Heavy rain pounded Delhi once again as the national capital battles with severe flooding after record showers and the release of water from Hathni Kund Barrage in Haryana swelled water levels in the Yamuna.
The downpour has added to the woes of the authorities as it is taking longer to drain out the floodwaters, officials said.
Massive traffic snarls and waterlogging were witnessed at several places in the national capital this morning even as the key areas of the city, including ITO and Rajghat remained submerged.
However, the Yamuna’s water level followed a downward trend despite late-evening showers. The water level was recorded at 206. 14 metres this morning at 6 am.
The Yamuna has been flowing well over the danger mark since the past week. The river had reached 208.66 meters, surpassing the previous high of 207.49 meters in 1978.
As roads turned into little rivers, the authorities continued the rescue work. Dogs and cattle were also among the evacuees.
Two task forces are also being moved from Meerut to Delhi, and will be kept on stand by to deal with contingencies.
The scarcity of food in low-lying areas has sparked complaints among residents, adding to the urgency of the situation.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has assured that efforts are being made to open all five gates of the Yamuna Barrage, some of which are jammed with silt, to aid the drainage of floodwater.
“The first jammed gate of the ITO Barrage has been opened. Soon all the five gates will be opened. We are trying our best to bring the situation back to normal,” Mr Kejriwal said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after returning from his two-nation visit, spoke to Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena to enquire about the relief and rescue work.
Mr Saxena said the Prime Minister assured all help and the Centre’s support.
The local government has deployed over 4,500 traffic personnel in the affected areas to manage congestion and aid commuters. The entry of heavy goods vehicles, except those carrying essential items, has been banned from the city’s four borders.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has ordered non-essential government offices, schools, and colleges to remain closed until Sunday to ensure public safety.
Three boys drowned while trying to swim in the floodwaters in northwest Delhi’s Mukundpur Chowk area. These were the first deaths reported in the city since the Yamuna water crossed the danger mark.