High alert in India's Delhi as river Yamuna breaches danger-mark

Tuesday, 2019-08-20 15:28:28
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An official said that the Yamuna river's water level is expected to rise further (Source: IndiaTimes)
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A high alert has been sounded in the Indian capital even as the river passing through the city - Yamuna has breached the danger-mark, 205.3 meters-mark, on August 19 night after excess water was released from rains-hit hilly state Uttarakhand.

At 6:00 a.m. local time on August 20, the water-level of the river was recorded at almost 206 meters, an official of Delhi Government said.

Excess water was also released from neighbouring state of Haryana.

People residing near the swelling river have been evacuated from several areas, including Mayur Vihar, Hathi Ghat, Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Wazirabad, and Kalindi Kunj, mostly in north and eastern parts of Delhi, and rehabilitated in safer areas.

The river Yamuna enters into Delhi from the state of Haryana and crosses into Uttar Pradesh.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the people to move to relief camps where all basic facilities are being arranged for the victims.

In 2013, the river had touched 207 meters when its waters swept away hundreds of homes and farmlands on its banks. Living in Yamuna floodplains is illegal, but encroachments have steadily risen over the years.

Over 2,100 tents have been set up for those being evacuated. Food, water, electricity, and toilet facilities are being provided there. The situation shall remain critical for the next two days as water from Haryana is almost reaching Delhi, Kejriwal said.

According to the chief minister, more than 23,000 people have been evacuated so far.

Most of the affected families are migrants from northern state of Uttar Pradesh and eastern Bihar. They set up small colonies of shanties by the river and their livelihood depends on growing vegetables and flowers in the river bed.

At least 17 persons have died in Uttarakhand during the past 48 hours in heavy rains, landslides and other floods-related incidents. Another 24 people died in another hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, even as most of the roads have been blocked and several hundred tourists stranded in the state.