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Yamuna water crosses danger mark, flood threat over Delhi

June 18, 2013 21:17 IST

Threat of flood loomed large over the national capital as the water level in Yamuna rose well above the danger mark and is set to go up significantly with Haryana releasing over nine lakh cusecs of water into the river in the last two days.

Authorities have evacuated around 1,500 people from various low-lying areas in east Delhi like Usmanpur, Yamuna Bazar, Bhajanpura and ShastriPark and set up relief camps for their shelter.

"The water level of Yamuna crossed the danger mark of 204.83 metres at 7 am and it reached 205.58 metres at 7 pm," officials in the Flood Control and Irrigation department said.

They said the water level would touch 207.05 meter around noon on Wednesday as 9.5 lakh cusecs of water released by Haryana in the last two days is expected to reach Delhi.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the situation was under control and there was no need to panic as the administration was prepared to face any eventuality.

The Old Yamuna Bridge, connecting east Delhi with the heart of the national capital, was shut for rail and road traffic early Tuesday morning after the water level in Yamuna rose dangerously.

Haryana had released eight lakh cusecs of excess water into Yamuna from the Hathnikund barrage near Yamunanagar on Monday while it released over 1.5 lakh cusecs on Tuesday.

The closure of the Old Yamuna bridge resulted in diversion of traffic in East Delhi, resulting in choking of various arterial roads in the area.

"The situation is under control. There is no need to panic. The concerned departments and agencies are taking all precautionary measures to deal with any eventuality," Dikshit said.

The chief minister said she has been keeping a close watch on the flood situation and the level of the water in Yamuna apart from keeping in touch with all agencies concerned to ensure the safety of people.

Officials in the Flood and Irrigation department said they have completed evacuation of the people from low-lying areas.

Officials said the army has been asked to be on alert for helping the civil administration, if required.

They said over 400 tents have been put up in four districts -- 240 in East district, 100 in South East district, 50 in Central district and 30 in North East district to accommodate the affected people.

Sixty two boats with divers have also been pressed into service to rescue the people.

One Junior Commissioned Officer of the army has been deployed in the flood control room in East Delhi for proper coordination between the army and the civil administration in relief and rescue operation.

Chief Secretary D M Spolia has directed Sub Divisional Magistrates of affected districts to initiate joint patrolling with police in vulnerable areas to ensure that nobody is left in the flood-prone areas.

The 'Disaster Control Room' in the office of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has started monitoring the situation and disseminating information regarding the water level in Yamuna through SMS alerts to all key functionaries, said the officials.

Mobile medical teams and water tanks have also been pressed into service to help the affected people.

In the last 40 years, the city had witnessed floods in 1967, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1988, 1995 and 1998.

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