Monday, July 22
Yamuna River flood

Life comes to a grinding halt as Delhi grapples with the inundation while the tumultuous waters of the Yamuna River

Following the havoc caused by the flooding in Delhi, there is a glimmer of relief as the water level in the overflowing Yamuna River has finally stabilized and receded slightly. This marks the first positive development since the floodwaters engulfed various parts of the city earlier this week, wreaking havoc on normal life. As a precautionary measure, thousands of individuals have been evacuated, and authorities have mandated the closure of schools and colleges until Sunday, acknowledging the prevailing flood-like situation.

The relentless rise of the Yamuna River disrupted the daily lives of Delhi residents, as homes, markets, roads, tourist attractions, and even the administrative hub of the city succumbed to its surging waters. To address this flood-like situation, authorities took the decision to close schools and colleges in the capital until July 16.

A ray of hope emerged as the water level of the Yamuna finally stabilized and began to recede on Thursday night, as confirmed by a senior official from the Central Water Commission.

However, a cause for concern arose when a regulator belonging to the Delhi Irrigation and Flood Control Department suffered damage. As a result, the Yamuna water started flowing back towards the city. In response, officials and a significant number of workers are tirelessly working to fortify the area surrounding the damaged regulator, aiming to prevent further inflow of floodwater into the city. The Delhi government released a statement, mentioning that Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj is overseeing these efforts.

Here are the latest updates on the flood-like situation in Delhi:

  1. Due to heavy rainfall in its upper catchment areas and the release of water from Haryana’s Hathnikund barrage, the Yamuna River has been flowing above the danger mark in Delhi for the past four days. Over the last couple of days, the swollen river has transformed roads into rushing streams, parks into watery mazes, and homes and shelters into submerged areas.
  2. The floodwaters have also reached the upscale Civil Lines area, where the residences of Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and some cabinet ministers are located. The Delhi Secretariat, which houses offices of CM Kejriwal, his cabinet, and senior bureaucrats, has also been flooded.
  3. Numerous areas, including the arterial Outer Ring Road near the Red Fort, Vishwakarma Colony, Yamuna Bazar, ISBT bus terminus, Kashmere Gate, Shankaracharya Road, Majnu Ka Tila, Batla House, Kirari, and Kingsway Camp, have been inundated.
  4. The floodwaters have even reached the walls of the Mughal-era Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and people have been seen navigating through waist-deep and, in some places, neck-high water. As a result, the Red Fort has been closed to visitors since the second half of July 13 and will remain closed today as well.
  5. To aid in the rescue efforts, twelve teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), equipped with inflatable boats, ropes, and other equipment, have been deployed in Delhi. More than 20,000 people have been relocated to relief camps so far. Chief Minister Kejriwal stated that there are 50 boats available, and additional boats will be deployed if necessary.
  6. After reaching a record-breaking level of 208.62 meters, surpassing the previous record set 45 years ago, the water level in the Yamuna River has stabilized. Sharad Chandra, Director of the Central Water Commission, reported that the water flow rate at the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana has dropped to 80,000 cusecs. He added, “The water level has stabilized… It is expected to drop to 208.45 meters by 3:00 am on Friday,” according to news agency PTI.
  7. Meanwhile, the city is facing a drinking water shortage. The inundation of a pump house at Wazirabad has disrupted operations at the Wazirabad, Chandrawal, and Okhla water treatment plants, leading to a 25 percent decrease in water supply, as stated by the Delhi government.
  8. In response to the flood situation, Lieutenant Governor Saxena convened an emergency meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA). Following the meeting, Chief Minister Kejriwal announced, “All schools, colleges, and universities will be closed until Sunday.”

Furthermore, all government offices involved in non-essential services will remain closed until Sunday, with employees working from home. Private offices will receive an advisory to adopt work-from-home practices.