Delhi floods: Yamuna water above danger mark; CM announces financial aid for affected families
An Indian Naval diving team carries out an operation to open the gate of Yamuna Barrage, ITO. Photo: ANI/Twitter

Delhi floods: Yamuna water above danger mark; CM announces financial aid for affected families

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday (July 16) announced a financial aid of ₹10,000 each for the flood-affected families as rising water level in Yamuna river showed no substantial improvement amid rains that continued to lash the national capital.

A controversy erupted over the issuance of a flood control order by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi, with LG office sources alleging that the apex committee for flood control and preparedness, headed by Kejriwal, did not meet in the last two years. The city government denied the charge, saying the meeting to discuss flood preparedness, chaired by ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj, took place on May 9. It also said the flood control order was issued in accordance with the due process.

Also read: Delhi floods a conspiracy by Centre, Haryana government: AAP

Even though residents experienced a temporary relief due to the slump in Yamuna water levels on Sunday, leading to the opening of key stretches including Bhairon Marg for traffic movement, the same was short-lived as rains lashed parts of the national capital in the evening, bringing back waterlogging woes.

With the receding Yamuna level, the Chandrawal water treatment plant – one of the three shut since the flooding – started operating. The Okhla plant was started on Friday after a raging Yamuna showed signs of calming down.

“Chandrawal water treatment plant has also started,” Kejriwal said in a tweet on Sunday.

Kejriwal inspects flood relief camps

According to officials, the Yamuna’s water level declined to 205.52 metres by 10 pm on Sunday from its peak of 208.66 metres at 8 pm on Thursday. The water level of the river, however, was still above the danger mark of 205.33 metres.

Kejriwal inspected a flood relief camp in north Delhi’s Mori Gate and announced that the government will set up special camps for those who lost their Aadhaar cards and other important documents, and make arrangements for books and clothes for the affected children.

“Many extremely poor families living on the banks of Yamuna have suffered a lot. In some families, the entire household goods were washed away. ₹10,000 will be given as financial help to every flood-affected family. Special camps will be organised for those whose documents like Aadhaar card etc. have been washed away. The children whose clothes and books were washed away will be provided the same by the schools,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Delhi ministers, including Gopal Rai and Raaj Kumar Anand, took stock of the relief measures at various places. Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena inspected the flood-affected areas later in the day. He said efforts have begun to drain out floodwater from Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial. All government and private schools in the areas bordering the Yamuna in Delhi will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Also read: Delhi govt to set up camps for Aadhaar, other docs washed away in floods

Blame game

Meanwhile, the AAP and the BJP traded charges over the current situation. Bharadwaj slammed the BJP, saying it falsely accused the AAP of not paying for the maintenance of the ITO barrage even though it is managed by the Haryana government. The Delhi BJP demanded a judicial probe to find out whether any desilting of the Yamuna and the drains in the city was done by the AAP government and if yes, what was the amount of money spent on it.

Due to the receding water level of the Yamuna, some roads, including Bhairon Marg, were opened for traffic movement, the Delhi Traffic Police said. According to a traffic advisory, Bhairon Marg was opened while Ring Road was opened from Sarai Kale Khan to the IP flyover to Rajghat for light vehicles. Ring Road is still closed from Shanti Van to Monkey Bridge-Yamuna Bazar-ISBT. However, it has been opened from ISBT-Kashmiri Gate towards Timarpur and the Civil Lines Mall Road side.

“Ring Road from Majnu Ka Tila to Hanuman Setu is closed. Carriageway from IP College to Chandgi Ram Akhara is closed. Carriageway from Chandgi Ram Akhara to Shanti Van has been closed due to mud and dust as the opening of carriageway may affect the safety of commuters,” the advisory said.

Also read: Delhi floods: Farmlands, shanties, shops inundated, evacuated people stare at bleak future

Public Works Department minister Atishi inspected the waterlogged roads and instructed officials to expedite the process of pumping out water.

(With inputs from agencies)

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