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Yamuna water level crosses danger mark in Delhi again

Yamuna water level crosses danger mark in Delhi again
New Delhi, The water level of the Yamuna in Delhi crossed the danger mark of 205.33 metres yet again on Friday, further delaying rehabilitation efforts in the flood-affected low-lying areas. The Central Water Commission's (CWC) data showed the water level reached 205.34 metres at 6 pm on Friday and may rise further to 205.45 metres by 11 pm.

There have been marginal fluctuations in the water level over the last two-three days amid rain in the upper catchment areas, primarily in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The Yamuna had been receding gradually after reaching an all-time high of 208.66 metres on July 13.

The water level dropped below the danger mark by 8 pm on Tuesday after flowing above the threshold for eight days. It receded to 205.22 metres at 5 am on Wednesday, before it started rising again and breached the danger mark.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh till July 22.

In case of heavy rains upstream of Delhi, the increase in the water level could slow down the pace of rehabilitation of the affected families in the inundated low-lying areas of the capital and they may have to stay in relief camps for a longer period.

It could also impact the water supply in the city, which became normal only on Tuesday after being affected for four to five days due to the inundation of a pump house at Wazirabad.

The pump house supplies raw water to Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla water treatment plants, which together account for around 25 per cent of the city's supply.

According to Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials, there is a shortage of 10-12 million gallons of water per day (MGD) due to inundation of some tube wells in the river floodplain at Palla.

The DJB extracts around 30 MGD from the tube wells installed in the Palla floodplain.

Parts of Delhi have been grappling with waterlogging and flooding for more than a week now. Initially, a downpour caused intense waterlogging on July 8 and 9, with the city receiving 125 per cent of its monthly rainfall quota in just two days.

Subsequently, heavy rains in the upper catchment areas of the Yamuna, including in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana, led to the river swelling to record levels.

At 208.66 metres on July 13, the Yamuna surpassed its previous record of 207.49 metres set in September 1978 by a significant margin. It breached embankments and penetrated deeper into the city than it has in over four decades.

The consequences of the floods have been devastating, with more than 27,000 people evacuated from their homes. The losses incurred in terms of property, businesses and earnings have run up to crores.

Experts attribute the unprecedented flooding in Delhi to encroachment on the river floodplain, extreme rainfall within a short span of time and silt accumulation that has raised the riverbed.

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