The Yamuna river’s level receded in Delhi on Saturday morning but remained above the danger mark, PTI reported.
The river’s level came down to 207.58 metres at 8 am on Saturday from its peak of 208.66 metres at 8 pm on Thursday in Delhi, PTI reported citing the Central Water Commission. The danger mark for the river is 206.24 metres. Several low-lying areas of the national capital remain inundated even as water began to recede.
On Friday morning, floodwaters reached the entrance of the Supreme Court and submerged the busy ITO intersection and Raj Ghat. Three children had also drowned while bathing in a waterlogged area in Delhi’s Mukundpur on Friday, marking the first rain-related deaths this year.
The flooding in the national capital occurred as “uncontrolled volumes of water” was released into the Yamuna from the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana’s Yamunanagar, the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi said.
The barrage has filled up due to very heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh, where there has been large-scale damage to life and property. On Friday, the Indian Meteorological Department predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall over Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh till July 19.
The Delhi government had also shut down water treatment plants at Okhla, Wazirabad and Chandrawal on Thursday after they were inundated. On Friday, the Okhla water plant was reopened. The Wazirabad and Chandrawal water treatment plants are expected to start functioning from Sunday, provided there is no heavy rainfall, Kejriwal said in a tweet.
“We are waiting for the water to recede so that the equipment at water treatment plants can be cleaned and dried,” Delhi Water minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said on Saturday. “Right now nearly one fourth of Delhi’s water production is affected and people are facing water shortage.”
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation also removed speed restrictions on the movement of trains on the Yamuna bridges as the water level of the river receded. Earlier, trains were passing through all four Metro bridges on the river with a restricted speed of 30 kilometres per hour as a precautionary measure.
The four bridges are at Yamuna Bank (698.8 meter on Blue Line), Nizamuddin (602.8 meter on Pink Line), Kalindi Kunj (574 meter on Magenta Line), and Shastri Park (553 meter on Red Line).
The Delhi Traffic Police have said that the Bhairon Marg, which stretches from Mathura Road to Ring Road carriageway, is not open for vehicular traffic.
Other routes that have become functional are Vikas Marg from ITO to Laxmi Nagar, Nishad Raj Marg from Shanti Van to Geeta Colony, Chandgi Ram Akhara to Mukarba Chowk carriageway, and Chandgi Ram Akhara to IP College.
Routes that continue to remain shut or restricted due to flooding are Ring Road-Majnu Ka Tilla-ISBT-Shanti Van-IP flyover to IP Depot, Ring Road-IP Depot to IP flyover to ISBT Carriageway, Salim Garh Bypass, Old Iron Bridge Pusta to Shamshan Ghat, Outer Ring Road-Mukarba Chowk to Wazirabad carriageway, and Kashmere Gate inter-state bus terminal.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s Divisional Commissioner Ashwani Kumar on Saturday denied the allegations of disobeying state ministers and called the accusations by the Aam Aadmi Party “unfortunate”, reported The Indian Express.
On Friday, Bharadwaj had accused Delhi’s bureaucrats of not responding to his requests of sending National Disaster Response Force to fix the damaged water regulator that caused flooding in the ITO area on Thursday night.
On Saturday, Kumar said that he spoke to Delhi’s Public Works Department Minister Atishi and also responded to her messages.
“All our field officers have literally been working day and night to confront the situation,” Kumar said during a press conference. “Levelling allegations, in the middle of such a situation and against officials who are working day and night, is unfortunate.”
Following an Ordinance in May, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the Centre had taken control of administering the transfer and posting of bureaucrats serving the Delhi government.
The ordinance had nullified the May 11 Supreme Court verdict which held that the Aam Aadmi Party government in the National Capital has legislative power over bureaucrats in all departments other than public order, police and land.