New Delhi: Fears of a
flood in the national capital loomed large Friday with the Yamuna
flowing above the danger mark and expected to rise further, but
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said there was no need to
worry and the "situation was under control".
The water level in the Yamuna reached the 205.60 meter mark Friday
morning and is expected to breach 206 meters by evening, well over
the danger mark. The river waters crossed the danger level 204.83
As old-timers recalled the 1978 floods when the river had crossed
207.48 meters, affecting more than 250,000 people, the government
said there was no reason for worry.
"The situation is under control, don't worry," Dikshi told
reporters on the sidelines of a function. "The amount of water
which was to reach Delhi from Haryana has fortunately not reached
"I along with flood control minister Raj Kumar Chauhan are
monitoring the situation following the release of over six lakh
cusec of water. People have been evacuated from low lying areas
and shifted to camps put up by the Delhi government. Food is also
being provided to them," she added.
According to Deputy Commissioner, East Delhi, S.S. Ghonkrokta: "No
area of Delhi is under any flood threat.
"The panic is unnecessary. Delhi is totally safe. The water is
coming and flowing downstream. There is some impact but it is
limited only to river bed," Ghonkrokta told IANS.
Areas that had been flooded in 1978 included low lying colonies
like Batla House, Garhi Mandu, Yamuna Bazaar, Nigambodh Ghat,
Shastri Park, Madanpur Khadar, ITO, Rajghat, Daryaganj, Model Town
and Mukherjee Nagar as well as settlements along the river bank.
However, government officials rejected the contention that these
areas are under threat stating that the embankments of the river
were higher that what they were in 1978.
"The embankments were not so strong in 1978. Now we have roads
over the embankment. Unless the embankment is damaged, there is no
threat of flood," Ghonkrokta said, blaming the media for panic.
"There can be some waterlogging in the lower areas, but no flood."
An official of the irrigation and flood control department
detailed the government's emergency measures.
"Nearly 74 boats and 68 divers are ready. Besides, we have 85,850
empty cement bags, 3,582 cubic meters of stone, 11 trucks and 422
life jackets to meet the challenge."
More than six lakh cusecs of water was released from the Hathni
Kund Barrage in Haryana Wednesday. That has resulted in the river
rising four to five centimetres every hour.
The river bed, where cultivation takes place during dry months,
had been totally evacuated last month after the first flood alert.
"The people who cultivate on the Yamuna bed are not supposed to be
there during the four months of monsoon, according to the
agreement through which they have been given the land for
cultivation," said Ghonkrokta.
Dikshit had said Thursday that only half the water released by
Haryana had reached Delhi.
According to the government, over 100 booster pumps were fitted
along the banks of the river to pump out water which may enter the