Water levels of Yamuna River breached the 208.48 metre-mark on Thursday flooding roads and homes in Delhi, including the Historic Red Fort area. It disrupted traffic and inter-State transportation services in New Delhi. With several areas of the Capital under flood-like situation, the Delhi government decided to shut down schools and colleges till Sunday. All non-essential government establishments and private offices were asked to work-from-home.

The State government also decided to shut down three water treatment plants impacting water supply of the city by nearly 25 per cent leading the administration to enforce water rationing. Waterlogging at the Kashmere Gate bus terminal forced the Delhi Transport Department to terminate buses from neighbouring States such as Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand at the Singhu border.

Water shortage

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “This is the first time that Yamuna River has reached at such high levels. Due to the shutdown of the three water treatment plants, citizens are likely to face water shortages for the next 1-2 days. Entry of non-essential heavy good vehicles is being prohibited in the city from four borders, including Singhu. All measures are being taken for relief work.”

“I appeal to all volunteers, councilors, MLAs and all other people to visit relief camps and provide all possible support,” he also tweeted. 

Several key areas in Delhi, including the secretariat which houses the office of the Chief Minister, and the posh area of Old Delhi Civil Lines were flooded on Thursday. Nigambodh Crematorium was also shut down. Severe waterlogging was also reported in Rajghat and Purana Qila areas.

Traffic restrictions

Ashish Kundra, Principal Secretary at the state’s Transport Department tweeted, “Traffic restrictions in place in Delhi . Entry of Heavy Goods vehicle banned from Singhu, Badarpur, Chilla and Loni borders . Inter-State buses from HP, Punjab Haryana J&K and Chandigarh to stop at Singhu border. Temporary restrictions on account of high flood warning.”

The rise in Yamuna’s water was attributed to heavy rainfall and the release of water from Hathnikund Barrage.