Delhi deluge fury: Several key areas flooded as national capital battles flood threat
The water level in Yamuna is expected to rise further, according to the Central Water Commission, which has termed it an "extreme situation."
NEW DELHI: With Yamuna levels rising to a record high, several key areas in Delhi including the Secretariat housing the chief minister's office were flooded on Thursday, impairing normal life and traffic movement, as authorities scrambled to lead rescue and relief efforts.
The Yamuna water level touched 208.53 metres at 10 am, breaking a 45-year-old record, officials said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the closure of schools near the river and the shutting down of water treatment plants, as people waded through knee-deep waters in low-lying areas to reach safer places. Curbs were also placed for the entry of vehicles into the national capital.
Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena will hold a special meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Thursday to discuss the flood situation in the city, officials said. Kejriwal, who is the vice-chairman of the DDMA, will also attend the meeting, they said.
The water level at the Old Railway Bridge crossed the 208-metre mark Wednesday night and rose to 208.48 metres by 8 am on Thursday. It is expected to rise further, according to the Central Water Commission, which has termed it an "extreme situation."
As the Yamuna swelled, Kejriwal announced the closure of private and government schools in inundated areas. Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla water treatment plants were shut down, which could affect the water supply in the national capital.
As the woes of people mounted, he also urged MLAs, councillors, volunteers and others to reach relief camps and provide all possible support to people there. Areas like Boat Club, Pandav Nagar, some parts of Gandhi Nagar and Bhajanpura were inundated with floodwaters.
According to officials, locals in some areas showed reluctance in moving out even as water reached their homes. The Delhi Secretariat housing offices of Chief Minister Kejriwal, his cabinet and other senior bureaucrats, was too flooded on Thursday.
According to officials from the Public Works Department, they received information regarding the flooding of the Delhi Secretariat. They said they were coordinating with the traffic police and other agencies on the situation.
The road from Rajghat to Delhi Secretariat was also flooded. Officials said the Ring Road stretch between Kashmere Gate and Purana Lohe Ka Pul has been flooded and closed for traffic movement. An order by the District Magistrate (East) said Shamshan Ghat in Geeta Colony has been closed due to the extreme rise in water levels.
Visuals of people wading through knee-deep waters and carrying their belongings in low-lying areas were seen. The traffic police on Thursday issued an advisory about the restrictions and regulation of vehicular movement due to the rise in the water level of the Yamuna River.
According to the advisory, due to the rise in the water level of Yamuna and consequent inundation of low-lying areas, traffic movement has been impaired on Mahatma Gandhi Marg between IP flyover and Chandgi Ram Akhara, Mahatma Gandhi Marg between Kalighat Mandir and Delhi Secretariat and Outer Ring Road between Wazirabad Bridge and Chandgi Ram Akhara.
Non-destined commercial vehicles will not be allowed to enter Delhi and will be diverted to the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways.
The commercial vehicles will be diverted from Mukarba Chowk. No commercial vehicles will be allowed between Mukarba Chowk and Wazirabad Bridge, the advisory stated.
Commercial vehicles will be diverted from Sarai Kale Khan. No such vehicles will be allowed between Sarai Kale Khan and the IP flyover.
Commercial vehicles will be diverted from the Ghazipur border as well as from Akshardham towards DND. No such vehicles will be allowed between Akshardham and Sarai Kale Khan, it added.
With the situation deteriorating every passing hour, Kejriwal on Wednesday urged the Centre to intervene, and the city police imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in flood-prone areas to prevent unlawful assembly of four or more people and public movement in groups.
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