Delhi issues flood alert as river crosses danger mark
August 20 2019 12:17 AM
Yamuna River in New Delhi
A man sits on a boat on the banks of the Yamuna River in New Delhi yesterday. The water level in the river risen due to heavy rains.

IANS/New Delhi

The Yamuna River breached the danger mark in Delhi yesterday evening, prompting authorities to issue a flood alert and start evacuating people from low-lying areas.
According to a Delhi government official, the river was flowing at 205.36m, just above the danger mark of 205.33m.
Authorities have started evacuating families from areas like Gandhi Nagar and Yamuna Bank metro station near Akshardham.
The Yamuna level started rising near the catchment area on Sunday after water was released from the Hathni Kund Barrage in Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar.
Most of the families residing on the Yamuna floodplains are generally engaged in livestock rearing and the evacuation poses challenges for such families and the District Disaster Management Authority.
“We don’t know when the water level will come down, and what would stay behind. The land, our house and everything will be lost,” said Bindesh Kumar, who lives in a ‘kaccha’ house on the Yamuna floodplains near Yamuna Bank metro station.
These families now fear that they might lose their livestock.
“What will happen to my livestock? They are my only source of living. Even if they are evacuated, who will feed them during these days?” said Dharampal Singh, who was packing his valuables after the disaster management team began the evacuation process.
The authorities have already started setting up temporary camps and arrange food for the families living in these areas. Officials claim that over 60 tents would be pitched near the Yamuna Bank metro station, each sufficient to accommodate at least four individuals.
“We have been instructed to pitch at least 60 such tents, and if required the number would be hiked to 70. We have also started evacuating people who live near the Yamuna bank,” said an official.
A Delhi government statement said Haryana had released 8.28 lakh cusecs of water from the Hathni Kund barrage. This water was set to reach Delhi “with full force” in the next two days, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, after presiding over a meeting of senior officials.
Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar took stock of the situation after a dozen villages in Yamunanagar district were flooded by the excess water released from the barrage.
Authorities have started evacuating people living in the Yamuna catchment area. The villagers have been camping on the rooftops of their houses. Locals have complained that there was no food for their families or fodder for the livestock.
The government had sounded a high alert in Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat and Sonipat districts from where the Yamuna passes through before entering the national capital.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced Rs100 crore for emergency relief and rehabilitation measures in the flood-hit regions of the state.
Singh made the announcement during a tour of the flood-affected areas of Ropar, where he evaluated the damage caused by torrential rains.
He expressed grief over the death of three people due to a roof collapse in Ludhiana district.
Reports from Shimla said roads in Himachal Pradesh continued to remain shut yesterday due to landslides triggered by heavy rains in the past two days.
Heavy landslides also traffic on the Chandigarh-Manali highway beyond Mandi town.
At least of 22 people died and two were reported missing in the state in rain-related incidents in the past two days, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said.
Rail traffic bound for Himachal Pradesh beyond Ropar town in Punjab has been snapped since Sunday owing to damage to the tracks, officials said. Twelve trains were suspended.
Train services between Shimla and Kalka, which were disrupted on Sunday after landslips, were normal. The higher reaches of Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts experienced snowfall. Keylong town in Lahaul-Spiti district too saw snow.
The government had announced closure of all educational institutions in Kullu and Shimla districts yesterday.

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