As the water level of Yamuna river breached all records, reaching its highest at 1pm on Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to "work together" and urged him to intervene in the siutation to ensure that the water level of the Yamuna doesn't rise further. "The news of flood in the capital of the country will not send a good message to the world," he said, requesting people to vacate their homes in the low-lying areas.
Delhi traffic police issued an alert on Wednesday after Yamuna River water overflowed on Ring road between Monastery and ISBT, Kashmere Gate, "Traffic is affected on Ring road between Monastery and ISBT, Kashmere Gate due to overflowing Yamuna river water. Kindly avoid the stretch," the police said.
Traffic Alert— Delhi Traffic Police (@dtptraffic) July 12, 2023
Traffic is affected on Ring road between Monastery and ISBT, Kashmere Gate due to overflowing Yamuna river water. Kindly avoid the stretch. pic.twitter.com/frUaY4WmnX
The Yamuna river in Delhi surpassed the danger mark of 205.33 metres on Monday evening following days of torrential rain, much earlier than expected. As of Wednesday 4 pm, the river was flowing at an all-time high of 207.71 metres. In a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Kejriwal requested that "if possible the water from Hathnikund barrage in Haryana be released in limited speed" and pointed out that Delhi is set to host the G-20 Summit meeting in a few weeks.
BJP MP Gautam Gambhir visited a relief camp in Delhi as Yamuna water level breached its danger mark amid heavy rainfall. "In the last nine years, they (AAP government in Delhi) didn't spend a single penny on infrastructure and only did politics of freebies," he said.
VIDEO | "In the last nine years, they (AAP government in Delhi) didn't spend a single penny on infrastructure and only did politics of freebies," says BJP MP Gautam Gambhir after visiting a relief camp in Delhi amid rising water levels of Yamuna. pic.twitter.com/mrxl7gGch3— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) July 12, 2023
He further said, "The people of Delhi are our responsibility. Delhi CM should be questioned on how much money has his government spent on city infrastructure. This is not the time for doing politics."
Earlier, Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena cited Delhi's “lack of preparedness” in dealing with the unprecedented rain and failure to clean the sewage in the river. Waterlogging has become a yearly ritual. Sewage cleaning is not done, and drain water is not treated properly. Due to all these neglected tasks over the years, waterlogging occurs,” he said. In response, Delhi's Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said, "Help Delhi people, don't do dirty politics.."
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party president Virendra Sachdeva said that Kejriwal saying that the city was “not prepared” for such levels of rain, despite the IMD’s warning, is proof of his incompetence. Earlier, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal admitted that Delhi’s drainage system is “not designed to handle the unprecedented level of rain” seen in the last two days. However, Kejriwal also reiterated that this is not the time to point fingers at one another but for governments of all the rain affected states to work together and overcome the situation.
BJP workers led by Sachdeva and Leader of the Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri also held a protest near the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters, accusing the government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi of corruption in desilting and cleaning of drains before the monsoon.
Meanwhile, Delhi Minister Atishi said that thousands of people have been evacuated so far. "After assessing the situation, it seems that this (flood-like situation in Yamuna river) may continue for a while for which we are making necessary arrangements," she said.
According to a PTI report, an official has said the sharp rise in water level was due to continuous rainfall in upper catchment areas and saturated soil from heavy precipitation in Delhi and nearby regions. Water released from a barrage in Haryana has led to the surge in Yamuna levels.