Tehri water rises, Yamuna abates in Haryana


New Delhi/Dehradun/Chandigarh: After days of torrential rain, Uttarakhand had very little rainfall Tuesday but saw landslides and deep cracks appear in the earth in large parts while the water of the massive Tehri dam rose alarmingly. In Haryana, floodwaters of the Yamuna receded, while it rose in the national capital flooding low-lying areas.

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who Tuesday went on an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure a liberal package to the two states.

Haryana saw flood waters of the Yamuna river receding Tuesday with only 140,000 cusecs of water being discharged from the Hathnikund barrange in Yamunanagar district.

In Uttarrakhand, which has been battered by torrential rain and landslides over the past three days claiming 66 lives, more than 100 tourists, including many from abroad, were stranded in different areas.

A group of 50 tourists, including 28 from Brazil, were stuck on the main Uttarkashi-Yamunotri highway.

Two Indian Army officers of a mountaineering team were killed when a snow avalanche hit their camp in Chamoli district.

Road traffic was disrupted in several parts of Almora, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Uttarkashi, Udham Singh Nagar and Haridwar districts.

Supply of essential commodities including diesel, petrol, cooking gas and even vegetables and fruits has been badly affected on account of damaged roads. The water level at the Tehri Dam continued to rise, and was at 830.36 metres Tuesday. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank flew down to the dam site and undertook an aerial survey of villages in the vicinity.

The hills of Himachal Pradesh may experience heavy rainfall by Wednesday, a weather official said here Tuesday. All the rivers and their tributaries in the state are already in spate.

A government spokesperson said the Satluj, Beas and the Yamuna rivers and their tributaries are already in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.

Haryana saw flood waters of the Yamuna, which inundated low-lying villages in Yamunanagar and Karnal districts, starting to recede.

The Yamuna saw a maximum discharge of 744,507 cusecs of water from the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana Monday, breaking records of the past 32 years. The previous record of discharge into the Yamuna was 709,000 cusecs, recorded Sep 3, 1978.

Incessant rainfall in the upper reaches of Shivalik hills and in Uttarakhand has led to heavy inflows.

The river’s flood waters reach Delhi downstream in about 36 hours.

In New Delhi, a key bridge over the Yamuna linking the capital with its eastern district and western Uttar Pradesh was shut Tuesday as the river waters rose further, causing traffic jams.

Following a release of 7.44 lakh cusecs of water by Haryana, the water level in the Yamuna reached 206.38 m Tuesday evening.

According to the Central Water Commission, the water level is expected to touch 207 metres, 2.17 metres above the danger mark, by Wednesday.

The closure of the bridge, the oldest over the Yamuna here, forced the diversion of traffic onto the National Highway No. 24, that links Delhi with Uttar Pradesh, choking many arterial roads in parts of the capital.

Train services across the Old Railway Bridge — a double-decker road-cum-rail iron girder structure built in 1868 — were suspended and over two dozen trains from and to the Old Delhi Railway Station were diverted to other routes.

Several low-lying areas in parts of the capital are flooded by the rising water level in Yamuna and people from areas like New Usmanpur, Sarita Vihar, Kalindi Kunj, Jamia Nagar and Wazirabad have been shifted to temporary shelter camps.