As Delhi Yamuna level reaches highest in 45 years, many homes have been flooded

As Delhi Yamuna level reaches highest in 45 years, homes flooded
As Delhi Yamuna level reaches highest in 45 years, homes flooded

At 7 am on Thursday, the Yamuna River in Delhi surpassed the astounding 208-meter threshold and grew to 208.46 metres. On Wednesday around 1 pm, the river broke the record for the highest flood. On Wednesday, the Yamuna River reached a height of 208.08 metres, breaking the previous record high of 207.49 metres set 45 years earlier in 1978. 

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Heavy waterlogging was observed in low-lying regions close to Kashmere Gate as well as at ITO as a result of the Yamuna’s rising water level. For commuters going from east Delhi to central Delhi and Connaught Place, ITO is a crucial route.  The Nigam Bodh Ghat, Chandgiram Akhada, and Civil Lines were among the other sites that were flooded as a result of the overflow.

Due to severe rains, the discharge of water from the Hathnikund Barrage, and rising river levels, many portions of the city are experiencing flooding and water logging. The movement of vehicles has been disrupted on a number of routes as a result of the Yamuna’s rising water level and the flooding of low-lying areas. The Delhi Traffic Police has urged commuters to make a route plan. 

Outer Ring Road between Wazirabad Bridge and Chandgi Ram Akhara, Mahatma Gandhi Marg between Kalighat Mandir and Chandgi Ram Akhara, and Mahatma Gandhi Marg between IP flyover and Chandgi Ram Akhara are the three impacted road segments. Bhairon Road close to Pragati Maidan has also been closed to traffic as a result of a sewer overflow.

The repair work being done to the C-Hexagon India Gate near the Shershah Road cut will also affect traffic flow. Commercial vehicle traffic will also be controlled in some areas of Delhi. The eastern and northern Peripheral Motorways will be used as a diversion for non-destination commercial vehicles, according to the Delhi Traffic Police. 

Commercial vehicles will be detoured away from the Ghazipur border, Sarai Kale Khan, and Mukarba Chowk intersections. Additionally, commercial trucks will be detoured away from Akshardham and towards DND. Between Mukarba Chowk and Wazirabad Bridge, Sarai Kale Khan and IP overpass, and Akshardham and Sarai Kale Khan, commercial vehicles are not permitted.

Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister, demanded that the centre ensure that the Hatnikund barrage in Haryana does not release any additional water during an emergency meeting. He requested to release the limited quantity of water by Haryana from Hathnikund barrage so that the level of Yamuna doesn’t rise any further in a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah. Citing upcoming G20 summit in the national capital, Mr Kejriwal quoted that the Delhi floods are not sending a good message to the world. Delhi Police has imposed restrictions on public gathering in the flood-prone areas as a precautionary measure.

An official was quoted by PTI as saying that the sudden rise in water level was caused by heavy rains in Delhi and the neighbouring areas, which soaked the soil in upper catchment areas. The increase in Yamuna levels is the result of water discharged from a barrage in Haryana.  Boats have been used for rescue operations as well as to raise awareness along riverbanks.

Numerous residences close to the bank have flooded. Shop proprietors in the Monastery Market in the Old Delhi neighbourhood were interviewed by NDTV as they fought the increasing water level to evacuate their stores. Many of them could be seen preparing to leave. “We haven’t seen this much water here since 2013.” Flooding wrecks our stores and spoils our products. We endure significant losses,” a shopkeeper said.

Flashback to 1978

1978 witnessed a similar horrifying story as present, when after 7 lakh cubic seconds of water were discharged into the Yamuna from the Hathnikund barrage, the water level in the river increased to 204.79 metres at the Old Railway Bridge, forty-five years after Delhi was completely destroyed by a raging Yamuna. Even more water was released in 2013 (207.32 cusecs), but flooding was avoided because anti-water build-up measures like building embankments and shank guards were implemented, according to Hindustan Times.

Many locations experienced flooding, which had an impact on thousands of people. Then the capital was covered in water completely, and people’s homes had been affected. Fields of about 43 square kilometres were swamped, ruining harvests. At that point, the Yamuna level at the Old Railway Bridge had reached a height of 207.49 metres. Since then, the Yamuna River’s level has twice gone beyond 207 metres, in 2010 (207.11 m) and 2013 (207.32 m).  The swelling Yamuna had been a problem in Noida during these years.

When the refugee camps and communities that were cut off by the flooding ran out of drinking water, food and other supplies, the flood put Delhi into a state of emergency. The fear of diseases like cholera also loomed large.

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