Twenty-seven passengers trains have been cancelled and seven trains diverted due to the closure of the Old Yamuna Bridge in Delhi on Sunday evening with the water level in the river rising due to rains, a day after the flow breached the danger mark, officials said.
The city government set up a flood control room and a round-the-clock emergency operation centre to monitor the river situation, they said.
An order banning movement of traffic on the bridge was issued by the disaster management authorities after the flow in the Yamuna showed a rising trend. The river was flowing at 205.5 metres on Sunday evening with the danger mark being 204.83 metres, the officials said.
Old Yamuna Bridge, colloquially known as ‘Lohe Ka Pul’, is a road-cum-rail bridge on the Delhi-Howrah line that was built over 150 years ago. It serves as a major connectivity link between Delhi and the neighbouring states.
“There is impending danger of floods due to this unprecedented rise in water level resulting in inundation of low-lying areas in the Yamuna bed and may also lead to loss of life and property,” the order issued by the District Disaster Management Authority said.
“The traffic movement on the bridge is, hereby directed to be closed with immediate effect,” it said.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took stock of the ongoing evacuation operation in the low-lying areas of the city, including Akshardham and Pandav Nagar, and appealed to the people to move to safer areas.
Many people have moved to safer places, an official said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had held an emergency meeting with top officials to evaluate the situation.
“The government has established a flood control room in the office of the district magistrate, District (East) at LM Bund, Geeta Colony. A 24×7 emergency operation centre has also been set up for monitoring the flood situation,” a senior official said.