Yamuna crosses danger mark: Delhi CM Kejriwal holds emergency meeting

CM Kejriwal acknowledges the magnitude of heavy downpours in Delhi and emphasises the need for united action among state governments to provide relief to affected citizens

| Updated: 10 July, 2023 11:53 pm IST
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took stock of the situation following heavy rainfall in Delhi  (TNI Photo Sumit Kumar)

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal convened an emergency meeting with all the departments to take stock of the situation as the Yamuna river crosses the danger mark following heavy rains in Delhi and the National Capital Region.

Delhi witnessed an unprecedented downpour of 153 mm of rain in a 24-hour period on July 8-9, the highest since 1982, when the city experienced 170 mm of rainfall.

CM Kejriwal acknowledged that the unexpected volume of rain posed difficulties for the residents.

“In the last couple of days, it has rained a lot in the city. There have been unprecedented rains not only in Delhi but in the entire north of India,” CM Kejriwal said.

“There have been reports stating that this has been the most it has rained in a single day in over 40 years in some regions. There have been record rains in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh,” he added.

The Delhi CM said that the crisis was unprecedented and that it was time for all the state governments and the Centre to work together to assist the citizens.

“Unfortunately, this record rainfall has bothered people. This is a time when all state governments need to work together instead of pointing fingers and blaming each other for their problems. I firmly believe that each state government that has been affected by the record rainfall is working hard to provide relief to those whose livelihoods have been affected. This is the time when everyone, the state governments, the Centre and the people need to come together and work,” he said.

“The Public Works Department (PWD) has taken swift action to mitigate the impact of heavy rains. A total of 680 pumps, including 100 mobile pumps, have been deployed, in addition to 326 supplementary pumps, to tackle the waterlogging and drainage issues across the city,” CM Kejriwal added.

Recognising the challenges of road maintenance during the monsoon season, CM Kejriwal announced, “Immediate measures would be taken to address potholes by temporarily filling them with stones.”

“Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has assigned teams to clean out garbage and debris that obstruct drainage systems to ensure smooth water flow,” he added.

Following the incidents of road cave-ins at three locations, CM Kejriwal ordered a thorough investigation to identify the underlying causes. Construction activities in the city have been temporarily halted to allow the unimpeded clearing of drains blocked near sites.

To prevent traffic congestion, the Delhi Traffic Police has been asked to deploy additional personnel at vulnerable points throughout the city. This strategic measure aims to ensure the smooth movement of vehicles and prevent gridlock on the roads.

CM Kejriwal also highlighted the ongoing coordination with the Central Water Commission (CWC) and clarified that despite the current release of water from the HathniKund barrage, which reached 203.58 metres in the Yamuna River, experts have reassured that the risk of flooding remains low.

“One question that is being asked to us by the citizens at the moment is, are there chances of Delhi being flooded? I would like to answer this, but for that, two important factors need to be looked into. The first is to see how much rainfall is happening in Delhi. The second factor is that there are chances of the city being flooded because of external factors such as the release of water through the Hathnikund barrage. This is the water that flows from Himachal Pradesh to Haryana and then enters Delhi,” he said.

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