With traffic movement on the Old Yamuna Bridge being closed on Sunday evening, a day after the Yamuna breached the danger mark due to incessant rain in Delhi-NCR, Surender Singh (28) and his family were asked to leave their house along the river bank in Yamuna Khadar’s Chilla Beli.
Carrying household items, clothes and his goats, Singh’s family headed to the footpath close to Mayur Vihar Extension — instead of the tents set up by the government. “The tents near the Mayur Vihar Phase 1 Metro station, where the flyover is being built, are occupied by those living closer to the area. The other site at DND is 2 km away, which is too far. So we decided to build plastic tents on the footpath, from where we can oversee our fields as well,” said Singh, who was joined by several other families.
District Magistrate (east) K Mahesh, however, said there are close to 100 tents at DND which are mostly empty: “People do not want to move to this site… tents are sufficient. If needed, we will shift people to schools. But for now, we have taken all precautionary measures. We are also using boats to help families shift.”
As of 5 pm on Sunday, the water level was at 205.5 metres — higher than the danger level of 204.83 metres and the highest since 2013. With 6 lakh cusecs of water being released by Haryana on Saturday, which will reach Delhi in 48-72 hours, the level is likely to rise to 206.6 metres.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also took stock of the ongoing evacuation operation in the low-lying areas, including Akshardham and Pandav Nagar. Presiding over an emergency meeting on the status of the water level, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Sunday directed officials to be prepared to deal with any untoward situation in the districts through which the river flows.
Meanwhile, near Lohe Ka Pul, The Indian Express found that there are just 15 tents for close to 50 families. Many living nearby waited with their belongings packed, and said they would move if the water rose further.
Those who moved in said there are no toilets. “We have to go to the park and pay money to use the toilet. The government should have set up a makeshift toilet. The food, too, was not enough,” said Santosh Prasad Kushwaha, who grows flowers and supplies it to nurseries.
On Sunday, residents said they were given aloo puri, biscuit and tea. Sabina (10) said, “My father got food from an eatery nearby as we are a family of eight…”