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Rising Yamuna floods parts of Delhi, affects train traffic

The rising Yamuna flooded several parts of the national capital on Saturday.

Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 17:49 PM IST

New Delhi: Thousands of people were shifted to safe areas and a steel bridge over the river was shut down as the water level in the Yamuna river continued to rise dangerously on Saturday, flooding east and north Delhi areas, an official said.

The Yamuna water also threatened to enter parts of the otherwise busy Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), the capital`s oldest bus station in Kashmere Gate.

With the neighbouring state of Haryana releasing more water into the river upstream, the water level in the Yamuna touched 206.66 metres on Saturday morning, almost 2 metres above the danger mark of 204.83 metres.

The department of irrigation and flood control decided to close the vintage rail-cum-road double-decker steel bridge that links the Walled City to Shahdara neighbourhood across the river.

The railways cancelled or diverted 53 trains, including several short-distance services, as several low-lying areas in and around the national capital were flooded.

Speaking to a news agency, a transport official in the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) Kashmere Gate said: "Areas near the bus terminus were flooded but there was no problem for the bus terminus."

About any possible threat to Delhi Metro due to the rise in Yamuna`s water level, an official said there was no threat as of now but commuters will be informed about any eventuality.

"As most of the metro corridors are elevated, we don`t anticipate a threat of flood. Only Line 2 (Jahangirpuri-Central Secretariat) is underground where Kashmere Gate station is near the water body. But then also, we haven`t got any indication of flooding," the official said.

Apart from this the fields close to the middle class district of Mayur Vihar Phase-I in east Delhi were flooded, the officials said, adding that hundreds of labourers living there had pitched tents along a main road.

"As of now the water has not entered the colonies of Mayur Vihar Phase-I, but we are still monitoring the situation," an official said.

Prasanna Bhat, residing in a colony in Mayur Vihar Phase-I, said: "We are scared to live in the colony, as many people are saying that if more water is released by Haryana the colony might get flooded. I am trying to shift all the electronic goods to the loft till the flood recedes in Haryana."

"Around 1,500 people living in the fields of Yamuna Khadar near the ITO bridge were shifted to tents," said BS Gautam, division warden of the flood department.

Low-lying areas like Garhi Mandu, Usmanpur Pusta, Jagatpur village and Shastri Nagar were some of the places inundated, officials said.

Officials here said that Haryana was expected to release 30,000 cusecs of water in the river during the day.

Amid warnings that Delhi could see the most severe flooding since 1978, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit asked people not to panic.

Around 100 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have been deployed to assist the authorities.

In 1978, more than 250,000 people were affected when the river flooded large areas in the capital`s northern and eastern districts through which the Yamuna flows.

IANS

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had yesterday appealed
to people not to panic and said all precautionary measures are
being put into place to meet any eventuality.

"There is no need to worry. We are taking all
precautionary measures to deal with any eventuality. The
situation is under control," Dikshit had said.

Authorities had yesterday evacuated hundreds of people
living in the low-lying areas. Seventy-four boats and 68
divers have also been pressed into service.

Over 100 personnel from National Disaster Response
Force have been deployed to assist the local authorities.

The rising Yamuna has forced the Northern Railways to
cancel 25 trains and diverted 36 others.

The trains diverted include Kalka Mail, Shaheed
Express, Garib Nawaz Express, Awadh Assam Express, Shalimar
Express and Brahmaputra Mail.

As many as 39 trains including Satygraha Express, Lal
Quila Express, Farakka and Howrah Janata Express have been
short terminated, according to a Northern Railway
spokesperson.

PTI