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Yamuna water level: Evacuees say tents overcrowded, government relief inadequate

For the last four days, Premvati, a 26-year-old mother of three, has been walking over a kilometer to use the toilet as her family had to evacuate their home on the banks of Yamuna.


PTI 31 Jul 2018, 03:50 PM India

For the last four days, Premvati, a 26-year-old mother of three, has been walking over a kilometer to use the toilet as her family had to evacuate their home on the banks of Yamuna.

Rising water levels in the river, which is threatening to burst its banks, has forced more than 13,000 people to take refuge on higher ground.

Some have been accommodated in makeshift government camps, comprising more than 1,000 tents, but overcrowding has forced many, including Premvati, to set up their own temporary shelters along the National Highway 24 in East Delhi near Mayur Vihar.

Breastfeeding her eight-month-old baby inside a makeshift tent made of blue plastic sheet tied to bamboo sticks, she complained about not getting adequate support and relief from the government.

"We were asked to evacuate four days ago by the authorities. We moved here and built a temporary tent along the roadside all on our own. The tents set up by the government were already overcrowded," Premvati said, her voice rising in frustration.

"To use toilet we have to walk over a kilometer where the mobile toilets are stationed. Also, there is no proper arrangement for drinking water and food. Somehow we are managing. Today more tents are being put up and we hope to find a place there," she said.

With the Yamuna flowing over the danger mark, her family along with many others living in Chilla village in Yamuna Khadar were asked to move to a safer place four days ago.

Ramavtar, another evacuee, said every year as the water level rises, those living in low-lying areas are asked to relocate.

"But there is no proper arrangement of shelter, food and water. For food and water, we have to go to the tents erected up by the government, but that means walking almost a kilometer for every meal," he said.

Yesterday, he said, he got only four puris and vegetables for his family of four because he couldn't make it on time.

Gabru, 27, is meanwhile waiting for the water level in the river to come down so that he can check his fields which are submerged -- the only source for his income.

Less than kilometre from the ITO, on the other side of the bridge on the Yamuna, scores of tents have come up with hundreds of settlers evacuated from the river banks awaiting relief.

Yamuna was flowing at 206.04 metres today, nearly two metres above the danger mark of 204.83 metres, officials said, adding the water level was expected to rise further.

The government has also put up tents near the DND flyover, along the highway in Mayur Vihar Phase I and along the Vikas Marg.

A total of 1,149 tents have been set up to accommodate the evacuated people. Food and medical help is also being extended to them, the official said.

Meanwhile, discharge from the Hathani Kund Barrage rose further as water was being released at intervals, the Delhi government's flood control room said.

Road traffic on Old Yamuna Bridge remains affected as it was closed after the water level in the river rose on Sunday, the traffic police said.

However, rail traffic over the bridge was temporarily suspended today as the water level continued to rise, northern railways said.

The bridge serves as a major connectivity link between Delhi and the neighbouring states.

The highest water level recorded at Old Yamuna Bridge was 207.49 metres in 1978. It was 207.11 metres in 2010 and 207.32 metres in 2013, according to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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