Thousands of people left their makeshift homes on the Yamuna floodplains and moved to temporary shelters Saturday, with the water level in the river remaining above the ‘danger’ mark.
In the evacuation that began Friday night, people living on the floodplains in East Delhi have moved to higher ground, said Amod Barthwal, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, East. Tents were set up at four locations in East Delhi — near Hathi Ghat close to ITO, near Sarai Kale Khan, Mayur Vihar Phase-I, and behind the Commonwealth Games Village.
Khilli Ram Meena, Principal Secretary, Revenue, said around 2000 people in Northeast Delhi, 5000 people in East Delhi, and 600 people in Southeast Delhi have been affected by rising water levels. “They have shifted to higher land near their jhuggis and also onto the roadside in the East district. Food, shelter, water and sanitation facilities are being provided by the district administration. In three districts – Shahdara, Central and North – no shifting was done as there is no serious threat at this level of water, which was around 205.99 m. Now the water level has started decreasing,” he said.
“People will move in and out of the shelters, but there is unlikely to be any need for further evacuation tonight since the water level is not likely to increase further,” Barthwal said.
The water level remained above the ‘danger’ mark of 205.33 metres all day on Saturday. At 8 pm, the level at the Old Railway Bridge was 205.88 metres, below the 205.99 metre-mark recorded at 4 pm. Officials in the city’s flood control room said the level was falling as of 8 pm. According to the Central Water Commission (CWC) forecast, the level is likely to dip further tonight. The water level at the Old Railway Bridge is likely to fall to around 204.75 metres by around 1 pm on Sunday, which is below the ‘danger’ mark, but above the ‘warning’ level of 204.5 metres.
Going by a CWC flood situation report issued Saturday, a warning for a ‘severe’ flood situation remains for August 14 and 15, which means that the water level could touch or exceed the ‘danger’ mark. Isolated very heavy rainfall remains on the forecast for Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, both basin states of the Yamuna, on August 14, according to the India Meteorological Department.
The water level crossed the ‘danger’ mark on Friday for the first time this season after heavy discharge from the Hathnikund barrage upstream of Delhi. The peak discharge from Hathnikund on Saturday was 17,827 cusecs at 12 pm, according to officials in the flood control room.