Yamuna water begins to recede, evacuation continues

September 24th, 2008 - 2:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) Hundreds of people have been evacuated from low lying areas along the Yamuna riverbank in the capital as it continued to flow above the danger level for the third consecutive day Wednesday. But officials said the water level has started to go down.The water level had risen to 206 metres Tuesday evening, but came down to 205.83 metres around 11 a.m. Wednesday.

“The water has started receding and by evening it will be down by some more centimetres. The maximum quantity of water released from the Haryana reservoir has crossed Delhi and the water will further recede in the coming days,” an official at the Delhi government’s Flood Control Room said.

According to a forecast by the Central Water Commission, the water level in Yamuna will come down to 205.50 metres by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The Yamuna has been flowing above the danger mark of 204.83 metres since Monday following the release of excess water by Haryana from swollen reservoirs upstream.

About 500 people from low-lying areas of the capital - Usmanpur, Sonia Vihar, Nigambodh Ghat, Chilla village, Batla House and Garhi Mandu - have been evacuated since Monday even as scores of families continued to face problems with their food and drinking water supply blocked.

“Boats have been deployed in sensitive areas and the situation is being monitored. People have been asked to evacuate low-lying areas and proper arrangements have been made to temporarily settle them in tents. The situation is under control and the administration is well equipped to deal with any emergency,” the official said.

As part of the rescue operation, 57 boats have been deployed at seven places including Usmanpur, Batla House and Garhi Mandu. Arrangements have been made for over 370 life-jackets, 63,000 bags and 11 trucks to deal with any emergency situation.

“The engineers of the Flood Control Department are patrolling the Yamuna bund on both sides so as to check and report any breach at any location. No such breach has been reported so far and there is no fear of Delhi being flooded,” the official said.

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

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

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