Delhi is facing an unprecedented crisis as river Yamuna has breached its banks and flooded the streets of the national capital. Their homes submerged, thousands are seeking refuge in temporary shelters set up by the government in several parts of Delhi. But the situation continues to worsen, and some of these shelters have gone under water, adding to the misery of those who evacuated.
All the tents at a relief camp in Old Delhi’s Yamuna Bazar are now submerged forcing people to seek drier grounds. On Thursday, the area was completely dry and authorities have set up their shelter here to evacuate those living in low-lying areas.
The government has established approximately 2,700 centres/tents, and around 27,000 individuals have registered to reside in these shelters, according to a government statement.
Those putting up in relief camps have also been struggling for food and water, with some having to queue for hours to get a meal.
The scene in these camps is chaotic, with people crammed together in a dingy space with their paltry belongings — pots and pans, and clothes drying on lines.
“There has been no food or water… we are just sitting here… we last ate yesterday morning, made our food with whatever we had,” said one of the men who has managed to salvage a charpoy from his home.
Yamuna’s water levels were at an all-time on Thursday following unusually heavy rainfall in New Delhi and other northern states. Though the water levels are slowly receding, parts of Delhi are still inundated as open some jammed flood gates at a barrage on the swollen river Yamuna.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that Yamuna is receding slowly and the situation will normalise soon if there is no more heavy rain but added that the threat of flood is not over yet.
A blame game has also erupted between the ruling AAP and the BJP with both accusing the other for the flood-like situation in Delhi.
The AAP has alleged a conspiracy against the people of Delhi and blamed the BJP governments in Haryana and at the Centre. The charge led to a sharp rejoinder from the BJP, which said that the AAP thinks everyone is indulging in a conspiracy, but Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is “sitting in his sheesh mahal in air-conditioned comfort”, is doing the right thing.