The water level in the Yamuna River in Delhi touched its highest-ever mark on Wednesday, PTI reported.
The levels at the Old Railway Bridge stood at 207.81 metres, breaching the previous high of 207.49 metres recorded in 1978, according to the Central Water Commission’s flood-monitoring portal. The water from the river reached the key Ring Road in north Delhi and caused traffic jams in several parts.
The river had exceeded the evacuation mark of 206 metres on Monday night, prompting authorities to relocate people residing in flood-prone areas.
As a precautionary measure, the Delhi Police have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, prohibiting large gatherings in the flood-prone areas of the Capital.
The sharp rise in water level was due to continuous rainfall in the Delhi-NCR region since Saturday. On Sunday, the city had witnessed its highest rainfall – 153 mm – in a single day since 1982. Besides this, Haryana had also discharged more water into the river from the Hathnikund barrage in Yamunanagar on Monday, according to PTI.
On Wednesday, the Irrigation and Flood Control Department said 45 boats have been deployed for imparting awareness and ensuring evacuation and rescue work. Non-governmental organisations have also been roped in to provide relief to those evacuated, reported PTI.
“The Old Railway Bridge has been closed for traffic,” the department said. “All gates of the Okhla Barrage have been opened to release excess water and prevent prolonged high water levels.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held an emergency meeting with officials on the rising water level in river Yamuna. He also urged the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government to intervene.
“Central Water Commission predicts 207.72 meter water level in Yamuna tonight,” he wrote in a tweet. “Not good news for Delhi. There have been no rains in Delhi last 2 days, however, levels of Yamuna are rising due to abnormally high volumes of water being released by Haryana at Hathnikund barrage.”
Delhi Water Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the government was prepared to deal with the situation.
“We are trying to take all the people living and doing agriculture on the banks of Yamuna to safe places,” he said. “We have made all arrangements for their accommodation and food.”
Traffic advisory issued
The Delhi Traffic Police said that movement of traffic will be regulated on the Outer Ring Road between Wazirabad Bridge and Vikas Marg and the Mahatma Gandhi Road between Kalighat Mandir and Delhi Secretariat.
The movement of commercial vehicles within Delhi will be contained primarily on the Ring Road, the traffic police said. Commercial vehicles coming from the Rani Jhansi Road to ISBT Kashmiri Gate will be diverted towards the Vir Banda Bairagi Marg and New Rohtak Road.
Commercial vehicles looking to pass through Delhi will not be allowed entry into the city and will be diverted to the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressway.
“In case of flooding in the vicinity of ISBT Kashmiri Gate, buses coming from the Ghaziabad side will be terminated near Seelampur Metro Station,” the police said. “Other vehicular traffic coming from the Ghaziabad side will be diverted to Pushta Road”