Delhi lashed by heavy rains; road, rail traffic hitSeptember 12th, 2010 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Heavy rains lashed the capital Sunday, throwing life out of gear in many parts due to waterlogging and causing traffic jams, even as a crematorium adjacent to the swollen Yamuna river was forced to shut as it was flooded.
The Met department has predicted a few spells of rains or thundershowers Monday, signalling little respite from the clouds’ fury.
Sunday’s rains, one of the heaviest this season, brought low-lying areas under water and fuelled traffic snarls on roads, uprooted trees and left commuters stranded after several trains were cancelled.
The railways cancelled several trains as the Yamuna continued to flow above the danger mark.
Fortunately, being a weekend, many office goers and schoolchildren were spared the chaos on roads as the number of vehicles was less than usual.
Weekend revellers who set out for tourist places, cinema halls and shopping malls battled waterlogged roads, vehicle breakdowns and the resultant traffic jams.
Vehicular movement was disrupted in areas near Model Town, Dhaula Kuan, Mori Gate, Lodhi Road, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, Inter-State Bus Terminus at Kashmere Gate, Azadpur, Najafgarh, Bhajanpura, Andheria Morh, Yusuf Sarai and parts of Ring Road as the roads went under water, forcing many road users to walk in knee-deep water.
The Nigambodh Ghat - one of the biggest cremation grounds in the city located adjacent to the Yamuna - came to a halt as it was flooded with rain water.
Speaking to IANS, crematorium supervisor, Naresh Ahuja said: “Due to the heavy downpour this (Sunday) morning, the Nigambodh Ghat crematorium was flooded and cremations were stopped for the day. About five bodies were sent back.”
He also said that on an average about 40 bodies were brought here for cremation every day but only five bodies were brought Sunday due to waterlogging.
The Northern Railway cancelled 23 trains and diverted 36 trains, including 39 short-distance services, as the Yamuna water level stood at 206.28 meters Sunday evening, which was 1.45 metres above the danger mark of 204.83 metres.
“Most of the trains coming to Delhi or leaving the city might get cancelled or diverted until the Yamuna water level recedes completely, we can’t take chances,” a Northern Railway spokesperson said.
Delhi’s department of irrigation and flood control has closed the vintage rail-cum-road double-decker iron bridge over the Yamuna. Officials said it will not open until the water level goes below the danger mark.
“The Yamuna water is receding and it has now come down to 206.28 metres. The water will recede further as the discharge from Haryana has also come down,” said department official Utpal Singh.
“The rains are continuing so its difficult to say how soon the water will recede. However, the maximum discharge from Haryana today (Sunday) was at 6 a.m. in the morning which was 59,122 cusecs,” he said.
The official added that the department was fully prepared to face any challenges that may arise.
“Divers, life jackets and boats are ready. Medical relief and ambulances have been deployed as well. The river bed was evacuated long back. Other than that, as and when a threat comes to any low-lying area, we issue an alert,” he said.
He also said close to 2,000 people were evacuated from the low-lying areas in the past few days will remain in relief camps and tents.
“It will not be safe to send them back, with rains continuing in the capital we cannot take a decision right now. They will be in the relief camps for now,” he added.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) control room was Sunday inundated with complaints of flooding in several residential areas.
“We received about 20 complaints of waterlogging, few complaints of falling of trees and collapse of building portions from various parts of the city,” said an MCD official.
According to India Meteorological Department, the city received 26.8 mm rainfall from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Sunday. The total amount of rainfall this monsoon season has been 867.6 mm till 5.30 p.m. Sunday, much above the average.
“The rainfall during September this year (till Sunday) has been around 87 percent above the average,” an IMD official added.
“The rains are likely to lash the city for another week,” he said.
According to the department, the maximum temperature recorded Sunday was 29.4 degrees Celsius, four degrees below average, and the minimum temperature stood at 24.8 degrees Celsius, which was the average. The maximum humidity was recorded at 98 percent while the minimum was at 84 percent.
The capital is expected to witness a cloudy day Monday with one or two spells of rains or thundershowers, a met department official said.
“The maximum temperature (Monday) will hover around 32 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature around 25 degrees Celsius,” said the Met official.
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Tags: bus terminus, cinema halls, crematorium, danger mark, heavy downpour, inter state, lala lajpat rai, lodhi road, model town, northern railway, rail traffic, rain water, revellers, shopping malls, thundershowers, tourist places, traffic jams, traffic snarls, vehicle breakdowns, yamuna river