The Yamuna River in Delhi surpassed its previous record and reached a height of 207.55 meters on Wednesday, surpassing the previous record set in 1978.
This unprecedented rise has raised concerns about potential flooding in the capital. Water levels are expected to increase further, according to officials. The Delhi Police have implemented Section 144 CrPC in flood-prone districts of the city as a precautionary measure.
Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, recently conveyed his apprehensions to Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister, highlighting the imminent risk of flooding in the city.
Kejriwal informed Shah that the water level could reach 207.72 meters by Wednesday night.
The water level escalated rapidly, surpassing the danger mark of 205.33 meters 18 hours earlier than anticipated. Kejriwal attributed the rising water level to the significant release of water from Haryana's Hathnikund barrage. He urged Amit Shah to ensure controlled water release from the barrage.
In response to the situation, an emergency meeting has been scheduled at the Delhi Secretariat, where senior officials from all relevant departments will be present. Water from the swollen Yamuna River has already started entering the city, causing concern for residents.
The Monastery market near Kashmere Gate and Ring Road experienced water ingress, prompting people to relocate to safer areas. Authorities have placed sandbags along the Ring Road to impede the further flow of water, and heavy machinery has been deployed for evacuation purposes.
Delhi's Water Minister, Saurabh Bharadwaj, assured the media that the city government is well-prepared to handle the situation, closely monitoring it and taking all necessary steps.
Atishi, another Delhi Minister, confirmed that regular evacuations near the Yamuna River are being carried out, with embankments in place to prevent breaches. Thousands of people have already been evacuated to safer locations.
Based on the flood-monitoring portal of the Central Water Commission, the water level at the Old Railway Bridge surpassed the 207-meter threshold at 4 am on Wednesday, marking the first occurrence since 2013. Subsequently, it further increased to 207.25 meters by 8 am.
The ITO Chhat Ghat has been swamped, causing sitting spots and poles to be affected. Senior police authorities have directed that all police stations along the river's banks increase vigilance and coordinate with other agencies for prompt evacuation in the event of flooding.
The significant surge in water level can be attributed to relentless rainfall in the upper catchment areas and saturated soil resulting from intense precipitation in Delhi and neighbouring regions throughout the weekend.