Yamuna flowing a metre over danger mark in Delhi
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Last Updated: Friday, September 10, 2010, 22:24
New Delhi: Alarm bells rang in Delhi tonight as Yamuna rose a metre over the danger mark with a looming threat of flooding low-lying areas, prompting the city government to go on an overdrive to evacuate people to safer places.

With fears of floods looming large in various areas in east Delhi, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit appealed to people not to panic and said all the precautionary measures are being put into place to meet any eventuality.

The water level in the Yamuna rose to 206.17 metres, up by 1.34 metres from the danger mark of 204.83 metres, this evening after water released from Hathanikund Barrage in Haryana reached the city.

Senior officials of Flood Control Department said the water level is likely to swell further and may reach 206.65 metres by tomorrow morning as Haryana released nearly one lakh cusec water today.

They said some low-lying areas near the river, including Garhi Mandu, Usmanpur Pusta, Jagatpur Village and Shatri Nagar, were inundated by rising water.

Yamuna had crossed the danger level of 204.83 metres yesterday, prompting authorities to evacuate hundreds of people living in the low-lying areas. Seventy-four boats and 68 divers have also been pressed into service.

Dikshit, asking people not to panic, said though Haryana has released nearly 9 lakh cusec of water in the last three days, there may not be much threat to the city as water has dispersed due to breach in embankments along the route.

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

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

Meanwhile, the Old Yamuna Bridge, connecting east Delhi with the heart of the national capital, was today shut for rail and road traffic after the water level in the river rose.

The road as well as rail movement was closed following the rise in water level to 205.88 metres at 3 pm.

Flood Control Minister Raj Kumar Chouhan said over 100 booster pumps were fitted along the banks of the river to pump out water which may enter the low-lying areas. "We are constantly monitoring the situation," he said.

Chouhan said that the water which was released from Hatnikund Barrage in last three days has spread in Haryana due to crack in some embankments.

The city had witnessed floods in 1967, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1988, 1995 and 1998 but the flood in 1978 was of serious nature as it had inundated areas in the city. The water level in Yamuna had touched 207.49 metre then flooding vast areas in east Delhi.

Asked about apprehension about a similar situation, Chauhan, however, said there was no possibility of flood even if the water level reaches 206.65 metres.

He visited various affected areas like Kudasia Park, Sonia Vihar, Garhi Mandu and Usmanpur Pusta to take stock of the situation. The Minister also directed the authorities to ensure adequate arrangements of food, water, proper lighting and doctors in all the camps.

"The situation is being monitored round-the-clock," he said, adding over 400 camps have been set up to provide shelter to the affected people.

Divisional Commissioner D M Spolia said all necessary arrangements including mobile medical teams, water tankers and sanitary arrangements are in place for the affected people.

Last month too, the water level in the Yamuna rose above the danger level, prompting authorities to shift a large number of people to relief camps.


First Published: Friday, September 10, 2010, 22:24

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