Climate Change

North India Deluge 2023: Yamuna crosses warning mark in Delhi amid heavy rain in upper catchment

The water level is anticipated to rise to 205.5 metres between 10 am and 12 noon on July 11, crossing the danger mark of 205.33 metres  

By Zumbish
Published: Monday 10 July 2023
A photo tweeted by AAP politician @Atishi shows boats in the Yamuna on July 10, 2023

This story has been updated

The Yamuna river in Delhi crossed the warning mark in Delhi on July 10, 2023, as its level reached 204.63 metres, an official of the Delhi Jal Board told Down To Earth.

Heavy rainfall in the upper catchment of the Ganga’s longest and second-largest tributary was the main cause of the development in the national capital, the official added.

“The reason behind this surge in water level is the release of more water into the Yamuna from the Hathnikund barrage upstream in Haryana. Incessant rainfall has taken place in northwest India over the last three days with many areas in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan recording heavy to extreme precipitation,” Anil Bharti, additional chief engineer, construction of water bodies and innovation cell, Delhi Jal Board, told DTE

The level of 204.63 metres was recorded at the Old Railway Bridge in Delhi at 1 pm on July 10, according to a flood bulletin. The warning level is 204.5 metres.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, assured that a flood-like situation will not arise in Delhi.

At a press conference, Kejriwal also stated that the evacuation of people from low-lying areas around the Yamuna will be initiated once the river touches the 206-metre mark.

The water level is anticipated to rise to 205.5 metres between 10 am and 12 noon on July 11, crossing the danger mark of 205.33 metres, according to the Central Water Commission (CWC). “It is likely to rise to 205.5 metres between 11 am and 1 pm on July 11,” said CWC in an advisory.

According to the irrigation and flood control department, the flow rate at the Hathnikund barrage gradually increased to 305,768 cusecs at 5 am on July 10.

“Normally, the flow rate at the barrage is 352 cusecs, but heavy rainfall in the catchment areas increases the discharge. The water from the barrage takes around two to three days to reach Delhi,” the department stated in a press statement as cited by news agency Press Trust of India.

The Delhi government has set up 16 control rooms that includes a central control room. Its aim will be to monitor the flood-prone areas and the water level of the Yamuna.

The government ordered all schools to be closed on June 10 in the wake of the inclement weather conditions and cancelled the Sunday leave of government officials, instructing them to be in the field.

At the July 10 press conference, Kejriwal also assured that the government was prepared to tackle any eventualities.

Bharti told DTE when asked about action plan:

The river’s sluice gates have been opened and all the sewer obstructions hampering the water flow have been removed. An action plan will also be made for the over 36,000 people living in low-lying areas around the Yamuna, in case they need help.

The Yamuna originates at the Yamunotri glacier in Uttarakhand. It flows in a southerly direction through the Himalayan foothills and after exiting Uttarakhand, enters the Indo-Gangetic plain, along the border between Uttar Pradesh and Haryana states. The Eastern and Western Yamuna canals are fed from the river at that point.

It then passes Delhi, where it feeds the Agra Canal. South of Delhi, and within Uttar Pradesh, it turns south-eastward near Mathura and passes Agra, Firozabad, and Etawah.

Below Etawah, it receives a number of southern tributaries, the largest of which are the Chambal, the Sindh, the Betwa and the Ken. The Yamuna joins the Ganga near Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, after a course of about 855 miles (1,376 km).

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