The water level in the Yamuna continued to rise on Tuesday and is expected to touch a maximum height of 207.08m by Wednesday afternoon, officials of the flood and irrigation department said.
The water level in the river had last breached the 207m mark during the 2013 floods, when it touched 207.32m.
By 3pm on Tuesday, the water level at the Old Iron Bridge had touched 206.17m. In 2018, the water level had shot up to 206.05m.
Officials said that this time the water level is expected to touch 207.08m sometime between 1pm and 5 pm on Wednesday, before it starts receding.
By 4pm on Tuesday, the Delhi government had evacuated more than 16,000 people from low-lying areas along the river’s floodplains.
More than 2,350 tents had been pitched across 48 locations in six districts, through which the river passes. Around 11,000 people have housed in these tents.
The Union cabinet secretary PK Sinha on Tuesday chaired a meeting to review the prevailing flood situation in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Delhi, according to an official statement.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, while speaking on the sidelines of a government program, said, ‘The situation is under control. The government is closely monitoring the situation. All preparations are going on in full swing.’
On Tuesday, the flood water of the Yamuna inundated several low lying areas at Kisan Colony and Yamuna Khadar and entered houses and jhuggis located on the river’s floodplains, forcing families to take shelter in government tents. The cremation ground at Nigambodh Ghat has also got submerged.
‘We had been asked to move last evening (Monday), but most of us have not packed our belongings yet. Last year also we were asked to pack up and move, but nothing happened after that. This has become a routine exercise. In 2017, we were all moved to the camps so we tied our goats and cows along the Noida Link Road and people stole our livestock and we suffered huge losses. We do not have much to lose, so we will wait till the water enters our houses,’ said Gayatri Ganesh, a resident of Yamuna Khadar.
Vehicular traffic has already been suspended on the Old Iron Bridge since Monday, after the water level breached the danger mark of 205.33m. The Northern Railways too on Tuesday reduced the speed of trains, passing over the bridge, to 20km per hour.
‘We might have to temporarily suspend the movement of trains on the bridge if the water level increases beyond 206.4m,’ said the spokesperson of North Railways.
Revenue minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted that he inspected relief camps at Haathi Ghat and Kanchan Colony and interacted with people who have been evacuated and are now staying in relief camps.
‘Food packets and drinking water are being supplied to people living in tents. Medical teams are making rounds. Mobile toilets have been set up. The tents are gradually filing up as the water level is rising and more people are being evacuated,’ said a civil defence volunteer, working in one of the tent sites of Shahdara district.