Yamuna Bridge Closed After River Crosses Danger Mark, 27 Trains Cancelled

Yamuna Bridge Closed After River Crosses Danger Mark, 27 Trains Cancelled

NEW DELHI: The Northern Railway on Monday said the old Yamuna rail bridge has been closed for train traffic since midnight as a precautionary measure after the river crossed the danger-mark.

"At 12.20 a.m., the old Yamuna Bridge (Loha Pul) temporary closed for rail traffic as water level has reached at 205.53 metre mark," a Northern Railways official told IANS.

Northern Railways spokesperson Nitin Chowdhury also said 27 passenger trains have been cancelled, 14 express trains diverted and also three have been short terminated, among a few others.

On Sunday evening, the order for closing the bridge was issued by the Delhi Police at 8.25 pm after the water level reached 205.52 metres.

Over 1,000 families were evacuated from low-lying areas on Sunday morning.

Delhi's deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who visited low- lying areas around Akshardham and Pandav Nagar, urged people to move to safer places.

The river's water level rose to 205.50 meters on Sunday due to water discharge from Haryana's Hathnikund Barrage amid continuous rain in the catchment areas. It is expected to rise to 206.60 meters on July 31.

Haryana had released six lakh cusecs of water at 6 pm on Saturday.

The water released at Hathnikund barrage, which provides drinking water to New Delhi, normally takes 72 hours to reach the city.

"More water is being released from the barrage every hour, which will have an impact on the Yamuna level in Delhi. We are keeping a close watch," a Flood and Control Department official told IANS.

East Delhi's District Magistrate K Mahesh also visited the low-lying areas and said that the situation is under control and the government is fully prepared to tackle emergency.

"As many as 67 boats have been deployed at 23 locations. We have made arrangements to shift the affected persons to school campuses and night shelters," the official told the media.

He said that although the river level was above the danger mark, the situation, as of now, is not worrisome. Quick response teams have been activated, the official said.

The National Disaster Relief Force too is on a standby.

"We have set up over 750 tents for about 1,000 families in East zone alone, apart from arrangements of food. We are shifting people living on the river bed to the nearest higher areas," Nodal officer (Preet Vihar) Arun Gupta told IANS.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday held a review meeting with officials concerned on the preparedness to tackle the flood-like situation in low-lying areas of Delhi.

The Delhi government also requested the Army to be on standby for any emergency.