Several low-lying areas in Delhi were flooded on Thursday as the water level in the Yamuna River continues to be at its highest ever.
The level at the Old Railway Bridge stood at 208.61 metres at 1 pm on Thursday morning, 3.28 metres above the danger mark, reported NDTV. It is likely to increase till 3 pm or 4 pm, the Central Water Commission has predicted, according to PTI. On Wednesday, the water level had surged to a 45-year high.
On Thursday evening, the Central Water Commission, however, said that the water level has stabalised and will start receding to touch 208.45 metres by 3 am on Friday, reported PTI. This will still be above the danger mark of 205.33 meters.
Earlier on Thursday, visuals shared on social media showed the water level on Thursday swelled in the areas of Nigambodh Ghat, Civil Lines, Wazirabad and parts of Old Delhi. The water from the river also inundated the key Ring Road in north Delhi and caused traffic jams in several parts.
The water level in the Yamuna river rose following three days of incessant rain in the national capital.
Delhi Water Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that “uncontrolled volumes of water” was also being released into the Yamuna from the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana’s Yamunanagar. “This is eventually causing trouble in Delhi,” he said on Twitter. “The central government must intervene.”
The barrage has filled up due to very heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh, where there has been large-scale damage to life and property.
An official of the Central Water Commission told PTI, “We noticed that the water released from the Hathnikund Barrage took less time to reach Delhi compared to previous years. The main reason could be encroachment and siltation. Earlier, the water would have had more space to flow. Now, it passes through a constricted cross-section.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that three water treatment plants in Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla have been shut as the Yamuna river overflowed.
“Due to this, there will be a water shortage in some areas of Delhi,” he said. “As soon as the Yamuna water recedes, we will try to start them as soon as possible.”
Following a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, the chief minister said that the Delhi government has ordered the closure of all schools and colleges till Sunday, ANI reported. Government employees, except those providing essential services, will have to work from home.
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said that the government has banned the entry of heavy goods vehicles into the city from four borders as a precautionary measure. Inter-state buses from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand that used to terminate at the Kashmere Gate stop will now do so at the Singhu border.
There is, however, no restriction on vehicles carrying essentials such as food and petroleum products.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said that the entry and exit gates at the Yamuna Bank Metro Station have been temporarily closed. “However, the interchange facility is still available and services on Blue Line are running normally,” it added. “Kindly plan your journey accordingly.”
An Archaeological Survey official said that Red Fort will be closed till Saturday in view of the flood-like situation, PTI reported.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department has predicted light to moderate rainfall to continue in Delhi on Friday and has also issued a yellow alert, reported PTI. A yellow alert recommends the residents to be vigilant of changing weather conditions.