Delhi’s Yamuna river level drops below the danger threshold

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New Delhi:  The water level in the Yamuna receded below the danger mark of 205.33 metres in Delhi on Sunday and is likely to dip further, officials said.

The flood control room said the water level dipped from 205.88 metres at 8 pm on Saturday to 204.83 metres at 8 am on Sunday.

The river had breached the danger mark of 205.33 metres around 4 pm on Friday following heavy rain in the upper catchment areas, prompting authorities to evacuate around 7,000 people from low-lying areas.

The water level fell below the danger mark around 2 am on Saturday.

A forecast said the water level is likely to dip to 204.75 metres between 11 am and 1 pm on Sunday and will continue the downward trend thereafter.

East Delhi Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Amod Barthwal said around 5,000 of the 13,000 people living in low-lying areas close to the river had been moved to tents erected near the Commonwealth Games Village, Hathi Ghat and on Link Road.

Around 2,000 people had been shifted to safer places in the northeast district.

Karawal Nagar SDM Sanjay Sondhi said 200 people had been moved to higher ground from low-lying areas and drinking water, food and other essentials have been provided to them with the help of NGOs.

A flood alert is declared in Delhi when the discharge rate from the Hathnikund Barrage in Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar crosses the one lakh-cusecs mark. People living near the floodplains and in flood-prone areas are evacuated then.

“Around 37,000 people who live in Yamuna floodplains and low-lying areas in Delhi are considered vulnerable to flooding.

“People evacuated from low-lying areas in the floodplains have been shifted to temporary structures like tents and permanent buildings like schools in safer areas,” an official said.

The Delhi flood control room reported a discharge rate of around 10,191 cusecs from the Hathnikund Barrage in Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar at 6 am. The highest discharge rate in the last 24 hours was 17,827 cusecs 11 am on Saturday.

The discharge rate was 1.49 lakh cusecs at 1 am on Saturday and 2.21 lakh cusecs at 3 pm on Thursday.

One cusec is equivalent to 28.32 litres per second.

Normally, the flow rate at the Hathnikund barrage is 352 cusecs, but the discharge increases after heavy rainfall in the catchment areas. The water discharged from the barrage normally takes two to three days to reach the national capital.

According to the India Meteorological Department, “widespread rainfall with isolated heavy rain” is likely in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana on August 14 and 15.

Last year, the Yamuna river breached the danger mark on July 30 and the water level at the Old Railway Bridge had risen to 205.59 metres.

In 2019, the flow rate had peaked at 8.28 lakh cusec on August 18-19, and the water level of the Yamuna had hit the 206.60-metre mark. In 1978, the river had swelled to an all-time record water level of 207.49 metres. In 2013, it had risen to 207.32 metres.

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