Nearly 100 trapped in Delhi, Yamuna flows above danger mark (Lead)August 17th, 2008 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Nearly 100 people were trapped and hundreds of others evacuated from slum clusters along the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi as the river was flowing three feet above the danger mark due to continuous rain over the last one week, a top official said Sunday. “The river is flowing nearly 40 centimetres (3.4 feet) above the danger mark. We have sounded an alert across the Yamuna embankment,” Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta told IANS Sunday.
In Delhi, the danger level for the river is 204.88 metres. For the first time in six years, the Yamuna For most part of the year, the river bed in Delhi remains dry thanks to many dams upstream of the river.
Mehta said many slum-dwellers were trapped in low-lying areas like Usmanpur, ITO and Shastri Nagar. “We had already sounded alert but these people might not have got the message.”
Authorities said Delhi Police, civic officials and relief and flood management department officers were shifting the trapped people to “temporary but safe tents”.
“We have already evacuated people from nearly five slum clusters, mainly in east Delhi,” Mehta said.
He said the Delhi government had already blocked a few major drains flowing into the river.
“We have blocked the gates to stop the back flow of the flood water. We hope the water will recede from Monday evening,” Mehta said, adding that drain waters were being pumped out to maintain pressure and overflowing.
Heavy rains in the last one week and release of river water by neighbouring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have worsened the situation in Delhi.
In the last three days, Himachal Pradesh has released 100,000 cusecs of water and Haryana has released nearly 140,000 cusecs of water.
Authorities said control rooms were set up in several places, especially in east and north Delhi, to keep a tab on the water level of the river.