Water level in the Yamuna breached the danger mark of 205.33 metres Monday, touching 205.36 metres. According to officials, the level could breach 207 metres on Tuesday evening.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to everyone living on the floodplains to evacuate the area and move to tents set up across the city.
Each year, the Delhi government undertakes a mammoth task of evacuating thousands of people from low-lying areas along the river till the water abates. This year, 2,120 shelters have been set up already. Kejriwal said the government has to evacuate 23,860 people from low-lying areas.
“I appeal to everyone living in these areas to move out and shift to tents. The government is providing all facilities possible there. Many times, people shuttle between tents and their houses but this is dangerous as the water level will rise suddenly,” he said.
Over 50 boats have also been stationed at critical points to prevent cases of drowning, officials said.
On Sunday evening, Haryana had released 8.28 lakh cusecs of water from Hathni Kund Barrage. This is the highest quantum of water released in the recent past, officials said. On Monday evening, another 1.47 lakh cusecs were released.
“Normally, water from Hathni Kund Barrage takes 72 hours to reach Delhi. The highest amount of water is expected to reach the national capital on Wednesday evening. Water level had started increasing at the barrage on Sunday morning,” said Haridev Kamboj, executive engineer of the water services division, Haryana’s irrigation department.
“Rains in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand contribute to water in the Yamuna. This time, a cloud burst coupled with heavy rains in Uttarakhand, apart from heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh, has led to highest flow of water in the river,” said Kamboj.
In 2013, the Yamuna’s water level had reached 207.32 m. At that time, Haryana had released 8.06 lakh cusecs in one go.
As the level rose, the Old Yamuna Bridge was also closed for traffic on Monday.