Delhi: Schools, colleges, non-essential govt offices shut

Relief work stepped up in flood-affected areas of Punjab, Haryana; Punjab extends holidays in schools

With Yamuna levels rising to a record high flooding areas near the inundated river floodplains, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority directed that all non-essential government offices, schools and colleges in the city be closed till Sunday.

Private establishments across the city have been advised to work from home.

The decision was made at the DDMA meeting held at the LG Secretariat here. The meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena, was also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“All schools, colleges and universities are being closed till Sunday,” Kejriwal told reporters after the meeting.

“All government offices associated with non-essential services will be closed till Sunday. Private offices will be issued an advisory to follow work-from-home practice,” he said.

Officials said commercial establishments around Kashmere Gate will be asked to close till Sunday. Buses coming to ISBT will stop at Singhu Border, and DTC buses will ferry people from there, they said.

The chief minister also warned of chances of an acute water shortage in the city.

Several key areas in Delhi, including the Secretariat housing the chief minister’s office, were flooded on Thursday, impairing normal life and traffic movement as authorities scrambled to lead rescue and relief efforts.

The Yamuna flowed at 208.53 metres at 10 am on Thursday, breaking the 45-year-old record, officials said.

Entry and exit of passengers at the Yamuna Bank Metro Station on the Blue Line has been temporarily closed due to the rising water levels of the Yamuna river, officials said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the water level of the Yamuna river in Delhi has stabilised and will start receding tonight, a senior Central Water Commission official said on Thursday.

According to the CWC flood-monitoring portal, the water level at the Old Railway Bridge rose to 208.62 metres at 1 pm and remained stable till 4 pm.

“The water level has stabilised and it will start coming down in the next four hours. It is expected to drop to 208.45 metres by 3 am on Friday,” Central Water Commission (CWC) Director Sharad Chandra said.

He said the rate of water flow rate at the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana dropped to 80,000 cusecs at 4 pm.

The water level at the Old Railway Bridge crossed the 208-metre mark Wednesday night, with the CWC terming it an “extreme situation”.

Roads turned into rivers and water gushed into houses, medical facilities, crematoriums and shelter homes, impairing normal life and causing immense hardship for the people in the national Capital as the Yamuna river water level rose to record high.

The river swelled to a staggering 208.62 metres at 1 pm on Thursday, smashing the previous all-time record of 207.49 metres set 45 years ago by a significant margin.

Waterlogging at the Kashmere Gate bus terminal forced the Delhi Transport Department to terminate buses from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and elsewhere at the Singhu border. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Wednesday issued an advisory asking people not to go to Nigambodh Ghat to carry out last rites. The crematorium in Geeta Colony too was closed due to the rise in Yamuna water levels.

Relief work continued at a brisk pace in the flood-affected areas of Punjab and Haryana on Thursday, where the rain fury has left normal life paralysed in worst-hit parts. Considering the safety of students, the Punjab government on Thursday extended the holiday in schools till July 16. Earlier, it had announced holidays till July 13. Education minister Harjot Singh Bains tweeted that all schools will remain closed till July 16.

Authorities in the two states have stepped up relief operations as the weather has improved over the past three days.

Officials said the water flowing in Haryana’s Hathnikund barrage in Yamunanagar district on Thursday was 1.62 lakh cusecs at 10 am, significantly down from Tuesday morning’s flow rate of around 3.21 lakh cusecs of water discharged from the barrage.

However, the gushing floodwaters from the Yamuna river over the past two days have inundated vast tracts of agricultural land in Karnal and Panipat districts and impacted some villages.

Over 14,000 people have been shifted to safer places from waterlogged localities in several of Punjab’s affected districts.

Meanwhile, in the wake of persistent heavy rainfall in North India over the past week, Indian Railways on Thursday announced the cancellation of nearly 400 passenger services and approximately 600 mail and Express trains from July 7 to 13.

The ongoing waterlogging and subsequent track damage have forced authorities to temporarily suspend train services, affecting the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttarakhand, which have been hit hard by landslides and flash floods.

Efforts to restore normalcy and address the damage have already begun, with repair work underway on the affected railway tracks between Chandigarh-Kharar and Dhoolkot, as well as between Chandimandir and Kalka railway stations. Dedicated teams of manpower have been deployed to clear debris and fallen trees obstructing the tracks.

Adding to the disruption, Vande Bharat and Jan-Shatabdi trains had already been cancelled since Sunday due to the inclement weather conditions. Additionally, all toy trains running on the popular Kalka-Shimla track have been temporarily suspended for the next couple of days.

The severe weather conditions in the region have taken a toll on the rail network, resulting in the cancellation of an average of 35 services per day. Passengers are being urged to stay updated with the latest information from Indian Railways regarding their travel plans and alte

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