Evacuation on as Yamuna continues flowing above danger mark

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New Delhi: A family sits with their belongings at the banks of river Yamuna as evacuation drive is underway after water released from Haryana's Hathnikund added to the continued rains that led the Yamuna river to breach its danger-level mark; in New Delhi on July 28, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, July 29: Over 1,000 families have been evacuated from the low-lying areas near the Yamuna till Sunday morning as the river continued flowing above the danger mark in Delhi.

The level of the river rose to 205.46 meters on Sunday after water discharge from Haryana’s Hathnikund Barrage and continuous rainfall in the region.

It is expected to rise further to 206.60 meters on July 31. Haryana had released six lakh cusecs of water at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The water discharged from Hathnikund barrage, which provides drinking water to New Delhi, normally takes 72 hours to reach the city.

“More water is being released from the barrage every hour, which will have an impact on the water level of the river here. We are keeping a close watch on the situation,” a Flood and Control Department official told IANS.

“We have established over 750 tents for about 1,000 families in East zone alone. The arrangements for their food is also done. We are shifting the people living in the river bed to the nearest high area,” Nodal officer (Preet Vihar) Arun Gupta told IANS.

“Boats have been deployed to tackle any unwanted situation,” Gupta said. Quick response teams have also been activated for the emergency.

The evacuation started on Saturday following a sharp rise in the river’s level.

Heavy rains continued to lash many parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, with authorities releasing more water at Haryana’s Hathnikund barrage during the day.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday held a review meeting with officials concerned on the preparedness to tackle the flood-like situation in low-lying areas of Delhi.

The officers assured Kejriwal that they are alert and prepared for dealing with exigencies.

The Delhi government also requested the Army to be on the standby for any emergency.

Flood-like situation in Haryana villages; CM to review situation

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday called an emergency meeting at his residence here to take stock of the situation arising from floods in villages around Yamunanagar town following the release of excess water from the Hathnikund barrage.

The Yamuna river continued to flow above the danger mark even after the release of over 600,000 cusecs of water that inundated at least 10 villages.

The villagers were seen camping on rooftops of their houses.

“There is no help from the government as all our ration and households were damaged with the sudden increase in water level last (Saturday) night,” Zubair Khan, a resident of Mandi village, located on the outskirts of Yamunanagar town, told a news channel.

There was no fodder for the livestock. “We were told by the government to leave the village, but we can’t go because of our livestock,” an aggrieved Khan added.

The government on Saturday sounded a high alert in the districts of Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat and Sonipat.

Yamunanagar Deputy Commissioner Girish Arora said the Indian Army and the National Disaster Response Force have been put on alert for rescue and relief operations.

The authorities began to evacuate hundreds of people living in the Yamuna catchment area following a sharp rise in the river’s level, officials said.

Heavy rains continued to lash many parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while authorities released more water at the Hathnikund barrage during the day.

The Yamunanagar administration has set up a flood control office at the district headquarters and at all blocks for an immediate response.

There was no report of any loss of life in the state.

The Met Department in Chandigarh predicted that the hill states in Haryana’s neighbourhood will continue to experience heavy rains.