What Is Slowing Down Yamuna’s Retreat From Delhi Streets

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Water levels of Yamuna are gradually receding but this hasn’t had a significant impact on the flooded Delhi streets. The water level of Yamuna on Sunday morning was recorded at 206.14 metres, down from a peak of 208.66 metres, at 8 pm on Thursday.

But some jammed flood gates at a barrage on the Yamuna and late evening showers have stolen the respite from flooded streets, submerged houses, and swamped historical monuments.

The roads around the Rajghat Memorial and Delhi’s busiest intersection, ITO, are still inundated, with commuters struggling to wade through.

The Indian Navy managed to open one flood gate of the barrage on Friday, with four of the 32 gates still jammed.

A broken drain regulator near the Supreme Court also kept the authorities on their toes for two days. The breach led to flooding outside Supreme Court and the iconic Rajghat.

Army and disaster relief personnel managed to seal off the breach, but Saturday evening’s showers only increased the water levels within the city.

To prevent water from flowing into the city, we have created a wall by stacking up sacks, said Saurabh Bharadwaj, Delhi’s flood control and irrigation minister.

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.

The flooding hit Delhi following heavy rainfall across north India, which has killed dozens of people over the past week. The Yamuna spilled out onto roads surrounding Delhi’s historic Red Fort, reclaiming its ancient flow path, while schools, colleges, and universities in the city are closed till Sunday. Some shops and businesses have also been shuttered.

Thousands of people were moved from low-lying areas to temporary relief centers set up in schools and other buildings, with many people also taking refuge in tents and under flyovers. Some of the relief camps that the government had set up have now gone under water too.

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