Several evacuated as Yamuna flows above danger mark (Lead)

September 22nd, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Several people, mainly from slum clusters in Delhi, along Yamuna river were evacuated Monday as it crossed the danger mark and authorities declared “high alert”.The water level rose to 205.28 metres, 45 centimetres above the danger mark of 204.83 metres, as the Haryana government was forced to release nearly 50,000 cusecs of water from swollen reservoirs upstream Sunday night.

People from low-lying areas in Usmanpur, Nigambodh Ghat, Sonia Vihar, Chilla village, Batla House and Garhi Mandu were moved to safety even as scores of families continued to face problems with their food and drinking water supply blocked.

The authorities have issued a high alert in the neighbourhoods and people have been asked to evacuate the area along the riverbank, an official at Delhi government’s Flood Control Room said.

“Control rooms have been set up at various strategic places to keep round-the-clock tab of water flow which has been steadily increasing due to constant rains in northern states,” the official said.

This is for the first time in the last 10 years that such a huge quantity of water, 390,000 cusecs, has been released from Tajewala barrage by the neighbouring state that is witnessing heavy rainfall.

On Sunday, the water-level in Yamuna had risen to 204.60 metres after the Haryana government released 400,000 cusecs of water.

The Yamuna has been carrying far more water than usual due to heavy rainfall in its catchment areas in the Himalayas. The reservoirs have also lost part of their capacity to hold water due to siltation.

Earlier in August, the water level in the river had crossed the danger mark to touch 205.69 meters due to continuous rains in the city. It was for the first time in the last five-six years that water level in Yamuna rose to 205.69 meters.

The river had crossed the danger mark of 204.83 metres in September 6, 1978, when it rose to 207.49 metres and caused heavy floods in the city. The danger levels were also crossed during 1995 and 1998 when the water level of the river rose to 206.96 metres and 206.18 metres, respectively.

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