Yamuna water level again close to danger mark in Delhi as rains lash upper reaches

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The water level of the Yamuna River in Delhi, which has been close to the danger mark of 205.33 meters in recent days, fell below the threshold again on Saturday morning. However, fresh heavy rain in parts of Uttarakhand may cause the river’s water level to rise again, further delaying rehabilitation efforts in the flood-affected low-lying areas of Delhi.

The India Meteorological Department has predicted heavy to very heavy rain in parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand until July 25.

According to the Central Water Commission’s (CWC) data, the water level dropped from 205.34 meters at 6 pm on Friday to 205.29 meters at 9 am on Saturday. It is possible that the water level may drop further before the impact of the rain in the upper catchment areas becomes clear.

The flow rate at the Yamunanagar-located Hathnikund Barrage was reported at 1.47 lakh cusecs at 9 am, the highest since July 13.

Experts have been monitoring the situation closely. Bhim Singh Rawat, an associate coordinator of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers, and People, mentioned that the rains in the upper catchment areas are subsiding, and the discharge from the Hathnikund Barrage should not exceed the 3 lakh cusec mark. However, there is a concern about the Bata river, which may experience a rise in water levels.

The fluctuating water levels over the past few days have been due to ongoing rainfall in the upper catchment areas, particularly in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

In the event of heavy rains upstream of Delhi, the rising water levels could hinder the rehabilitation process for affected families in the flooded low-lying areas. This may result in an extended stay in relief camps for these families. Additionally, the water supply in the city, which had just returned to normal on Tuesday after being disrupted for several days due to the inundation of a pump house at Wazirabad, could also be impacted.

The flooding situation in Delhi has been ongoing for over a week. It started with intense waterlogging on July 8 and 9, when the city received 125 per cent of its monthly rainfall quota in just two days. Subsequent heavy rains in the Yamuna’s upper catchment areas, including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Haryana, caused the river to reach record levels. On July 13, the Yamuna reached 208.66 meters, surpassing its previous record of 207.49 meters set in September 1978.

The floods have had severe consequences, leading to the evacuation of over 27,000 people from their homes and causing significant losses in terms of property, businesses, and livelihoods. (With inputs from PTI)

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