.

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